Chelsea stadium "out of the question" at Battersea Power Station
7:00am Friday 15th June 2012 in News
The potential new owners of Battersea Power Station have declared that building a football stadium on the 39-acre site is "out of the question".
Last Friday it emerged that a joint £400m bid from two Malaysian companies, SP Setia and Sime Darby, had been accepted by the site's joint administrators Ernst & Young and Knight Frank.
A 28-day period of due diligence will now follow as the various parties finalise a deal. The bid was rumoured to be £70m than the next highest offer.
Exactly what the Malaysian companies plan to do with the site is not yet known but Liew Kee Sin, the owner of SP Setia, told the Daily Telegraph last week a stadium was "out of the question".
That means Chelsea Football Club's dream of building a 60,000 seater stadium on the site is likely to remain just that, barring the collapse of the SP Setia/Sime Darby deal.
Mr Liew insisted the building's famous four chimney stacks will be preserved. He said: "I don't want to say anything right now, but from what I know, a stadium is out of the question.
"We need to speak to the respective councils about what is and isn't possible. For now we're committed to following the [agreed] plan which is residential, commercial, retail and social, and an extension of the Northern Line.
"We're here to spend quite a bit of money to maintain the iconic area. We're conducting a detailed study to work out how to get it done without offending any part of the community.
"It's not ours yet and we don't know what will happen over the next 28 days. Let's do one thing at a time."
If the SP Setia and Sime Darby bid does get the green light the true cost, not including the actual building costs, is likely to be at least £1billion.
On top of the £400m cost of the site, plus £120m in remaining debts, any new owners would have to pay £180m just to restore the power station's brickwork plus £221m in development tax to Wandsworth Council -which would be used to partially fund the Northern Line extention.
Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: "There is still some way to go but this is potentially very good news. It's important that this site and its iconic building are not left behind and that a new developer is brought in who understands our vision for the new Nine Elms."