AHMM’s Tottenham Court Road scheme also paused

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Battersea Power Station, seen from Simpson Haugh’s phase 1 flats

Construction work has been paused on the entire £9bn Battersea Power Station site, one of the country’s biggest redevelopments.

Architects whose phases are currently under construction include Frank Gehry, Foster & Partners – both of whom have designed blocks of flats – and Purcell and Wilkinson Eyre, architects respectively of the restoration and conversion of the listed power station.

The site temporarily closed last week but in an update Battersea Power Station Development Company chief executive Simon Murphy said: “We have concluded that, in light of the government requirements and guidelines, the site should remain closed for the next few weeks.

“We will review the position again on April 17 and if deemed appropriate to reopen, main site works would recommence on April 27.

“In this period the only people working on site will be our security team and a skeleton staff undertaking essential maintenance. Offsite works and design activity will continue where possible to ensure we are in the best possible position when we restart on site.”

Last spring, the developer said more than £2m a day was being spent on phase 2, with 2,000 workers on site. This phase, estimated to be worth £1.15bn designed by lead architect Wilkinson Eyre, along with heritage advisor Purcell, is due to be finished by the end of this year. Built by Mace, it involves work on the main grade II* listed power station itself. It will include 500,000sq ft of office space, with US tech giant Apple taking six floors for its new London campus, plus retail and food, an events venue and a park.

Phase three, being built by Sir Robert McAlpine, includes more than 1,300 apartments designed by Fosters and Gehry. This phase, estimated to be worth around £1bn, will also include a hotel, retail and restaurants.

The first phase of the scheme, called Circus West and worth an original £400m, was completed by Carillion at the end of 2017 – shortly before it went bust. It includes 865 flats in two parallel buildings designed by Simpson Haugh and dRMM.

Meanwhile work on AHMM’s £195m Soho Place scheme in the West End has also stopped. The mixed-use scheme above Tottenham Court Road station is being built by Laing O’Rourke for Derwent and includes office and retail space along with a 600-seat theatre. Derwent said the site was shut at the start of the week – a decision it said was led by the contractor.


AHMM’s Soho Place

A Laing O’Rourke spokesperson said the government had made it clear that the construction sector should continue working and follow Public Health England’s social distancing guidance. But she added: “We are reviewing any further actions we can take on our sites and, where it is appropriate, we are scaling back activity and, in some instances, suspending work.”

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AHMM’s Soho Place