Battersea Power Station homes on hold: plans for hundreds of London flats to be shelved to make way for office space

Hundreds of apartments planned for the £9 billion Battersea Power Station development have been put on hold and the space freed up for offices. 

About 250 flats in a block designed by leading architect Lord Foster’s London practice will not be built if the rethink gets the all-clear from planners.

It comes amid a regeneration boom in the Nine Elms area of the South Bank with thousands of highly priced riverside homes already on the market or set to come up for sale this year.

Across central London, office vacancy rates are at their lowest since the EU referendum, in part because of changes to rules which let commercial buildings be more easily converted into housing.

New plans: if approved by Wandsworth council, the block on the lower left will now be offices instead

Simon Murphy, chief executive of the Battersea Power Station Development Company, said about 200,000 sq ft of office space will be created in a block at the south of the Foster building, known as Phase 3b. 

He added: “We’ve got about 1,600 homes already built or under construction. We thought it would create a better balance if we have some office space rather than just more apartments … it will be right above the Northern line extension station … a world-class, Foster-designed, company HQ-standard office building.”

The Malaysian-owned developer is expected to apply to Wandsworth council next month for consent and hopes it will be granted by September. 

If this happens, the building is scheduled to be completed by mid-2023.

Mr Murphy said the offices, close to half the size of those due to be occupied by Apple in the power station building next year, could be leased by one company or up to 16. 

The plan does not involve a reduction in the total number of homes at the 42-acre site, as there will be an equivalent increase in flats in Phase 4. A consultation begins today. 

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