Unauthorised Battersea Power Station Helipad – NO ACTION


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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REO, current owners of Battersea Power Station, like all previous owners, have been reluctant to allow any local community use of the site. However they have clearly made parts of the site available to some hand picked users, such as private helicopter operators.

Private helicopter taking off from Battersea Power Station

Private helicopter taking off from Battersea Power Station

So while the principle of allowing use of the site is established there is no transparent decision making process for allowing community or public use of the site – it seems to be at the whim and gift of REO’s private patronage.

There does not seem to have been any consultation on the noisy informal heliport.  It would also appear that the helicopter is flying outside the compulsory Helicopter flight route over the Thames. If it is a single engined helicopter it should only be flying over the Thames in the London Control Zone. Helicopters taking off from Battersea Power Station fly south inland flying over residential areas.

Helicopter landing at Battersea Power Station

Helicopter landing at Battersea Power Station

If you are concerned about noise from helicopters you might be interested to read  In a Spin- A review of Helicopter Noise by London Assembly Environment Committee

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