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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Nine Elms disease: so not even the super-rich want this two-mile strip of ugliness

Battersea-Nine Elms development: Spot the remains of Battersea Power Station amidst this swamp of architectural mediocrity
Fascinating to read in yesterday's Evening Standard that the boss of builders Taylor Wimpey, Peter Redfern, is warning developers not to expect vast profits from speculative investments in the new Battersea - Nine Elms development.

By which he means that ribbon of hideously bland luxury apartment blocks going up between Battersea Park and Vauxhall Cross - a great flood of mediocre architecture which had already swamped the remains of Battersea Power Station and is blighting the view for about 80 per cent of people living in south west London.

The development, which has made life hell for anyone living within vibration distance of the main artery roads used by the ready-mix cement tricks which have been thundering around this circuit, one a minute, all day long, for the past five years or so….well, it seems it has all been a bit of a waste of time.

Property developers, it seems are no longer confident of making sky-high profits on these luxury units of accommodation. The currency of the Thameside apartment block has slumped. They'll still make money, but not enough, it seems, to satisfy their infernal greed. They'll go elsewhere.

From the way he was talking, with his mentions of a "glut of expensive flats in south London",  it seems this two-mile stretch will become London's next ghost town slum, a sort of Thamesmead for south west London.

Actually, that would be fine. Then at least those blocks could be commandeered by Lambeth or the next mayor to provide shelter for the increasing numbers of homeless people we see all around us every day….or they could be squatted. The power station could be returned to its proper use as a location for raves and parties and art happenings.

All the artists and dreamers priced out of Shoreditch and Hackney and Bow and Peckham could come and squat in the penthouses with Thames views. Tens of thousands of refugees from the camps of Calais could be housed here; give them Eurostar tickets now. Together, they could all throw parties in that 8th floor infinity pool they are so keen to show us. Then this new development might have some value: it might become a new tourist attraction, knocking Camden Market, Brick Lane and co into a cockenry hat.

There could be non-stop car-boot sales all along this linear park they are boasting about. The new  Northern Line extension would never be switched on, and those tunnels could be used to grow top quality weed and other vegetable delights.

 What a glorious thought. A dream. It would almost make the loss of the view of London worthwhile.

Microgroove33 and a third quiz fun time: 

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