Battersea's historic gasholders to be demolished
7:00am Friday 18th January 2013 in News
Wandsworth Council has approved the demolition of the gasholders in Battersea as part of the regeneration of Nine Elms.
The four gasholders, now decommissioned after 80 years of active use, occupy a prime 4.9 acre site at the junction of Prince of Wales Drive and Queenstown Road.
The gasholders, along with Battersea Power Station, have for decades formed part of the borough's historic skyline.
The council decided at a Planning Committee meeting on January 14 that the work will begin this spring, lasting approximately 16 months.
National Grid's future plan for the site, which is subject to a separate planning application, is to build 800 new homes, shops, offices, leisure facilities and new public spaces.
Councillor Nick Cuff, chairman of the Planning Chairman, said: "Demolishing the gasholders will be an important step towards bringing this redundant site back into use.
"We hope to see hundreds of new jobs and homes created here in the years ahead."
But the decision has raised concerns among campaigners who believe alternative uses for the site should be examined.
Keith Garner, architect and co-founder of the said: "We are definitively opposing the demolition of the gasholders.
"This site, as well as Battersea Power Station, has relevance for British Industrial archaeology."
According to English Heritage, the gasholders, along with Battersea Power Station, is now the only remaining monument of the area’s rich industrial past.
A spokesman for Battersea Power Station Community Group (BPSCG): "We sense that there is the intent of demolishing every element of the industrial past of Battersea.
"The requalification of the area can be done in many other ways and not necessarily through real estate investments."
In the German city of Oberhausen, there is a gasholder with the same features as the one in London and has been transformed in to a museum.
It is now the landmark of the city and a centre for art hosting art, theatre and music performances.
To view the planning application visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/info/516/view_planning_applications.
What do you think about the decision to demolish the gasholders? Let us know at wandsworthguardian.co.uk.