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Battersea Owners Submit Plans To Switch Office And Resi

The altered plans for Phase 3b of Battersea Power Station.

The owners of the huge redevelopment scheme at Battersea Power Station have submitted plans to change part of a block that was to be built as residential into offices, because of the success of the scheme as an office location.

Battersea Power Station Development Co. has submitted a section 73 application to Wandsworth Council to split up the Foster + Partners-designed block 3b at the scheme, and create a stand-alone office building, according to Architects’ Journal

Under previous plans, 454 homes were to have been delivered as part of the block, according to public consultation documents. Now 204 homes and 243K SF of offices will be built. The other 250 homes will now form part of the fourth phase. 

Battersea is not a traditional office location, but major companies have picked the area for relocations in recent years. Apple is to occupy 500K SF in the former power station building itself as a UK HQ, and Penguin Random House has taken 83K SF at Ballymore’s nearby 215K SF One Embassy Gardens scheme.

The Apple deal prompted Malaysian pension funds EPF and PNB to pay £1.6B for the power station building, which includes the Apple HQ plus retail and residential units, in 2018. The wider scheme, which will include 4,239 new homes and 3M SF of commercial space and cost up to £9B to build, is being built by Malaysian firms Sime Darby, SP Setia and EPF.

A corporate presentation from SP Setia accompanying its 2019 full-year results gives a rare insight into how the sale of those residential units is faring. According to the presentation, 865 of the 867 units in Phase 1 of the scheme have been sold or reserved, 232 of the 255 units in Phase 2 are spoken for, as are 383 of the 542 units in Phase 3a. It said the three phases have a combined gross development value of £2.5B. 

The site’s owners caused controversy in 2017 when they cut back the number of affordable housing units, saying that if they did not do so, they would not make an acceptable profit.