Battersea Power Station Pop-Up Park ‘pops off’

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Last May, the Battersea Power Station developers opened what they announced as a Pop-Up Park, that would receive visitors from all over the world every weekend and host several events. The so called public park, that was even added to Google Maps, ( how did that happen?) soon ‘popped off’ and in late September closed its doors.

The Power Station is one of the few obstacles preventing walkers from strolling along the south side of the Thames Path. For years this path has been blocked– a fading sign claimed it was a “construction site” even though really it was a very agreeable and exclusive river front office for construction company Berkeley Homes. The Berkeley Group (Berkeley, St James, St George, St Edward ) are responsible for ”delivering” many of the ugly and soulless developments despoiling the south bank.

IMG_9990In a new sign hanging on the now closed door, the developers claim the reason why they are shutting access to the park is related to the beginning of restoration works of the Power Station. In fact phase 1, which has barely started, is the building of monstrous flats in the slither of land along the rail track, forever obscuring the wonderful views from the west. “Restoration” (or desecration depending on your view of art deco architecture) of the power station is phase 2.

The sign also states that they have had “a great time hosting over 55,000 guests” in the pop up park. Are they are including in that number the more than 30,000 people that visited the building during the London Open House weekend? If so the pop up park was already closed then. Or do they count those attending the numerous events they have hosted, regardless of the alleged danger of the chimneys falling, on the south side of the site?

Finally it suggests you write to zkelly@bpsdc.co.uk if you would like to discuss putting on an event- It would seem danger from the chimneys only affects the non-paying public but not private, paying guests.

Perhaps “PR Park” would be a more appropriate name than “pop-up Park”.

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See our Battersea Power Station project pages for more information and videos.
Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

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Unauthorised Battersea Power Station Helipad – NO ACTION

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The unauthorised use of the grounds of the Battersea Power Station as a private helipad has received no action under the ENFORCEMENTS section of the Wandsworth Council’s Planning Application Committee agenda to be discussed at today’s meeting.

Residents have been expressing concerns since as early as June 2003 about helicopter flights causing noise and disturbance, and according to the Committee report:

DETAILS:  The number of helicopter flight movements (a landing and take-off) at
this site within the power station is logged by the Battersea Heliport and its monthly returns shows that the current level of movements is between 14 and 56 per month over the last year, an average per month of about 35 movements.   This compares to a monthly average of between 30 and 51 movements per month over the last ten years, with a peak in activity during the months of May, June and July 2007 (93, 96 and 92 movements, respectively).

All other breaches of planning control in Wandsworth Borough by small businesses are being enforced by the Committee, but nothing is being done to enforce the removal of the helipad:

RECOMMENDATION:  That the committee endorses the view that it is not
expedient to take enforcement action against the use of part of the site of Battersea
Power station for the take-off and landing of helicopters, based on the current level of usage, and that the complainants be informed accordingly.

One rule for the rich and powerful, and another for smaller, less well-connected enterprises?

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For more on Helicopters at Battersea Power Station
See our Battersea Power Station project pages for more information and videos.
Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

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Silwood Land for Silwood Residents?

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As part of the continued regeneration of the Silwood Estate, an application has been submitted by London & Quadrant Housing Association for planning permission on vacant land that residents wanted to be used to provide play areas for their children. After a series of quarterly meetings in which residents were unable to obtain information from L & Q representatives as to status of the Lewisham Council-owned land, it has become apparent that the housing trust themselves have made a bid for it. According to Planning Application DC/09/73169/X , L & Q are seeking permission to build tower blocks ‘ranging from 2 storeys… to 6 storeys’ in the area north of Silwood Street. Residents have requested that this issue be raised at the next Silwood Community Meeting.

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Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.
See our Silwood Video Group project pages for more information and videos.

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Cameron Braves ‘Dangerous’ Battersea Power Station for Manifesto Launch

David Cameron’s decision to invite little old you and me to run the country at the big boys’ table at Battersea Power Station was no accident, because you see, he wants to FIRE UP the nation. Y’know, like the station. Because it’s stopped working. FIRE UP the power because the country is derelict and…ok he wants to REGENERATE the station, no wait, I got that wrong, regenerate the NATION, because England is like a dilapidated…oh I don’t know why I bother.

Anyway, if he was going to recklessly bounce loaded metaphors around the inside of the power station he should have been wearing a hard hat – that structure is dangerously unsafe according to REO. At least that’s what was told to Battersea Power Station Community Group, unless they were to have the required clout which presumably comes with a ‘no topple’ guarantee.

The key point of all this is that Cameron’s ability to bypass this regulation demonstrates that REO’s persistent claims that the chimneys must be pulled down due to their perceived danger is most definitely a falsehood, and it highlights the superficiality of their concerns over safety at the station which very clearly are being raised as an excuse for their desired re-development. Once the chimneys are down they will never be put back. You can read more about it here in Spectacle’s Battersea Power Station blog.

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Planning alerts and tescopoly

You can now check out what planning applications are pending in your local area through a new website PlanningAlerts. This is useful for those interested in monitoring ‘regeneration’ of urban and rural areas.

It also is possible to monitor the progress Tesco, one of Britain’s biggest planning monsters. To find out what they are up to look at Tescopoly a site dedicated to monitoring all things Tesco.

Visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

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