Sunday, 20 September 2009
The Battle of Nine Elms?
The triangle of land sits between the stretch of railway connecting Queenstown Road and Vauxhall stations, the South bank of The River, and to the West, the Queenstown Road approach to Chelsea Bridge. The long disused Battersea Power Station, an arts project in waiting, towers over the last port of call for London's ever expanding pack of unwanted Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Battersea Dogs Home. The busy Nine Elms Lane cuts through a landscape that includes a large Postal Sorting Office, the approach road to the New Covent Garden Market and a collection of offices and warehouses, not all of them empty. At the Vauxhall Cross end of the triangle a number of expensive looking blocks of the dreaded 'riverside development' have sprung up, surely a taste of things to come. This is the part of town chosen for the new United States Embassy and I predict that this very ordinary area of post industrial South London is soon going to be scene of a financial and security drama of Olympic proportions. The Battle of Nine Elms may make all those Grosvenor Square skirmishes seem quite pedestrian.