Architect Fights Demolition of Battersea’s Little Pumping Station

Conservation architect Jack Warshaw is furious that Wandsworth council is proposing to give the go-ahead for vast amounts of development around Battersea Power Station – far more than would ever have been allowed, had permission ever been given for the site to be cleared. “On each occasion the excuse was that so much building was necessary to ‘save’ the Power Station – an enabling subsidy at no cost to the public purse,” he stresses.

The irony is that as each permission has been granted, the site has been sold on at a substantial profit from the added value it has acquired with the granting of these virtual developments. Its current owners Treasury Holdings may well do the same.

By contrast, the Station itself has been allowed to decay, which Warshaw feels may already well have gone beyond the point of economic repair. “And the Little Pumping Station, the one building that could be re-used at reasonable cost, is now the subject of a squalid application to demolish. Little by little, the heritage value of the site is being eroded. The permission already granted at the Power Station is a mockery of heritage conservation!” he exclaims.

As Wandsworth’s first Conservation Officer, he was proud of having built up its reputation as a leader in preserving London’s heritage. He was also the first to try, despite not succeeding, to bring about the rescue of Battersea Power Station.

So he feels strongly that the Little Pumping Station still stands apart “begging and able to be rescued. There is no credible case for demolition. Its loss, both of itself and as part of the ensemble, can only add a further insult, covering the Borough Council with still more ignominy.”

Warshaw is also a member of local activists Bordon Area Action Group (see www.baaga.co.uk) and is currently campaigning against another large and dense development in Whitehill Bordon, which will harm the local environment and character of this charming eco-town in east Hampshire.

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Olympics ‘not worth it’ say Hackney footballers

Spectacle went to Hackney Marshes to interview local footballers on what they thought of plans to turn their pitches into a coach car park for the Olympic stadium.

The East marsh, has a reputation all over the world for being home to the largest number of outdoor pitches in Europe. It is not just this reputation that will be lost if Olympic plans go ahead says locals. The deep community spirit the football games bring to Hackney will also disapear.

As one female footballer pointed out, they could play in Walthamstow but why should Hackney women’s team play in Walthamstow ‘its not right’. Many were highly sceptical that once the Olympic games were finished their precious  pitches would be returned to them.

The East marsh football games have been taking place for over 50 years. They have been kept going through rain or snow by the local community and easy availability of space.  Anyone who wants to can play.  For many who take part, losing all this for a the Olympics, which will only last 3 weeks, is just not worth it.

For more information on Spectacles Olympic Project please visit our Project Page

For Spectacles latest film on the Olympics please visit our archive page.



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