Battersea power station works finally begin after over 30 years
Prime minister David Cameron, his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak and London Mayor Boris Johnson opened the official ground breaking ceremony at Battersea power station on Thursday.
The power station was built in 1933 and became a London landmark featured in The Beatles’ 1965 movie Help! and used as the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals.
The redevelopment of the 39-acre site aims to create 3,500 luxury new homes alongside shops, cafés, restaurants and offices and the fully restored Grade II* listed power station.
A new Tube station and connections to the river bus service will link the site to “Travel for London” public transport network.
Redevelopment is predicted to change the area’s landscape and mark the involvement of Malaysian companies in the single largest property project by value in Europe.
A newly created consortium by Sime Darby Bhd, SP Setia Bhd and Employees Provident Fund called Battersea Power Station Holding Co. will carry out the redevelopment works.
The Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said: “Sixty years ago, few would have predicted that Malaysian money would bring Battersea to life. Within a single generation, we have gone from a colony to a cornerstone investor.”
Despite promises from Cameron that planned development will rejuvenate a run down area of Wandsworth, many local people are not entirely sure about how they could benefit from this redevelopment.
The first phase of the works will involve the sale of virtually all of the homes in the Circle West, and this alone will generate more than £600m profit. Local residents are concerned by the price of reserving a property, not including a deposit, which will be around £2500.
Moreover with such a large part of the investment financed by foreign companies, further concerns have been raised in relation to the employment of local unemployed residents.
According to The Guardian on June 29th and 30th a hundred community leaders met on the Nine Elms development area to demand the involvement of local workers and apprentices to directly contribute to the development project.