Kohn Pederson Fox founder tells Mipim audience that scheme will ‘make the most’ of defunct power station

Architect Kohn Pederson Fox said it has developed a “very beautiful scheme” for Chelsea Football Club to relocate to Battersea Power Station, which will retain an active use for the grade-II* listed structure.

Speaking at Mipim, KPF founder Gene Kohn said that the scheme, drawn up with Chelsea’s development partner Almacantar, would “make the most” of the defunct power station.

His comments came as the planned sale of the power station site by administrator Ernst & Young and the surrounding regeneration of the Nine Elms area of London was the main talking point at this year’s Mipim property festival in Cannes.

The previous redevelopment plan, being taken forward by Real Estate Opportunities, collapsed into administration in November last year after it was unable to pay debts to Lloyds Bank and Irish bad bank NAMA.

Chelsea’s move with Almacantar and KPF is so far the only publicly confirmed interested party in the site, valued at about £500m. Administrators were reported to be optimistic the sale would complete in the first half of 2012.

Kohn said: “We have a very beautiful scheme that presumes we’re making the most of the power station itself. It will have an active use for the power station, and I can’t think of much else that could make as good a use of it as we’re proposing.”

But Wandsworth council leader Ravi Govindia, also speaking at Mipim, downplayed the Chelsea bid, saying he was not aware of moves to bring the club to Battersea and questioned whether it would fit in with existing plans. “With the idea for a football stand, you have to wonder,” he said.

Battersea Power Station is the highest profile part of the Nine Elms redevelopment area, which is dependent on the construction of an extension to the Northern Line, and also includes the £500m US Embassy, the redevelopment of Covent Garden Flower Market, and the 1,870-home Nine Elms Parkside project by the Royal Mail, which received planning permission this week.

Govindia said the Nine Elms Strategy Board, which governs the redevelopment of the area, could yet become a legally defined body with statutory powers to drive the plan.