Nine Elms Residents Appear Happy To Live on a Construction Site

Locals have factored in building work continuing until the next decade

Marina Smith, 32, Thinks Development In The Area Has Been FastMarina Smith, 32, thinks development in the area has been fast

September 15, 2021

Building work in the area in the shadow of the Sky Pool could take years to be completed – but locals don’t seem to mind.

Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station developments are home to modern flats, Apple’s six-floor UK HQ and the US Embassy, with two Northern line stations opening on 20 September.

It comes as the 42-acre eight-phase Battersea Power Station development completion date is not until 2030, with One Nine Elms on schedule for completion in phases from early 2023 onwards.

The Telegraph reported that R&F Properties has been a target of criticism with questions over its commitment to finishing the development, but the company strongly disputes this.

But residents are happy to patiently live “on a construction site” and can see an end in sight.

Marina Smith, resident of Battersea Power Station since 2018, said “I have a child, she was born here and I thought maybe it would not be a good idea but because the park is so close, it’s fine.”

The 32-year-old added: “Building work is actually moving so quick so it’s nice to see that so many nice buildings are moving faster. You can actually see everything is developing and new places coming up.”

Battersea Power Station Will Be One Of The New Northern Line Tube Stops
Battersea Power Station Will Be One Of The New Northern Line Tube Stops

John McMillian, another local of Battersea Power Station for almost three years said he used to be concerned about living next to a construction site and wondered if it would ever be finished.

He said, “Battersea Power Station three years ago wasn’t anything to where it is now.”

But the 38-year-old added, “Where I am, I’m looking out at the water, everything to the left is done.”

John Mcmillian, 38, Used To Wonder If Building Would Ever Finish
John Mcmillian, 38, Used To Wonder If Building Would Ever Finish

Paul Cunningham lives locally, he said, “We’re living on a construction site but it’s part of what you have to do.

“There seems to be a lot of challenges associated with the later developments here so I’m sure there will be construction noise here for many years to come.”

The 70-year-old said he isn’t concerned about developments taking longer to finish and believes there is an end in sight.

Paul added: “It’s been a great experience to be in this place and feel the vibrations of everything that’s happening here.”

Shruti Morgan, a Nine Elms resident of five years said “at the beginning” she felt she was living on an “empty” building site “but now it’s much better”.

The 32-year-old says building work “will probably get there” eventually.

Head of concierge at Embassy Gardens, Paul Richards said it doesn’t feel like he works next to a construction site.

The 53-year-old said: “I think they are able to keep it separate so the buildings that are operational are not affected by the construction which is going on.

“Clearly if you walk outside, we can see it but it doesn’t disrupt service or residents’ privacy at all.”

A Digger Parked Next To Posh Flats In Nine Elms
A Digger Parked Next To Posh Flats In Nine Elms

He is sure the construction site will finish at “some stage, but how long I don’t know”.

A spokesperson for R&F (UK) said, “R&F Properties is fully committed to London and has a major programme of developments on site at Nine Elms.

“We are more excited than ever about the future for London with the announcement that the Northern line extension will open on September 20, 2021, and are shortly to launch a sales programme for a new premium property within our Nine Elms projects.”


James Mayer - Local Democracy reporter