The redevelopment of Battersea Power Station has taken a significant step forward after independent engineers officially signed off the first of the four chimneys to be rebuilt as it reached the 25m mark.
The inspection was carried out by engineering practice The Morton Partnership Ltd, on behalf of the London Borough of Wandsworth, and gives the green light to Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) to commence work on dismantling and rebuilding the other three chimneys.
Inspections have also been completed by heritage group Historic England which has provided expert advice to BPSDC throughout the process, after surveys revealed that the chimneys had deteriorated to such an extent that a refurbishment would not provide a long term solution.
Consequently, after consultation with the group and Wandsworth Council, it was agreed that all four chimneys would be painstakingly dismantled and rebuilt using the same techniques and materials to ensure they would be visually identical to the originals.
It was agreed that dismantling and reconstruction would initially be restricted to the South West chimney alone, which would be inspected at the halfway stage to assess the care and quality of the work.
With this milestone now reached, and the inspectors expressing their ‘complete satisfaction’ with the results, work can start simultaneously on the remaining three chimneys. The rebuild programme is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016, after which the repainting of the chimneys will begin.
Rob Tincknell, Chief Executive Officer at BPSDC, said: “Reaching the halfway point on the first chimney to be rebuilt is another significant milestone for everyone involved in the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station.
“We are very proud of this achievement and with work to start soon on the other three chimneys, I would like to offer the teams on site every best wish for the rest of the project.”
Battersea Power Station has been described by the Prime Minister as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the 42-acre Nine Elms regeneration project on the South Bank. The scheme will deliver a new town centre for London, serviced by an extension to the Northern Line, and safeguard the landmark Grade II listed building for future generations.
The £8 billion scheme will transform the brownfield site into mixed-use community of homes, shops, offices, cafés and 18 acres of public space. Work on the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station itself began in 2013 and the building is expected to be open to the public for the first time in 30 years in 2019. The overall development is anticipated to be completed in 2025.
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