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Boris issues first planning veto

London Mayor Boris Johnson has overruled a decision by Westminster City Council on a mixed-use scheme by Rolfe Judd

Developers Terrace Hill and Doughty Hanson had won approval from the local authority to redevelop 1 Howick Place in Central London on 7 January.

However the mayor’s office immediately blocked the decision, claiming the backers had not contributed to the Crossrail scheme. It is understood donations to the cross-London rail link is to become a condition of planning permission at some sites under revisions being made to the London plan.

It has subsequently emerged these objections have now been withdrawn after the developers reluctantly agreed to pay £120,000 toward the Crossrail project.

A spokeswoman for Terrace Hill confirmed the developers had paid ’a minor contribution’ towards Crossrail and the scheme would now go ahead as planned. She said: ‘While we were satisfied that the mayor was premature in soliciting developer contributions to Crossrail, we have agreed to make an additional payment, which is significantly lower than the one originally requested.’

‘This represented the most efficient solution for us in terms of both time and cost.’

Johnson said 'I want to assure the capital’s development sector that I am working with, not against them. We will continue to seek a financial contribution in respect of developments that fall within the new policy but will do so pragmatically and consider each case in the light of its individual circumstances.'

Once built, the Howick Place scheme will include 13,000m² of office space over eight floors as well as 33 residential units.

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