Wednesday 18 October 2017

Affordable homes delay at Battersea Power Station site

Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station

Isabelle Fraser

Battersea Power Station will delay building some affordable homes due to "wider economic changes".

The 100 properties, which were due to be finished in the upcoming third phase of building, will now be pushed back to "ease challenges" of delivering the huge development, which includes building a new London Underground station nearby.

These affordable homes represent one sixth of the total number it must build in an agreement decided when the development received planning permission, but are just 8pc of the homes that were due to be built in the third phase.

The development of the old power station has hit a series of snags, including negative headlines over falling prices and construction firms exiting the scheme, such as Bouygues.

The company also said last year that it would downsize some apartments due to the faltering residential market. This year it said it would turn some of them into office space, adding up to 1m sq ft to the project, which will include Apple's London headquarters.

Sales of new-build homes in central London last year fell to the lowest level since 2012, according to market research group Molior, leaving a surfeit of unsold homes on the market.

In a letter to Wandsworth Council, Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) said that "the project faces a number of challenges which include both site-specific and wider economic changes which are placing increasing pressure on its continued successful delivery".

"As a result, the delivery priorities for the project have been re-considered."

It added that it was bringing forward 386 affordable homes in the next phase.

A spokesperson for BPSDC said: "This application relates to a proposal whereby roughly a sixth of the total anticipated provision of affordable homes are relocated back to another part of the site so that we can press ahead with bringing forward nearly 400 affordable homes earlier than originally planned.

"In addition, the application brings us into line with revised area-wide policy, which requires a review mechanism closer to completion of the entire project so that everyone can be certain the quantum of affordable housing is still broadly in line with the financial performance of the project."

Phase three of the development was designed by architecture firms Frank Gehry and Foster + Partners, which separately said it was planning redundancies due to "market uncertainty".

(Telegraph)

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