Regneration plans for Vauxhall / Battersea / Nine Elms have been announced by the Mayor's office and by, do they sound grand. A new pedestrian and cyclist bridge linking Nine Elms and Pimlico, a new park, tall buildings ("where appropriate") and that infamous Northern Line extension. Swish!
But there are a number of massive caveats hanging round its neck. First, the proposals kind of hinge on the new US Embassy, New Covent Garden revamp and something finally happening with Battersea Power Station - these plans won't have any magic effect on their own. Fortunately, permission for the embassy and market seem to be going smoothly - it's only the power station's future that's uncertain (and ain't that the truth). Then there's funding. The idea is to exempt businesses in the area from the Crossrail levy, and impose a 'tube extension' levy intead. But isn't Crossrail already in danger of being under-funded? Or did that £1bn loan offer a nice little cushion? (The GLA have also offered a 20% discount on commercial activity in the rest of London, so long as it starts within three years, to kickstart the economy. Which is lovely, but we fret a little that we'll be hearing even more 'Crossrail in funding gap' stories in a couple of years.)
But back in Nine Elms, residents can (perhaps) look forward to 16,000 new homes, 25,000 new jobs and - if they're very, very lucky - their very own wobbly bridge.