4 May 2012

Chelsea bids for Battersea Power Station

Chelsea football club enters a bid to buy the landmark Battersea Power Station on the river Thames, with plans to build a new 60,000-seater stadium if successful.

Chelsea bids for Battersea Power Station

The Blues confirmed they bid to acquire the 39 acres of land which is home to Battersea Power Station with property development partner Almacantar.

If successful, the club said they would maintain the station’s trademark four chimneys and the Grade II listed turbine hall. Initial proposals include a 15,000 seated one-tier stand behind the south goal, which would be the biggest single tier stand in football.

Chelsea can only move from their current site at Stamford Bridge if they can convince fan-led group Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO), which owns the land beneath Stamford Bridge, to sell them back the freehold – something they failed to do at a general meeting back in October.

In a statement, the club said that they are not the only bidders and that theirs is not confirmed: “We also appreciate that we have many significant hurdles to address if we are to build a new stadium on the site.

“We must also stress that making an offer for the Battersea Power Station site does not mean the club has made a definitive decision to leave Stamford Bridge.”

The club have also been looking at other south-west London sites to make their home, as expanding the 42,000 capacity Stamford Bridge stadium is not a viable option.

Iconic London landmark

Originally coal-fired, Battersea Power Station was built in the 1930s but was gradually shut down a section at a time in the 1970s and 1980s, mainly due to expensive running costs and a move from coal to oil, gas and nuclear power.

The Blues said their development plans included a town centre with substantial street-level retail shops, affordable housing and offices, “all of which would benefit Wandsworth and bring a significant number of permanent jobs to the area”.

The iconic London landmark, which appeared on the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album, Animals, has been battling for survival ever since it stopped producing power. It was made a heritage site in 1980 by Michael Heseltine and bid for by Alton Towers in 1983, which planned to turn the site into a theme park, but the project was never finished due to escalating costs.

The site nearly became a state-of-the-art shopping centre under Hong Kong-based company Parkview International, and was bought by the Real Estate Opportunities in 2006, which intended to reopen part of the power station and build an eco-dome. But after a series of failed redevelopment and doomed proposals, Battersea Power Station was up for sale again in February this year.

Chelsea bids for Battersea Power Station