Million pound flats at Battersea Power Station while thousands wait on housing listing
Battersea Power Station is selling apartments for millions of pounds after cutting affordable housing in the development and at a time when thousands of people are waiting for permanent accommodation in the area.
Campaigners have hit out at the £9billion redesign of the iconic power station on the 42-acre site and said the scheme has done “nothing” to solve the housing crisis in Wandsworth.
Studios on the site start at £560,000, with single beds from £850,000. The cost of a three-bedroom rooftop villa starts at £7million.
It comes as more than 3,500 local families were classified as statutorily homeless in the borough in a recent council report.
The developer behind the project had previously reduced the level of affordable housing from 15% to 9% – from 636 to 386 of the 4,239 units planned.
The Battersea Power Station Development Company claimed that the project might otherwise become financially unviable.
Wandsworth Council approved the cut in 2017 under its former Conservative administration.
Wandsworth Action Against Empty Homes has now called the move ‘shameful’ and urged the authority’s new Labor administration to sit down with Battersea Power Station Development Company and London Mayor Sadiq Khan to bring housing standards back up affordable.
The group will demonstrate in front of the luxury apartments of the monument on Saturday October 22.
Activists want at least 15% of housing on the site to be environmentally friendly social housing.
It comes after the monument was finally opened to the public on Friday October 14 after decades of neglect and several failed restoration attempts.
Circus West Village, the first phase of the regeneration which includes houses, bars, restaurants, cafes and entertainment venues, opened in 2017.
Wandsworth Labor did not attend the opening after expressing frustration with the development’s low level of social housing.
The group took control of the Tory council for the first time in 44 years in May and have long been critical of the level of affordable housing in the scheme.
A spokesperson for Wandsworth Action Against Empty Homes said the project had “done nothing to address the housing crisis in Wandsworth” as thousands of people wait for permanent homes in the borough.
The spokesman said: ‘It is shameful that the former Conservative administration allowed this development knowing full well that the number of those applying for housing assistance was increasing.’
The spokesman added: ‘The new Labor administration has refused to attend the opening night…… The Conservatives are questioning this decision which is why they are in opposition because ‘ they are disconnected from the needs of the community.”
The group’s demands also include urging the council to take over all empty houses in the borough to distribute to people living in temporary homes, ensuring they are suitable and offered for council rent.
A Battersea Power Station Development Company spokesperson said: “The whole site is being transformed into a vibrant and bustling community which will ultimately bring around 20,000 new jobs to the area.
“The iconic Grade II* listed power station itself has been saved from ruin and we have put in place much needed new transport infrastructure with a new underground line, with £300million contributed to the extension of the Northern Line, connecting this new waterfront area to the rest of London.
“97% of homes in Circus West Village are occupied by 85% UK buyers over the past 18 months.
“At Battersea Power Station the lights are certainly on and people are at home.”