Topping out of new homes in Battersea

Published: Friday 16th March 18

A topping out ceremony was held today (16 March) at Prince of Wales Drive, Battersea, to mark the highest point of the redevelopment of a landmark former gasholders site.

The joint venture between National Grid and the Berkeley Group’s St William portfolio, will deliver 955 new homes, including 229 housing association homes for low cost rent and shared ownership, and community benefits such as a gym, commercial space, nursery, café and shops.

Tony Pidgley CBE, Chairman of the Berkeley Group, was joined by the Leader of Wandsworth Council, Councillor Ravi Govindia, along with two Street Elite apprentices from Wandsworth, Marcus Arrogah and Bernard Fasehun, and other St William and National Grid officers to mark the occasion.

The development is transforming the five-acre, former gasworks site, closed to the public for decades, and reconnecting it to Battersea with half of the site made up of landscaping among 11 buildings with open space including public gardens.

Prince of Wales Drive has provided more than 370 jobs during construction, and on completion will deliver 85 permanent jobs.

Mr Arrogah, a trainee manager, said: “Street Elite did a lot for me. It gave me a sense of direction and confidence. St William took me on when the course finished; now I’m building homes in my own borough.”

Street Elite is a Berkeley Group-supported initiative that uses sport and mentoring to motivate young people who often live on the edge of gangs and crime, helping them to gain confidence and new skills. Mr Arrogah and Mr Fasehun each completed an intensive 12-week training program, which led to a two-week work placement with St William, and consequently a permanent job within the company.

Cllr Govindia said: “This is another exciting redevelopment of a formerly industrial site in Nine Elms where leading housing association Clarion is set to provide more than 200 homes for low cost rent and for shared ownership - and at no cost to taxpayers. Four thousand housing association and council homes are on their way in this previously disused area, in what is becoming a new and exciting part of Battersea to live in and to visit.” 

Mr Pidgley said: “New homes are vital, but we must keep striving for quality. By putting people first in our thought process, we are making sure these new places are social, sustainable, and safe. Today’s ceremony not only marks a milestone for Prince of Wales Drive but also highlights the continued achievements made by St William to serve local communities. From our commitment to creating jobs for local people and developing the careers of our apprentices from the Street Elite initiative, to the delivery of much needed housing, we aim to give back to the community in this part of Battersea.”

The first residents are expected to move in from next year, with the site complete by 2025.

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