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Battersea scheme set to create 3,000 building jobs

David Blunkett says £1.1 billion mixed use scheme will create employment until 2010

THE £1.1 billion Battersea Power Station development in south London will provide 3,000 jobs for construction workers.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions David Blunkett made the announcement on Tuesday as he opened a job centre at the site.

The station was closed in 1982 and is being turned into a mixed-use development by Bovis Lend Lease on behalf of client Parkview, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate.

The site covers 15 ha, with 380 m of its perimeter running along the south bank of the river, and is one of the last major riverside sites in central London to be developed.

Wandsworth Borough Council has granted planning permission for over 405,000 sq m of floor space, of which the power station represents one quarter.

The listed building will be turned into a retail complex, with restaurants, clubs, cafes and bars.

The surrounding site will accommodate two fivestar hotels, offices, showrooms, a 2,000 seat auditorium and 700 residential units.

Further proposals include the £25 million redevelopment of Battersea Park railway station and a footbridge across the Thames. Subject to the remaining planning permission major construction work will start later this year and should be completed by 2010.

Enabling work has already started and workers are currently carrying out demolition, concrete repairs, sheet piling and are constructing a temporary jetty.Following further planning approval the next batch of jobs will include excavation, steel fixing, concrete, carpentry and steel erection.

Mr Blunkett, the council and Parkview have all promised that the project will go ahead this time following a series of false-starts in the past. In 1986 a consortium started work on an indoor theme park at the site but ran out of cash in 1989.

Parkview then bought out the debts in 1993 and received outline planning consent in 1997.