Battersea Power Station: an open letter to the Science Museum

thinks..one day all this will be allowed to rot...

Keith Garner is a Battersea-based architect and member of the Battersea Power Station Community Group who has recently addressed an open letter to the new head of the Science Museum, Ian Blatchford, proposing a collaborative arrangement between private developers and public institutions to secure the future of the Battersea Power Station.

It has been suggested several times that parts of the Station, especially the famous ‘A’ Station Turbine Hall and Control Room, would work well as a museum of industry or science, and this proposal was raised again at a lecture on the future of Battersea Power Station delivered by architecture historian Gavin Stamp recently. After attending the lecture, Keith drafted a letter to Ian Blatchford proposing the idea of a collaborative effort between the Science Museum and developers.

Battersea Power Station’s owners, Treasury Holdings, are currently in financial difficulty because of the Irish banking crisis and it looks likely that they will soon be forced to sell to another private developer, and there’s little to suggest that a new private owner would fare any better at Battersea Power Station than their three predecessors.

A joint venture would not only guarantee public access to the BPS, but also give private developers a greater chance of success in their plans for the site.

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Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

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Low Cost Housing excluded from new Battersea Power Station Redevlopment

Celebrated local muralist Brian Barnes MBE is appalled that the latest plans for redeveloping Battersea Power Station may go ahead without any provision for low-cost affordable housing for local residents and key workers.

Treasury Holdings UK (THUK) are maintaining that their proposed development would be in deficit to the tune of £313.50 million even before construction began and before there could be any contribution to Section 106 obligations.

Section 106 agreements are binding on developers undertaking a major building project to compensate for the adverse impact that this might have on the area by providing additional benefits in either cash or kind. These might be in the form of affordable housing, educational facilities or new open green spaces, for example.

Barnes suggests that the reason for the deficit lies in the drastic drop in land valuation since the original deal was made and also because the developer’s Internal Rate of Return (IRR), ie profitability margin, has been set at 25%, compared with other developers’ IRR margins of 20%.

Barnes, who is a campaigning member of the Battersea Power Station Community Group, asks: “Why are THUK doing it at all, if it is not financially viable? Theirs is surely an argument to subvert GLA housing policy that requires up to 50% of affordable housing in all large developments.

“It is incredible that a £5 billion redevelopment will all hinge on affordable housing, causing the financial viability to be harmed and for there to be a  £313.50 million deficit, even if no affordable housing is provided.”

Click Battersea Power Station for more blogs
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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