Chelsea FC bids for NAMA-held Battersea Power Station

Friday 04 May 2012 22.54
Battersea Power Station is partly held by NAMA
Battersea Power Station is partly held by NAMA

Chelsea Football Club has submitted a bid to acquire the Battersea Power Station site in order to build a new 60,000-seater stadium.

The site is owned by Treasury Holding's Real Estate Opportunities (REO) but is under the control of NAMA and Lloyds bank. The purchase of the site was originally funded by borrowings from Lloyds and Bank of Ireland.

Two days ago Treasury Holdings launched legal action against NAMA to seek compensation over its decision to appoint receivers to the site.

Treasury has accused NAMA of rejecting offers to acquire loans without sufficient consideration and making a decision to call in the receivers without notifying the company for over a month.

NAMA and Lloyds rejected a £262m bid for the Battersea site from a Malaysian firm in November. A month later, Ernst & Young was appointed administrator to four companies over £325m of debt linked to the site.

It follows Treasury Holdings challenging the constitutionality of the legislation governing NAMA.

A £5.5bn plan for homes and offices based around the derelict building was approved by London's Wandsworth Council in November 2010.

The 38-acre Battersea site has seen repeated redevelopment attempts fail in the past three decades since the red-brick power station closed and whose four towering chimneys are a feature on the London skyline.

Chelsea said in a statement: "Battersea Power Station is one of London's most famous buildings and has the potential to become one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world.

"Our joint bid was submitted in accordance with the sales process established by the joint administrators for the site. The process could run for a number of months.

"We are not the only interested parties and there is no certainty that we will be successful."

Chelsea cannot move from Stamford Bridge unless they can convince fan-led group Chelsea Pitch Owners, who own the land beneath Stamford Bridge, to sell them back the freehold.

That was something they failed to do at an extraordinary general meeting of CPO back in October.

The statement added: "We also appreciate that we have many significant hurdles to address if we are to build a new stadium on the site, including winning the support of our fans, the CPO shareholders and local Wandsworth residents, as well as securing the approval of Wandsworth Council, the Greater London Authority and heritage authorities.

"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.

"Working with architects and planning experts, we have developed a plan to preserve all the significant aspects of Battersea Power Station.

"The four iconic chimneys and wash towers along with the Grade II* listed west turbine hall and control room will be restored and retained in their original locations and provide a unique architectural backdrop to a world-class stadium with a capacity of around 60,000 seats.

"Following feedback from fans, our initial plans include a 15,000 all-seated one-tier stand behind the south goal, likely to be the biggest one-tier stand in football.

"Also as suggested by many fans, the stadium proposed is rectangular in shape with four separate stands. The design includes a bigger family area and more room for disabled supporters.

"As well as a new home for our club, the development would include 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.

"We would also make a significant contribution towards the Northern Line Extension, a new high-volume transport link proposed for the area.

"We will keep our fans updated as the process develops."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use