Exhibition hall and racquet-game court in next phase of Battersea Power Station regeneration

By Charlotte Lillywhite, Local Democracy Reporter

A temporary immersive exhibition hall and padel courts will open at Battersea Power Station after the plans were approved.

There will be 6,000 free tickets available for eligible residents to visit the exhibitions, while free taster sessions will also be provided at the padel courts – the game which is a popular amalgam of tennis and squash.

The facilities will be in place for five years at phase six of the 42-acre redevelopment site in Cringle Street, while permanent plans are brought forward as part of the £9billion revamp of the power station.

The application was submitted by Battersea Project Land Company Limited. The overall scheme is divided into eight phases and aims to create a new riverside neighbourhood in South London, with homes, shops, bars, restaurants, cafés, offices and more than 19 acres of public space.

The new exhibition hall, operated by Neon, will have a café and host interactive digital and physical exhibitions with different themes.

There will be two exhibitions a year, running for a total of five years, with themes ranging from historical to entertainment – including Jurrasic World, Machu Picchu, Mummies and Marvel. It will open from 10am until 9pm on Mondays to Saturdays, and 10am until 6pm on Sundays.

A CGI of the proposed exhibition hall at Battersea Power Station (Picture: Battersea Power Station Development Company/ARUP, provided in Wandsworth council documents)

The indoor sports facility, run by Rocket Padel, will also have four padel courts, a lounge space, warm up area, showers, changing facilities and another café. It will open from 7am-10pm, seven-days-a-week.

Padel is a racquet sport usually played in doubles on an enclosed court, which is roughly one-third of the size of a tennis court.

Wandsworth council’s planning committee approved the plans last week, with two councillors voting against, after quizzing officers on whether temporary accommodation could have been built on the site instead.

Labour councillor Paul White asked if the site could have been “used for temporary accommodation in a prefabricated building” while permanent uses are brought forward.

Stephen Hissett, principal planner, said the application was assessed on its merits as it was the only one submitted for the site. He added there is outline permission for a permanent building at phase six which could accommodate extra homes or offices.

A statement submitted with the application said Neon will provide 5,000 free tickets for local schools to attend exhibitions, along with 1,000 free tickets for local charities, community groups and youth groups. It added Rocket Padel will provide three free taster sessions a week at the new courts and offer local schools two hours of free coaching every week.

The statement said the plans will bring “much-needed activity” to an otherwise underused site in an emerging town centre and bring about benefits by “encouraging visitor footfall, generating jobs [and] enhancing the sporting and cultural offering in the local community”.

The first phase of the power station redevelopment, known as Circus West Village, was completed in 2017 and includes hundreds of new homes, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities.

The restored Grade II* listed power station opened to the public in October 2022 under the second phase of the scheme. It has hundreds of shops, a cinema, a food hall, a glass chimney lift and more homes.

Pictured top: CGI of the proposed padel courts at Battersea Power Station (Picture: Battersea Power Station Development Company/ARUP)



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