15th October 2004
GOVERNMENT OFFICE FOR LONDON INVERVENES IN LATEST PLANS
At the Wandsworth Council planning committee meeting last night 14th
October 2004 Chairman Cllr Govindier announced that the Government Office
for London had faxed, at 6.00pm that night, issuing an Article 14 Direction
preventing the issue of planning permissions.
What happens next depends on the view GoL take of the legal position when
they have studied it closer.
We also learned that the former Borough Planner, Ian Thompson, who retired
last Christmas, now works for Parkview, as he was there last night advising
them. Thompson was Borough Planner for the whole of the time that Parkview
have been in control of Battersea Power Station 1993 - 2003.
The committee went ahead with the debate on the merits of the plan in
any case. All rather pointless as they could not issue a permission while
the Article 14 is in place.
Tony Belton and Sadiq Khan (Labour) had reservations about the inadequacy
of the public transport provision which rather relies on other agencies
to provide these, as the only link to the Power Station is a ghost station
that Railtrack refuses to join to Victoria and the face lift for Battersea
Park Station will not make more trains appear. Gone is the Air-walk to
the Power Station and visitors will walk from the station, as now.
A full half hour of the debate was about a health centre needed on the
site, which is a minor detail that does not even form part of the planning
application. Nothing was said about the interior of the Power Station
which was briefly described as "multi purpose uses" whatever
that means, perhaps "nothing".
The whole plan was described by the Chairman as new and to forget all
other plans that have come and gone but, if that is the case, then the
Mayor, Ken Livingstone, should now have a strategic veto because there
are no affordable houses in the plans even though the housing element
is larger now.
This one billion pound scheme has stalled yet again largely because Wandsworth
Council have failed to take the legal requirement for an Environment Impact
Assessment into account. They are in danger of becoming brought to book
by the European Union for ignoring European laws and there could be fines
and compensation to be paid unless all the relevant laws are adhered to.
It is 21 years since redevelopment of the Power Station was first debated
and we are no further advanced since then but the building is in a worse
state of decay and is on the World Monuments Fund list of 100 buildings
at risk and English Heritage 'seriously at risk' list also
Battersea Power Station Community Group wants the building to be redeveloped
and as Councillor MacCausland stated, and we agree, it is a world class
scheme but unfortunately it is being decided by people without world class
Phone Brian Barnes 020 7627 5821 wk and 020 7720 7674 hm
Press and media should contact BPSCG Chair Brian
Barnes on 020 7627 5821, or e-mail email@example.com
Letters from BPSCG members published in the local press can be seen on
our letters page