But the famous gasometers, which have stood adjacent to The Oval since 1853, have been decommissioned.
The iron structures are now surplus to requirements due to advances in gas storage technology. They can only store 2m cubic feet of gas — enough to supply 2,400 homes a day — and Southern Gas Networks is planning to tear down 111 gasholders around the country during the next 16 years. Fifty-five sites have been earmarked for demolition within the next six years at a cost of £30m.
Planning permission will be needed before the Oval gasholders can be demolished, or developed, but they sit on a prime 12-acre site.
The multi-billion pound Nine Elms development on London’s South Bank, which includes Battersea Power Station, is expected to increase property prices by up to 140pc, creating a “Vauxhall Corridor” that will entice new businesses to the area.
Several local businesses already operate from premises inside The Oval and Surrey County Cricket Club is planning to build new office space next to the pavilion within the next two years with the aim of attracting a sports and creative industry cluster.
“A decision on the future of our London depot gas holder has yet to be reached,” said Southern Gas Networks.