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Battersea developer to appoint contractor by 2011

The developers behind ambitious new plans for the derelict Battersea Power Station site say they want to have a main contractor on board by the start of 2011 – more than a year before they plan to start work on the £4 billion regeneration scheme.

Real Estate Opportunities – a listed company managed by Irish developer Treasury Holdings – says it wants a construction firm involved as soon the outline proposal is approved to assist with some “technical solutions” for the major project.

The developer has unveiled a mixed-use carbon zero master plan for the 15.4 ha Thames-side site which has been vacant for 25 years after two separate bids to redevelop the land failed.

The proposal involves building a 300 m-high “chimney” and eco-dome, designed by Rafael Vinoly. It is anticipated the plans will be put to the authorities later this year and go before a public inquiry some time in 2009.

Treasury Holdings managing director Rob Tincknell said: “Assuming that our proposal is warmly received, we would be looking for a contractor for the start of 2011.

“We want to try to get a contractor on board as early as we can to work through all the technical solutions.

“We believe it is important to create a partnership with a contractor to make sure this project is done efficiently and correctly.”

Bovis Lend Lease, which was in line for the construction contract under the plans of former owner Parkview International, declined to comment on whether they would consider a bid for the new scheme.

Mr Tincknell said REO would spend as much as £150 million to bring the dilapidated power station back into a workable state before it begins the project, which it aims to have completed by 2020.

The old power station would house a combined cooling, heat, and power plant, using biofuels, waste and other renewable energy sources. Its listed chimneys, which the developer has said are beyond repair, would be removed and replaced.

Areas of the station would be converted into flats, a hotel, shops, cafes and restaurants and the remainder of the site would be developed as a mix of residential and commercial.

This includes 232,000 sq m of offices covered by a transparent “eco-dome”, which rises into a 300m-high and 32m-wide chimney that works as a natural ventilation system for the buildings and area inside.

Mr Vinoly said up to 3,000 cubic metres per second of air could be drawn through the system, to power as much of 67 per cent of the buildings’ needs.

He added: “While ambitious I know there are construction contractors in this country that would not have a problem with taking on this project. We are using completely known technologies and it has been an evolving process of design work.”

The proposal also includes a new Tube station, which would be an extension of the Northern Line from Kennington. The planned route – a study for which has been completed by engineering consultants Mott MacDonald – would cost almost £350 million to build, and would be paid for by REO and other significant landowners in the Nine Elms Opportunity Area.

Mr Tincknell said: “We don’t embark on projects that we can’t deliver.
"We are determined that Londoners will not be disappointed and this area will be brought back to life in the most spectacular way.”