Lots Road Power Station development is the biggest change for Chelsea in living memory

Converted Lots Road Power Station is at the heart of the glamorous new Chelsea Waterfront quarter with hundreds of new homes.

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Lots Road Power Station is to become the centrepiece of a fashionable new waterfront neighbourhood, in the  biggest change for Chelsea in living memory. 

Ed Lewis, of estate agents Savills, says: “This is an opportunity for people to live in Chelsea without having a busy road, such as Chelsea Embankment, between their homes and the river.” 



The listed power station sits on an eight-acre site that was blocked off from the Thames for more than a  century as part of an industrial zone hidden by a high wall. 

From mid-June the site will be unveiled as a glamorous new quarter, Chelsea Waterfront, with 706 homes in its first phase. It will be accompanied by water gardens, three pedestrian bridges across tidal Chelsea Creek and a  660-yard riverside promenade. Apartments will have a starting price of  £1.7 million.

Coming later will be apartments in a pair of slender skyscrapers, while the power station itself, a prized industrial relic with vast arched windows and tall twin chimneys, is being opened to yield 260 flats and a covered “high street” with restaurants, cafés and shops. 

In total, there will be 10 new buildings. Residents will enjoy a spa and gym, underground parking and  24-hour concierge service. Completion is due in 2019. Visit the marketing suite or call 020 7352 8852.



From £1.7 million: the interior of flats in the first phase of Chelsea Waterfront. Call 020 7352 8852

Built in 1904 to supply electricity to the Tube system, the power station closed 13 years ago and is the last significant development site along this central stretch of the Thames. Redevelopment will give a shot in the arm to a corner of south-west London that has struggled to command cachet.

Beset by busy roads, this part of Chelsea is the furthest away from the quaint garden square heartland either side of King’s Road. It languished despite the rise of the chic gated neighbouring estate of Chelsea Harbour, with its glittering marina, sleek yachts and fine-dining harbourside, plus the birth of Lots Road Design Quarter with its seriously smart interior shops taking over old warehouses and lining the streets leading up to the harbour. 

In Victorian times, this territory was dominated by a huge flour mill, a brewery and bottling plant, plus countless small factories and warehouses. 

Blitz bombardment paved the way for post-war redevelopment, which reached a peak in the Eighties with the building of World’s End council estate — a cluster of orange-brick towers where the Profumo scandal model Christine Keeler was once a tenant — and Chelsea Harbour. The power  station land straddles two boroughs: Kensington & Chelsea, which initially opposed the project, and Hammersmith & Fulham, which embraced it. So residents one side of the boundary will have a different council tax paymaster to those on the other side of the line, though enjoying the same SW10  postcode.

From 2.8 million: five homes at Hob Mews. Call 020 7950 9955

Early home searchers spotted the traditional terrace houses in these side streets. These homes have now been joined by boutique properties on small sites. Hob Mews is a scheme of five houses priced from £2.8 million. Call estate agents Lurot Brand on 020 7950 9955.

An established houseboat colony moored on the river adds a bohemian flavour. At Chelsea Creek, new homes are being built alongside new navigable canals and moorings, the first of which opens next week. Prices from £914,950 to £16.95 million. Call 020 7610 9693.

The absence of the Tube in this part of London, historically a weakness,  has been partly remedied by a new Overground station at Imperial Wharf, a giant complex west of Chelsea  Harbour. The harbour’s river bus  service is a boon for Canary Wharf  and City bankers living in waterfront apartments.

The cycle superhighway along Chelsea Embankment is another transport improvement. And we are reminded how close this area is to the centre when we read the 1834 testimony of writer Thomas Carlyle, who lived in Cheyne Row, telling us that it “took  32 minutes of my walking to Buckingham Gate”.

Cheung Kong Property Holdings, the power station developer, is at the helm of the project. Farrells, the scheme’s architects, say the two new towers have been designed to unobtrusively frame the power station and are “elegantly poised like a dancing couple”. The architecture also aims to promote a mixed community — a place for families as well as singles and couples. Some flats will have four or five bedrooms.

As well as flats for sale on the open market, there are 275 “affordable” homes, a mix of market-discount rentals costing from £250 a week, shared-ownership and key worker flats, some within the power station itself. The prospect of a swish new neighbourhood in Lots Road is spurring on the locals, says Jo Webster, whose estate agency specialises in new waterfront developments. “People in Chelsea Harbour are upgrading apartments in expectation of an uplift in prices,” she adds. 

“A new community is being created in a quiet and relatively unknown  quarter of Chelsea and it will help to provide a link to the fashionable western end of King’s Road, where flats are  selling for more than £2,000 per square foot.”

The TV reality series Made in Chelsea has sparked the interest of a new generation, and while this area’s enduring charm is its history as an aristocratic retreat, bohemian hangout and urban village, its smart new quarter will add an appeal that’s bang up to date.

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