The Sad Fate of Battersea Power Station

The historic, iconic building made famous worldwide by Pink Floyd is now up for sale. What does the bidder want to do with this magnificent structure?

Turn it into a multi-storey car park.

That is so wrong on so many levels! (Sorry, just couldn’t pass that one up….)

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

9 thoughts on “The Sad Fate of Battersea Power Station”

  1. I thought there was a Preservation Order on the building.

    By a strange irony of fate, the building is actually owned by an Irish State Agency (NAMA) which bought up Irish property developer’s bank loans at a considerable “haircut”(discount) as part of our Bank bailout, and took possession of the property when the owners went into default.

    Now NAMA are under pressure by the Irish Government to start showing some return on its property assets (which are considerable). I hope Battersea PS does not become a casualty of the recession.

  2. There is a preservation order on the building – that it is precisely why it might get turned into a car park. The reason why the site has not been redeveloped (for 30 years – this is prime London property that would be worth well over a billion pounds if the is that people are struggling to work out what to do with a second burnt-out shell of a power station on the South Bank (after all, London only needs one Tate Modern).

    It can’t be converted into anything more useful that a car park because the building is crumbling beyond repair, and it can’t be demolished because it is listed. As brownfield land without a white elephant/mouldering relic/eyesore on it, the site would be worth about a billion pounds. NAMA are asking £400 million, and may not get it. The other serious bidder wants to use the turbine hall as a football stadium – before the financial crisis neither of these creative solutions would have been allowed, making the site unsaleable (except to corrupt Irish flippers, as it turned out).

    The decision to preserve the power station has cost the British tax payer well over a billion pounds over the thirty years since it closed.

  3. Correction – a lot of this cost is going to end up being borne by Irish taxpayers who bailed out the corrupt Irish flippers. So the cost to the British tax payer will be less.

  4. “That is so wrong on so many levels! (Sorry, just couldn’t pass that one up….)”

    It’s an industrial eyesore which is no longer needed.
    Tear it down; 20 years from now, young people will be amazed[1] that there was ever a fuss.

    [1] Not really; it’ll get filed in ‘old folx iz dum’.

  5. So let me get this straight: because a rock band put this power plant on an album cover 35 years ago, no one should ever be able to modify it or tear it down in the future?

    Sorry, but that’s just ridiculous. I’ve got to go with Jonathan Monroe on this one.

  6. Airship terminal. They’ll be back in the zero-emission steep and narrow path of salvation if not in the broad BAU road that leadeth to perdition.

  7. Oh Serious Ones: A multi-storey car park being “wrong on so many levels” is a *joke*, a variant of the one that came second at this year’s fringe festival.

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