Housebuilder and developer keen to build homes around power station in £500m scheme.
Berkeley group is in talks to buy Battersea Power Station from its Hong Kong owner and is planning a £500m redevelopment.

Berkeley, which recently acquired the Battersea Wharf site next to the power station, declined to comment. However, sources said the company had held talks with Victor Hwang, the head of Battersea Power Station owner Parkview International, within the past month.

It is understood that Parkview is keen to dispose of the site after major hotel operators showed little interest in its £400m scheme. Parkview has also had difficulty in negotiating planning permission with Wandsworth council for leisure use around the power station.

Berkeley already had plans for a £200m scheme at Battersea Wharf, and it is understood that this scheme would be merged with a bigger project at the power station. Sources said Berkeley would design a mixed-use development of shops, offices and residential units over both sites. The scheme would involve the retention of the grade II-listed power station.

Berkeley’s proposals would increase the residential element at the expense of some of the leisure facilities planned by Parkview.

Parkview denies sale talk

A spokesman for Parkview confirmed that it was in talks with developers but denied that it intended to sell the power station.

The spokesman said: “It is not for sale and any suggestion to the contrary is wrong. But obviously people will be involved in different parts of the development.”

He added: “We’ve talked to lots of people about the development and various parts of the site, and a residential scheme is included. But there are no discussions about selling the whole site.

“We have got detailed planning permission for the power station and will have detailed planning permission for the rest of the site subject to Wandsworth council.” However, one source said: “If what it wants to build is right, it would have been offered the development by now. Its scheme is wrong.”

Another added: “Parkview wants to do its scheme, but now could be the time to offload it. The best thing to do is to sell the site to a housebuilder.”

Battersea Power Station has had a troubled history since its closure in 1980. Alton Towers developer John Broome bought Giles Gilbert Scott’s listed art deco power station in 1984 after winning a competition to redevelop it. However, after starting remedial work, Broome ran into financial difficulties.

Embroiled in design rows

Parkview bought the site in 1996 and appointed architect John Outram to develop a design for an entertainment centre. Outram then walked out after criticism of his design concept.

Parkview appointed architect MacCormac Jamieson Prichard in 1998 but it too stopped work in January after Parkview became embroiled in a row with National Grid, which owned 0.2 ha of the site.

Parkview claimed it had agreed a price of £5m for the land but that National Grid had demanded an additional £2m for the deal to go through.

  • Amec and Berkeley have formed a joint-venture company, ICIAN, which has been appointed by Manchester City Council for a £50m scheme to regenerate the former wholesale market site in the northern quarter of the city centre. ICIAN is one of the urban regeneration companies recommended by Lord Rogers’ urban taskforce that will work in partnership with local authorities to develop inner-city brownfield sites with mixed-use schemes.

    Commenting on ICIAN, DETR minister Richard Caborn said: If we are to achieve the urban renaissance set out in [Lord Rogers’] urban taskforce report, it is imperative that we bring housebuilding and commercial development together hand in hand. I am delighted that two such strong companies have come together to deliver urban renewal