Nine Elms in 2012, looking west, showing New Covent Garden Market and Battersea Power Station
Nine Elms shown within Greater London
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|London Assembly||Merton and Wandsworth|
The area was formerly mainly industrial but is now becoming more residential and commercial in character. It is dominated by Battersea Power Station, various railway lines and New Covent Garden Market. Also in the area is the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
Nine Elms Lane was named around 1645, from a row of elm trees bordering the road. In 1838, at the time of construction of the London and Southampton Railway, the area was described as "a low swampy district occasionally overflowed by the Thames [whose] osier beds, pollards and windmille and the river give it a Dutch effect".
Nine Elms railway station opened on 21 May 1838 as the first London terminus of the London and South Western Railway, which that day changed its name from the London and Southampton Railway. The neo-classical building was designed by Sir William Tite. The station was connected to points between Vauxhall and London Bridge by Thames steam boats. It closed in 1848 when the railway was extended to a new terminus at Waterloo station (then called Waterloo Bridge Station). The redundant station and the adjacent area, to the north of the new mainline, became the London and South Western Railway's carriage and wagon works and main locomotive works until their relocation to Eastleigh in 1909. The company's largest locomotive depot was located on the south side of the main line. The buildings were damaged by bombs in World War II, and closed in 1967. They were demolished in 1968 and replaced by the flower section of the New Covent Garden Market.
Vauxhall Motors was formed in 1857 by Scottish engineer Alexander Wilson at Nine Elms, originally as Alex Wilson and Company, before moving to Luton in 1907. There is a plaque commemorating the site of the original factory at the Sainsbury's Nine Elms petrol station on Wandsworth Road.
In October 2008 the U.S. Embassy in London announced that it would relocate to the area, moving from its current location in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair; the new embassy is slated for completion in 2017. The Embassy of the Netherlands in London also announced in April 2013 that it was relocating to the area from its current location in Hyde Park Gate, Kensington. The Chinese Embassy is also rumoured to be relocating to the area.
On 16 February 2012, Wandsworth Council approved Ballymore Group's plans for the 15 acre development. Embassy Gardens is set to provide "up to 1,982 new homes alongside shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, business space, a 100 bed hotel, a health centre, children's playgrounds and sports pitches". In 2014, it was reported that Ballymore had engaged Lazard and CBRE Group to raise about €2.5bn to fund the Embassy Gardens development.
Work commenced in 2013 on regeneration of the area around Battersea Power Station, including shops, cafes, restaurants, art and leisure facilities, office space and residential buildings. An essential part of the work is an extension of the London Underground to service the area. The proposed extension would branch from the Northern line at Kennington and travel west to Nine Elms and Battersea - creating two new stations. The station structure itself is expected to be repaired and secure by 2016, with completion of the whole project by 2020.
Part of these plans is the creation of the linear park – a car-free area extending from Battersea Power Station to Vauxhall Cross. The park will open out onto other public areas such as shops, hotels and other parks and public squares alongside homes and residential areas.The linear park will open up onto the Thames River Path at numerous points along the path, allowing access to the river’s edge and the beautiful views so rare in urban areas.
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