by Paul Cahalan
Wandsworth Guardian 21 May 2009
The relocation of the US Embassy from Mayfair to Nine Elms, Battersea, has moved a step forward with the submission of two planning applications to Wandsworth Council.
The first application is in outline for a 40,000 – 50,000 sqm embassy building together with three entrance pavilions, landscaping and perimeter.
The second is for the realignment of the existing Ponton Road, a new junction with Nine Elms Lane and the widening of Nine Elms Lane “to improve pedestrian amenity as well as cyclist and bus flow”.
A spokesman for the US Embassy said: “The general public had their first opportunity to view the proposals at a series of exhibitions held at the beginning of March, where more than 85 per cent of those who completed a questionnaire said they ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ with the relocation of the Embassy to Nine Elms.
“It is hoped that the new embassy will not only provide a new iconic building on the south bank of the Thames, but also act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the area - a sentiment echoed by the 91 per cent of respondents who said they believe the embassy will contribute positively to the overall regeneration of Nine Elms."
In October last year the US Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations announced the embassy would be moving from its traditional home in central London because of concerns over space and security.
It said it had chosen Nine Elms because of its proximity to the corridors of power in Westminster and Whitehall.
In January four architectural firms were shortlisted for the final phase of the design competition for the new embassy, Kieran Timberlake, Morphosis Architects, PEI Cobb Freed & Partners and Richard Meier & Partners.
A further planning application will be submitted once the winning design is revealed.
Date posted: 22 May 2009