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Royal Mail Wins Approval for Project in Southwest London

Royal Mail Group Ltd., the U.K. postal service, won approval for a plan to turn a mail-sorting office near Battersea Power Station in southwest London into about 1,900 homes.

Wandsworth Council gave the 6-hectare (15-acre) development preliminary permission at a meeting yesterday after it gained the support of the borough’s planning committee. The approval is subject to a final legal agreement between Royal Mail and the local government body, as well as consent from London’s mayor.

The land is part of a 195-hectare industrial area earmarked by local councils for redevelopment into 16,000 homes as well as offices. As many as 1,870 homes may be built on Royal Mail’s site, as well as a 16,300-square-meter delivery office, shops and medical facilities, according to planning documents circulated by the council.

Royal Mail said a year ago it planned to close the Mail Centre part of its operation in the area, known as Nine Elms, according to a planning statement submitted to the council. The London-based company said previously and in a statement today that the site would then be sold.

“Royal Mail has a clear strategy to ensure we derive maximum value from any property we no longer require for our operations,” Martin Gafsen, Royal Mail Group property director, said in the statement. “This includes selling the freehold or leases which we hold.”

The site is near land bought by the U.S. government for a new embassy and close to the disused Battersea power plant, which is for sale through broker Knight Frank LLP and accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP’s corporate real estate group.

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