The Type Of Bulgarian Music That Has Become World-Famous Is After 30 Years Battersea Power Station to Be Turned Into 3,500 New Houses

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After 30 Years Battersea Power Station to Be Turned Into 3,500 New Houses

Battersea Power Station has stood empty for years awaiting development and approval of plans. Now it has been announced that in October 2013, conversion into new homes will finally begin thirty years after the power station closed. The Battersea Power Station Development Company is behind the venture and in charge of the restoration of the Grade II listed building.

In October this year [2013] it will be the 30th anniversary since the power station was closed down. The project to convert it to housing is going to take 3 years, to complete in 2016 and preparatory work has already begun.

The restoration project will run into millions of pounds and will need to include much major repair work before any renovation is actually undertaken. The first phase of the building work is to repair the external brickwork, clean the towers, do work to the steel frame, repair and replace windows and take down and rebuild the famous chimneys. The chimneys will be reconstructed to the same design but using the latest safety and structural standards. The idea is to keep the building looking the same and as an icon of London.

The new Battersea development will be the heart of a new 39 acre community and will be a unique development in London, with various phases.

A special team has been put together to work on the site and the main developer for phase 1 as been announced as Carillion with the architect being Ian Simpson Architects and de Rijke Marsh Morgan. The contract for the first phase is rumoured to be worth around £400 million and will be one of the largest in London at the current time. Carillion is one of the UK’s largest construction firms and already has a number of high profile development schemes udder its belt such as Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport and Crossrail and the Royal Liverpool Hospital Project.

The first phase will be known as Circus West and will be to the west side of the Power Station and will include around 850 one, two and three bedroom apartments, also town houses and luxury penthouses. There will also be shops, commercial units, cultural buildings an d community spaces. When completed the whole development will provide more than 3,500 new homes. It will also create a large number of new jobs.

Battersea Power Station is the largest brick building in Europe and was known for its Art Deco interior and decor. It is an old coal-fired power station on the bank of the Thames river, in South-West London. It is actually two individual power stations that were built at different times but within one building. The first part was built in the 1930’s and the second part 20 years later. They have an identical design giving the iconic 4 chimney look. The power station stopped making electric in 1983 and has stood empty ever since. However appearances in various music videos for the Beaatles, Take That and Judas Priest and importantly gracing the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals have made it a unique landmark for London.

Before the 1930’s it was for the local councils to supply electric and so there were small power stations to do the job for different districts and the energy was used for a specific factory or industry and excess was sold to the public. However as these were small places the quality and voltage and frequency of the power differed greatly. In 1925 the Government decided there should be one single power grid with uniform standards. The London Power Company was formed from several of the smaller power suppliers. Their first super power station was built at Battersea as the proximity to the river allowed for easy cooling of the systems and good for delivery of the coal and was in the heart of London to supply electric to. There was much opposition on the grounds that the building would be an eye-sore so the company brought in a famous architect to design the exterior. When it opened it was the most thermally efficient power station in the world. It was built in 2 stage and by the time the second phase was completed the UK’s electric supply had been nationalised and ownership was passed to the British Electricity Authority.

In 2004 it was listed on the World Monuments Watch list. The current state of the building has been deemed very bad by English Heritage who listed it as an ‘at risk’ building.

There have been a number of redevelopment plans over the years as different companies took over the site. In 2004 there was a redevelopment project in the pipe line but the existing debts of over £750 million, the requirement that any development must include a £200 million contribution to a proposed extension of the London Underground, the need for a waste transfer plant and cement factory on the banks of the river and the conversation required, made it an unattractive investment and a difficult commercial project.

In 2006 it was bought by an Irish company for £400 million. They initially planned to refurbish the site into a public venue and housing. The plan was granted permission to go ahead but the Irish company’s debts meant the administrations were called in at the end of December 2011 and in July 2012 it was sold to a Malaysian owned consortium for the same amount as the Irish company bought it for. Most interested parties simply wanted to demolish the structure and redevelop the land and it has took careful negotiation to find a firm willing to undertake the conservation and refurbishment, while developing a commercial venture.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, remarked that “This iconic London landmark has lain dormant for too long and it’s fantastic news that it will soon be home to a hive of activity that boosts the economy in the capital and beyond. I’m delighted that we now have one of the UK’s leading firms on board to help deliver what is without doubt one of London’s most important construction projects in decades.”

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