Battersea Power Station: appartamenti fantasma già venduti per £1.8 miliardi!

English version

Abbiamo appreso dalle pagine del London Evening Standard che “More than £1.8 billion worth of homes have been sold at Battersea Power Station since they went on the market in January last year”. Nessuno di questi appartamenti è stato ancora costruito.

A quanto pare la maggior parte di questi £1.8 miliardi proviene dalle vendite avvenute durante il fortunato lancio globale che la Battersea Power Station Development Company ha organizzato il mese scorso. Come sospettavamo, la ricerca di investitori stanieri non è stata resa difficoltosa dalle paure riguardanti l’esplosione della bolla immobiliare cinese – gli analisti finanziari stanno ancora discutendo su quando ciò avverrà. La minaccia di una Mansion Tax (tassa su immobili di lusso) non ha rallentato la corsa degli investitori stranieri per accaparrarsi il proprio costoso pezzo di Battersea Power Station. Nonostante il mercato immobiliare londinese, come mostrato dal report dell’agenzia immobiliare Knight Frank (vedi sotto), ha mostrato rallentamenti nel corso degli ultimi mesi, le vendite su progetto sembrano funzionare molto bene.Prendendo la Battersea Power Station come esempio di questa tendenza, recentemente The Newstatesman ha scritto:

“Off-plan profits hit the headlines last week with reports that a studio flat in Battersea power station, sold for close to £1m in the spring, is now due to go back on the market for up to £1.5m before it has even been built.”

Prima che sia stato costruito alcunché, e mentre le nostre preoccupazioni riguardanti il “Big Bang” dei modelli finanziari usati dai grandi progetti di sviluppo immobiliare aspettano di essere falsificate dai fatti,  Battersea Power Station Development Company ha già realizzato l’unica cosa che  tutti i precedenti costruttori impegnati nel progetto hanno mostrato di fare con maestria: demolire!

Battersea Power Station: fotografia scattata da  Spectacle il giorno 08/12/2014

Battersea Power Station: fotografia scattata da Spectacle il giorno 08/12/2014

La prima ciminiera della Battersea Power Station è andata. Nelle prossime settimane assisteremo con ogni probabilità al suo lento ritorno a nuova vita, mentre le altre tre ciminiere verranno smantellate contemporaneamente. Speriamo che i £1.8 miliardi daranno alla Battersea Power Station Development Company energia sufficiente per provare che, oltre a demolire, sono capaci anche a costruire.

 

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London Evening Standard loves the future outlook of a wrecked Battersea Power Station

To start with, a few months ago the London Evening Standard proudly presented their collaboration with the owners of the Battersea Power Station on the ‘The Power 1000 – London’s most influential people 2013‘.

BPSeveningstandardpower1000_1

The endangered building was used as a backdrop for the party, no one seemed to be scared of the chimneys collapsing on them, even though the Standard had previously reported that they must be unsafe. The uncritical, back slapping love-in was topped with speeches from Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, Sarah Sands, Evening Standard Editor and Rob Tincknell,  Battersea Power Station chief executive.

And in the 13th November edition about ‘Battersea’s rebirth’ they enthusiastically trumpet the ‘creation of a completely new district where none existed before’.

Wandsworth Tory Leader Ravi Govindia claimed the area will “change faster and more dramatically than any other part of London”- perhaps but maybe not for the better.

As is their custom the owners of Battersea Power Station attempted to deflect the mounting criticism of their plans to demolish the chimneys by wheeling out their gimmicky use of the top of the chimneys, this time not for a single table restaurant, but a viewing platform.

A double page free puff for the Battersea Power Station project:

BPSeveningstandardFULL

Don’t expect the Evening Standard to be digging too deep, or indeed reporting at all, on the controversies surrounding the Power Station demolitions.

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EU to ban film on victims of rape in Afghanistan

London based film-maker, Clementine Malpas, has been threatened with legal action by the European Union after making a documentary that exposed the abuse of women in Afghanistan.

The EU hired  Ms Malpas, 30, to highlight the life of battered wives and rape victims convicted of moral crimes by anti-female Afghan courts. But only 24 hours before the film was due to be delivered, EU officials stated that they did not want to “upset relations with the justice institutions” in Afghanistan.

Ms Malpas is now accused of breaching her contract after breaching her contract after claims the film was screened for outside viewers.


She obtained written consent to film Gulnaz, 19, who was jailed for 12 years for adultery after being raped, and Farida, 26, also jailed for adultery after fleeing her abusive husband. Both women risked their personal safety to speak up and the EU insists that it is protecting them by hiding their identities.

An EU spokesman said: “The woman and their families must be protected, which means their identities can under no circumstances be revealed. The film in its current state does not conceal the persons in question.”

Ms Malpas, who has produced a number of human rights films in Africa, told the London Evening Standard: “It is the women’s choice to tell their stories and I admire their clever-eyed courage. It is not for us to veto their votes.”

These women are well aware of the fact that they’re putting their own and their families’ lives at risk in order to tell their horror stories. They have made up their mind, so who are the EU to dictate what they’re allowed to say? These women’s bravery should be applauded – not shut down.

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Olympic road signs unveiled – and they’re not green

Road signs giving priority to 50, 000 Olympic vehicles were revealed earlier this week.

The signs, published by Transport for London, show how regular motorists will have to give way for official vehicles during the 2012 Games. Members of the Olympic family will have exclusive use of the right-hand lane of a dual carriageway, in a few cases shared by local buses.

Olympic lanes will also be used by athletes, media, officials and corporate sponsors, while cyclists and taxis are banned. The use of the roads by about
25, 000 sponsors has proved particularly controversial, as they will not be travelling out of operational necessity.

Priority road corridors will operate from 7am to 7pm on a third of the 106-mile Olympic network.

The signs will be installed next year but won’t become active until a few days before the operating ceremony on July 27th. Affected roads will also be painted with the Olympic rings.

Back in 2007 the organisers claimed that “walking, cycling and public transport would be promoted as the best ways to get to the events”. Despite this, they’ve now gone ahead and banned cycling on a third of the Olympic network.

Also, it has previously been revealed that guests of soft drinks company Coca-Cola will be travelling to the venues in Stratford using VIP buses, rather than public transport as called for by the Mayor.

One can certainly start asking questions about whether the organisers will be able to live up to their promises about making the London 2012 Olympic the “greenest ever.”

To quote Simon Jenkins of the London Evening Standard: “The only green thing (…) is the traffic light phase fixed for the IOC limousines and luxury buses. “

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