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Friday, 1 September, 2000, 07:07 GMT 08:07 UK
Battersea leisure plans steam ahead
Battersea Power Station
Hotel rooms and a cinema could fill the old station
The landmark Battersea Power Station is to be transformed into a multi-million pound leisure complex.

Wandsworth Council's planning committee has unanimously backed the £500m scheme to redevelop the 35-acre site, widely regarded as one of the capital's biggest industrial white elephants.
We are closer now to a start than we have ever been before

Wandsworth councillor Ravi Govindia

The decision on Thursday means work on the derelict power station could start next year.

Plans by developer Parkview include rebuilding the roof and west wall in glass and converting the interior to nine separate levels.

Four towers below the landmark chimneys will contain lifts and escape stairs, while one of the 370ft chimneys will house a "thrill ride".

Rebirth

The renovation plans also include two hotels, a theatre, cinema, flats and a dedicated rail link from Victoria station, as well as rooftop restaurants.

The scheme could finally see a rebirth of the derelict power station.

The building was co-designed in 1930 by architect Giles Gilbert Scott, who also designed Bankside Power Station which re-opened as the Tate Modern in May.

When the third and fourth chimneys were completed in 1955 the power station was the largest brick building in Europe.

Battersea stopped generating electricity in 1983 and was bought from the Central Electricity Generating Board for £1.5m by developer John Broome who planned to build an Alton Towers-style complex on the site.

The roof was removed in 1988 ready for development but costs spiralled after structural problems were discovered, and five years later the site was sold to Parkview after Mr Broome's company went into receivership.

Festival venue

Wandsworth council's planning chairman Ravi Govindia said:

"This is not quite the final hurdle for Parkview but we are closer now to a start than we have ever been before."

The power station has hosted a number of events and campaign launches since its closure.

An 18-day pop concert and entertainment festival featuring Boyzone, Peter André, Jamiroquai, Cast and Paul Weller was held at the site in 1997 as part of a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales.

The smokeless power station was also used in 1999 to encourage smokers to follow its lead by the Nicorette anti-smoking campaign.

See also:

01 Sep 00 | UK
27 Jun 00 | UK
08 Feb 00 | UK
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