The ambitious development of London’s Battersea Power Station
took a new twist this week with owner Parkview International unable to
say when its chief executive would be returning from holiday.
sources said Parkview chief executive Michael Roberts, a long-standing
ally of Parkview owner Victor Hwang, had left the group promoting the
£1.5bn scheme, but spokesman Ian Rumgay said this was not true.
However, he continued: ‘Michael is on holiday. I don’t know when he is returning. I cannot specify when he is coming back.’
weeks ago, Rumgay said Roberts would be back on Monday this week.
However, he has still not returned, fuelling speculation that he is to
leave Parkview after a fall out with Hwang over the direction of the
Roberts was unavailable for comment, and colleagues at his office declined to say where he was.
mystery over Roberts’ role is the latest in a series of setbacks at
Battersea in the last year. Irish developer Ballymore was in detailed
discussions to buy a majority stake
in the power station site
for a residential-led scheme, but talks broke down in January. Private
investor syndicate AAIM then entered an exclusivity period without
being able to hammer out a deal.
sources say the significant problem for any new partner at Battersea is
changing the scheme. To do so would trigger a new planning application
with far higher affordable housing levels than the current consent.
wants to build a 4.4m sq ft (405,000 sq m) retail, leisure, office and
residential scheme that would retain the listed power station.
residential developer Candy & Candy, which is behind luxury schemes
at Bowater House in Knightsbridge and Middlesex Hospital in Bloomsbury,
is the latest outfit to be linked with Battersea.
only say: ‘Parkview International is in the process of considering
proposals from a number of different organisations and institutions for
financing the construction phase of the Battersea Power Station project.
such organisation was the AAIM group, but Parkview International have
decided not to progress matters with this investment group as they were
unable to meet all commercial objectives.
proposals are still being considered and Parkview International and the
power station project continues to enjoy the full support and
confidence of the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays.
the first time since the power station was decommissioned in 1982, all
the key elements are now in place for this landmark site to be
redeveloped. The scheme is proceeding on schedule for phase 1
completion in 2010/11.’