SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
An investigation into Parkview's development proposals for Battersea Power Station, by Richard Warren, published in the South China Morning Post on 2nd July 2003. Click here for the full article.
A follow-up article in SCMP on 26th October 2005 reported further delays, with Parkview exaggerating the impact of BPSCG's 2003 legal challenge.
The investigation into Battersea Power Station and Parkview International by David Hencke and Rob Evans, published on 8th November 2002, can be seen on the Guardian Unlimited web site.
In this article published in 2000, architecture correspondent Jonathan Glancey compared the success of the converstion of Sir Giles Scott's later Bankside Power Station into the Tate Modern, with the contunuing dereliction at Battersea.
The Cringle Street pumping station stands in the shadow of poor old Battersea power station, that forlorn symbol of Thatcherite free enterprise half-demolished by her friend John Broome before he went bust.
The pumping station is a solid, handsome brick structure with an iron roof built by the Southwark Water Company between 1839 and 1856, and is listed grade II. It is now owned by Parkview International, the company which wants to turn the power station into a gigantic "leisure centre" and to develop the surrounding land. And it is in the way.
The pumping station is eminently reusable and, besides, in the legal agreement with Wandsworth borough council, Parkview is obliged to provide 10,000 sq ft of community space. Yet in its master plan, Arup Associates fails to incorporate the building into the scheme and proposes no use for it.
And English Heritage? Well the head of the Kensington & South London team has written to Parkview: "English Heritage accepts that it is most unlikely that the former Cringle Street pumping station could be retained within the development. If its replacement clearly contributed to the wider benefit of the development and above all, the reuse of the power station, we would not oppose its demolition." So one listed building is to be sacrificed to try to make a Hong Kong developer do the right thing by another. Thus are we served.
'Piloti', Private Eye No919, 7th March 1997
Another listed building in danger of demolition is poor old Battersea power station.
In Eye 919 I discussed the Cringle Street pumping station which Parkview International, the Hong Kong company which wants to create a "leisure centre" on the Battersea site, seems to find surplus to requirements. Now, after more than a decade of neglect following partial demolition by Mrs Thatcher's servant John Broome, the future of the power station itself looks increasingly uncertain.
Parkview International is, of course, totally committed to restoring and converting the listed structure. But it is a pity the company has not yet got around to looking after the forlorn shell of the building. A report by English Heritage has found that "the general envelope of the building is suffering from prolonged and continual deterioration and erosion as a result of its exposed condition and continual neglect in carrying out holding maintenance works... There is further loss and damage of the protective sheathing and fly battening to the inner wall surfaces of the main body of the building which are exposed to the elements following the earlier loss of the main roof".
The most interesting part of the surviving interior, the former control room, "has a number of leaks through the roof at the S end and water penetration through the N end wall with possible adverse effects to the marble claddings if allowed to continue". The turbine hall is also suffering.
The report concludes with a list of maintenance works - including removal of vegetation growing on the stepped bases of the chimneys - which no doubt Parkview International is keen to carry out. After all, it wouldn't prefer to develop a cleared site, would it?
Piloti', Private Eye No922, 18th April 1997
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