Monday, 7 July 2008

Battersea Tube Home?

There's an article in today's Kennington news journal about the proposed tube extension to Battersea, which would apparently be paid for by some developers who want to put a vile building next to the lovely (but somewhat derelict) power station.

Here is a picture of the lovely Battersea power station, taken from Wikipedia:

Here is a picture of the vile building (with the power station to the right) that some people want to place in Battersea:

Now, as a self-confessed public transport geek, it would be grand to see a development of the Northern Line from Battersea to Kennington, but I want to raise a few issues that I think may be shared by other Londoners:

1. The wonderful development of a new tube station at Battersea, funded through private finance, is a waste of money when one considers that the tube could be extended much furthur than just one stop. Once one has begun digging underground, and arranged labour, material, machinery and civil engineers, one might as well go a lot furthur south. If TFL could get government money for tube expansion (or even tram lines), we wouldn't have to be so grateful to private finance for such suggestions as new bits of tube.

2. Extending the tube by one segment of line and one station just does not justify the monstrous building that has been suggested. I'm actually in favour of new housing/buildings in London, but I have one condition for all buildings. Buildings should not be considerably higher than those already surrounding them. SE11 has got off lightly because of the historic nature of its buildings, but poor Elephant and Castle is about to be dwarfed. So if you want the rocket monstrosity meant for Battersea, put it in Canary Wharf, not Battersea. I do not object to new housing, but I don't understand why new housing has to be very tall skyscrapers. Such skyscrapers are simply not designed to promote community or shared life, and I think that they're a really bad idea.

3. If the height of the building were not bad enough, there is the beautiful power station to consider. Would anybody really contemplate building the rocket next to Buckingham Palace, or Big Ben? No. Of course not. But because this is South London, and the area is in need of regeneration, it's considered that anything goes...

I really am in favour of the tube station at Battersea, (although I have no idea how long it might shut Kennington tube and/or the Northern line for) and in favour of regeneration (if it can be proven to benefit the disenfranchised of Battersa), but that building is too large a price to pay.

And finally... I discovered a really great little map, posted by somebody on the Urban75 forum, which shows all of the proposed transport links in London by 2016 if, by some miracle all of the funding were secured. The proposed Cross River Tram line is in a groovy purple colour.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

You might be interested to see this image of Battersea Power Station;

More images here:

Ion Paciu
Photoion Photography™

architecture / landscape:
mobile: +44 (0) 7930609714

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