by Paul Cahalan
from Wandsworth Guardian
26 February 2009
Plans to build a 750ft tower, the centrepiece of a £4bn development on the Battersea Power Station site, have been shelved. Real Estate Opportunities, REO, which owns the station site, abandoned plans for its ‘eco dome’ because of concerns over height and its effect on protected views of the Houses of Parliament.
A spokesman for REO refused to comment on the claims, but a source close to the development said: “There were serious concerns over protected views and so the company is rethinking the dome idea.”
It is believed REO will now opt for a same mixed-use (residential and commercial) scheme, that will be lower in height, but more dense. The tower, labelled the fifth chimney and the Dyson, was beset by problems since launch. The dome, at nearly 1,000ft, raised eyebrows when it was launched last year. REO’s developers, Treasury, later reduced its height to 750ft because of pressure from community and heritage groups.
Keith Garner, spokesman for Battersea Power Station Community Group, said while the dome was being pulled there were still concerns over the site.
"I wouldn’t call it good news, because the tower was a stupid idea that should never have been considered in the first place. Now there will be yet more delays while there are ‘redesigns’ of the scheme,” he said. “In that time the condition of the building will deteriorate still further. We have always thought REO’s real objective is to demolish the building and sell a cleared site.”
REO, which is 67 per cent owned by Irish developer Treasury Holdings, launched its £4bn development scheme last summer. It championed the green credentials of the development - particularly the eco-dome - designed by the Uruguyan architect Rafael Vinoly. It is believed REO will seek to maintain the scheme’s green and sustainability credentials as it works to launch a new proposal later this year.
the site might look without the eco-dome
Date posted: 2 March 2009