Battersea Power Station in London on sale

image captionAn estate agent says Battersea Power Station is "as iconic as the Eiffel Tower"

Battersea Power Station is being offered for sale on the open market for the first time.

It is hoped the sale, to be handled by estate agent Knight Frank, will cover the £502m debts accrued by a firm which tried to redevelop the landmark site.

The 39-acre property is on the Thames and a new public park is planned there.

Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed government backing for plans to extend the London Underground's Northern Line into the heart of the area.

Stephan Miles-Brown, head of residential development at Knight Frank, said: "This is the first time Battersea Power Station has ever been offered for sale on the open market.

"As one of the UK's most recognisable landmarks, Knight Frank anticipates considerable interest in a scheme that is among the most exciting in the world today.

"Battersea Power Station is as iconic as the Chrysler Building in New York or the Eiffel Tower, and familiar to people who may have never even been to London."

The Grade II listed building opened in 1933 and generated power until 1983.

As such any building work would require listed building consent - even minor works, such as painting.

It was acquired by Real Estate Opportunities, the majority owner of the holding company, in 2006.

Last year its debts on the project were called in by creditors.

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