|Nine Elms: The Rise of a New District in Central London|
|Nine Elms on the South bank is an area conveniently located in Central London and although well-connected to Westminster and the City; it has remained as an industrial area with the exception of a few riverside residential developments around Vauxhall and Battersea Park. One of the main reasons is the lack of good transport links - with the exception of Vauxhall station on the Victoria line; there are no other underground stations in the 195 hectares that made Nine Elms.|
Nine Elms: The Present
In 2008 it was announced that the US Embassy was moving from its current location in the prestigious Grosvenor Square in Central London to an area that not many people knew about, not even locals; this decision put Nine Elms on the map of investors and developers who realised the potential of the area as a new residential and commercial district and the prestige that the new American Embassy will bring to the area.
The attractiveness of the area was consolidated when the Dutch Embassy decided to move next to the new US Embassy and it is expected that other embassies will follow them due to the proximity to the House of Parliament, cheap land and the opportunity to build their own designs, including extra security, more space and more efficient installations - both embassy moving to Nine Elms in 2017.
In the following three years a considerable number of planning applications have been submitted to the Lambeth and Wandsworth Council; this agreed perfectly well with the 'Opportunity Area London Framework' that envisaged a new district in Central London- the Nine Elms on the South bank district. The framework included a cluster of tall buildings in Vauxhall and Albert Embankment, decreasing in size along Nine Elms lane and Battersea.
Nine Elms: The Future
Although the framework was ambitious, it was never expected it was going to exceed the expectations for the area: the 2009 plan included 1.6 ha park; nowadays a linear park with run all the way from Vauxhall to Battersea Power Station with strategic links between all the developments and other parks around the area such as Vauxhall Park and Spring Gardens; a new riverside park of 6 acres will also be created just on the south bank side of the Power Station and a riverside walk is expected to be created in the next decade.
The plans have been so successful that two new underground stations will be built using the money provided by the developers; this is the first on its kind in the United Kingdom and will hopefully set an example to improve transport links across the city. The Northern line has been selected as the best and more efficient way, releasing capacity in the Victoria line. There has been some of opposition for the extension of the Northern Line; however, the creation of 16,000 new homes and 25,000 new jobs will only be sustainable with additional and improved transport links.
At the moment there are over 25 developments that have been approved, or are in the 'review' phase; many of these mixed-used developments have already started; in fact The Tower, One St George Wharf and Riverlight are due for completion in 2014 and the first residents for the first phase at Embassy Gardens, anchoring the American Embassy will move in 2016.
Nine Elms is expected to be a modern residential and commercial district and potentially the new diplomatic quarter in London; setting the example that this type of regeneration can be achieved and be successful; Nine Elms on the South bank will be created where nothing existed before.