The proposed development of Battersea Power Station faces a review after the Malaysian development consortium revealed that the station could be left with just one chimney, reports the BBC.
The station, built from 1933 to 1955 to designs by architects Theo J. Halliday and Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, is currently undergoing a long-awaited redevelopment to turn the site into a vast mixed-use area.
The station holds a Grade II* listing, meaning that it must be developed to retain its existing outside appearance. Due to the dilapidated condition of the tower's iconic chimneys, all four must be reconstructed during the development works.
It has now been revealed that under existing law, the chimneys can only be removed and replaced one at a time during the development, something that the Malaysian consortium claims will mean a considerable delay in the project's completion.
Now they have asked Wandsworth Council to consider revising the rules so that three of the chimneys can be refurbished at the same time, leaving the power station with just one tower for much of the next few years. The consortium claims that the rule change could allow them to complete the project a full two years earlier than currently projected.
The station will begin refurbishment in October this year, with the first of the four chimneys to be developed, followed by the other three. The cost of refurbishing the chimneys is estimated at £100m.
"If we do them one at a time it would take a lot longer. If we do one and then three it's a lot quicker," said a spokesman for the Battersea Power Station Development Company.
"There is an absolute commitment on behalf of the developer to rebuild the chimneys to the same design as the originals," they added.
The council said that the law was put in place to prevent a developer demolishing the chimneys and then failing to rebuild them. They are considering a plan to receive a bond from the developer that could be used to rebuild the chimneys if the project was halted at any stage after they were removed.