David Cameron, Boris Johnson and the prime minister of Malaysia attend ground breaking ceremony at the Battersea Power Station development

David Cameron, Boris Johnson and the prime minister of Malaysia attended a ceremony at the Battersea Power Station development today to mark the official start of construction on the site.

The ground breaking ceremony at the iconic site marked the beginning of construction work on Circus West, the first phase of the development - eighty years after the power station first generated electricity and thirty years since it was decommissioned.

As Building revealed in May, Carillion won the £400m job to build the first phase, beating off competition from Laing O’Rourke and Brookfield for the job. Early favourite Sir Robert McAlpine and Lend Lease were dropped from the race at an earlier stage.

The Ian Simpson and dRMM- designed scheme, which was granted detailed planning permission last December, is a mixed-use development comprising 866 apartments, including 11 penthouses, together with retail facilities, theatre space and business studios, in two blocks built on a podium with two levels of basement parking.

The redevelopment project will be located within the area bounded by Battersea Power Station to the East, the main railway serving Victoria Station to the West and the river Thames to the North.

The main block will vary in height from 8 storeys at its southern end, rising to 18 storeys and then reducing to 12 storeys at its northern end. The second block will be 8 storeys high. Extensive hard and soft landscaping is included as part of the Phase 1 works.

Main construction works for Phase 1 are scheduled for completion in 2016.

The ground breaking ceremony ws attended by the mayor fo London, David Cameron and the representatives of the Malaysian consortium backing the project, as well as the Malaysian orime minister.

The consortium behind the redevelopment comprises S P Setia, Sime Darby and EPF with the redevelopment of the 39 acre site being undertaken by British-based Battersea Power Station Development Company.