Battersea plans move closer as owners move in

 
Kasmira Jefford
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THE NEW Malaysian owners of Battersea Power Station revealed yesterday that work on the £8bn scheme is set to get under way this year after completing the purchase of the historic site.

SP Setia, Sime Darby and the country’s Employees’ Pension Fund – officially took ownership of the site yesterday after paying £400m to buy it out of administration in July.

Europe’s largest brick building, has been derelict since it was decommissioned in 1983 and has seen a string of developers try and spectacularly fail to revive it.

The consortium said they will push ahead with existing plans approved under its previous owner, which allows for 3,500 homes, 1.7m square feet of offices, shops, a hotel and a new park.

They also confirmed Robert Tincknell, who led the project under its previous Irish developers Treasury Holdings, as chief executive of the new vehicle – the Battersea Station Development Company.

“Before the end of the year you are going to see cranes, diggers and other activity here for the first time in 25 years,” said Tincknell.

The first phase of the redevelopment includes the building of 800 apartments next to the power station as well as the £50m refurbishment of the power station and is expected to be completed by 2016.

The four iconic white chimneys will be demolished one at a time before being built back up again in a process that will cost £11m and take three years to complete.

The first batch of homes will go on sale next Spring and the consortium aims to sell the 800 flats by September, using the proceeds to fund the rest of the scheme.

They are confident that, with the building’s iconic status and the buoyancy of London’s market, the flats will sell themselves. They will also have to pay £203m towards extension of the Northern Line.