The winner? The iconic Power Station building in Nine Elms
The winner? The iconic Power Station building in Nine Elms

This week was a story of two regenerations – with two very different results.

Recession kills off Roehampton regeneration
The bad news came for Roehampton. The Roehampton Regeneration had been moving slowly for several months while the planning application was developed and everyone was aware that the economic climate meant that rapid progress was unlikely. Unfortunately the recession has been record breaking – the longest this country has seen. And it is now apparent that even after the recession ends it will be some time until we would be able to find a developer who would make Roehampton a priority. It is a disappointing, but unavoidable, decision.

Nine Elms planning framework discussion starts
And as if to balance the bad news from Roehampton the other side of the borough saw the launch of the Mayor’s consultation on the Opportunity Area Planning Framework. It was a real boost for the area and represents huge ambition for Nine Elms. Perhaps best (and I failed to mention this in my original post) was the exemption of the area from the Crossrail level to enable investment in transport – especially a Northern Line extension.

Of course, as much of the work of the council will be about making sure the whole borough – including Roehampton – benefits from the good news in coming years.

Simon Milton launched the Nine Elms Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) yesterday. Those that follow me on Twitter may well have been bored yesterday with my incessant tweeting using the #9elms hashtag.

The sell-out event at New London Architecture reflected the huge interest in the area. And the the OAPF reflected the size and potential of the area.

And it is an ambitious framework. Jeremy Castle from Treasure Holdings – developers of the Power Station – reflected that in just a few years the scale of development suggested by the Mayor has rocketed, for example five years ago they suggested 1,500 homes in the area, they are now suggesting 16,000 homes.

The OAPF has several key features for the area:

  • Creation of 16,000 homes and 20,000 – 25,000 jobs
  • A linear park connection Battersea Park to Lambeth Palace
  • Completion of the riverside walk
  • Green ‘fingers’ providing links for the existing housing to the river
  • A Northern line extension from Kennington to Battersea Power Station

The OAPF (which is available from the Mayor’s website) is out for consultation until next year – obviously the council and developers will be responding and the framework might change, but it’s enormously exciting that even in the midst of an incredibly long recession there is such ambition for Nine Elms.

I’d love to know your thoughts.