The development includes flats, townhouses and penthouses, but the prices are not for the faint hearted

Homes alongside London's iconic Battersea power station have gone on sale, three years before the first one will be ready to move into.

The Circus West development will see 800 homes built around the south London landmark, which is the largest brick building in Europe and has achieved international fame as the backdrop for films and TV programmes and the cover for Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals.

The development includes a mixture of flats, townhouses and penthouses together with offices, shops and leisure facilities, and is the first phase of seven. By 2024 there will be more than 3,400 homes.

Residents will have access to an elevated garden, and prices are similarly lofty: studio apartments start at £338,000, one-bed flats at £423,000, two-bedders at £613,000 and three-bed flats at £894,000. Anyone with their eye on a penthouse will need to be able to raise at least £6m.

Buyers who have pre-registered their interest can sign up for a property at a launch event on Wednesday afternoon, and the flats go on general sale at 10am on 10 January.

Anyone who does sign up will need to put down a £2,500 reservation fee on the spot, and make up the rest of a 10% deposit within 21 days – even though building work will not start until the end of the summer. The first homes will be ready to move into in 2016.

The Grade II-listed power station was designed and built in the 1930s, and at first had just two of its famous four chimneys. The second set was added in the 1950s and the station continued to operate until 1983.

Since being decommissioned a string of developers have tried to find uses for the site, with plans for a theme park among the ideas mooted over the years.

News that the Northern Line would be extended and an underground station added at Battersea seems to have given the current plans more impetus. Alongside the flats, work will also start on renovating the power station building itself.

Rob Tincknell, chief executive officer of Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: "We are incredibly excited to be welcoming the UK public to the site of one of Britain's most iconic landmarks.

"Over the past few months we have seen enormous interest in this unique development from potential purchasers, and we are delighted to be presenting them with an opportunity to be a part of what is sure to become a vibrant new town centre in the heart of London."

Property expert Henry Pryor warned that other developments in the area could lead to an oversupply of homes.

He said he expected the developers to target "cash-rich overseas buyers caught up in the London property hype". "It's difficult to see where domestic buyers are going to come from who can afford the prices that are being quoted. We all remember the Pink Floyd album cover – if they get them away at these prices pigs might fly."

As in most parts of the capital, prices in the London borough of Wandsworth have boomed in recent years. Land Registry figures show prices were up by 8.6% over the 12 months to November at an average of £425,926.

Hilary Osborne © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds



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