Public backs Battersea change

Niki May Young
Tuesday 05 Aug 2008

Visitors to Battersea Power Station in favour of Viñoly design

Former RIBA president George Ferguson last month labelled Vinoly's new design for Battersea Power Station as a "major menace to London". But following a month-long survey, collating results from over 1,500 visitors to the existing building, it appears the public disagree.

Viñoly's design received an approval rating of 82% and approval for the overall proposals for the development was found to be 67%. This is far higher than may be expected given the central location of the development and the London Mayor's policy on protecting historic views in the UK capital.

And it is these views which Ferguson placed high on his agenda in criticising the proposals: "Viñoly's proposal for Battersea Power Station reveals an evident lack of understanding of the vital place Gilbert Scott’s masterpiece holds in the London psyche and landscape." He said, "It is the height of arrogance to think that anyone could supplant this supremely muscular building with a vast gimmicky tower – for that is what it is."

The Grade II listed (UK heritage protection standard) building which currently stands on the banks of the Thames is listed as in a 'very bad' condition by the English Heritage. But the £4 billion proposal aims to integrate the building back into London as a thriving hub of activity. The design includes 8 million sq ft of housing, retail and commercial space and features a central atrium or 'eco-dome' with protruding 300 metre high chimney which is said to dramatically reduce carbon emissions at the 38 acre site.

Rob Tincknell, Managing Director of Treasury Holdings UK, development managers for the project, said: “Feedback from our consultations with local residents and key stakeholders has been incredibly positive. There clearly is a strong desire to see our development go ahead because of the massive improvements it will bring to an area that has been neglected for decades."

The survey acts as part of a public consultation which has now been extended until the end of August. Visitors can gain free entrance at the Power Station and have their say in the proposals. An application for planning will be submitted in December.

To view more details on the Battersea Power Station development please click here

Niki May Young
News Editor

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