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Churchill Properties fights M&S for City tower site

Developer Churchill Properties has submitted a planning application for a distinctive, 34-storey tower by Wilkinson Eyre Architects in the City of London - on the site of a new £74 million BDP building for Marks & Spencer which is already under construction.

The application was made last Friday for a site on Fenchurch Street and Gracechurch Street (see page 6), formerly home to a 22-storey office tower. But BDP said it is building a new nine-storey scheme on exactly the same spot in a new venture for the retailer.The M&S building (AJ 3/10.12.98) will feature an 8000m 2retail store with 9000m 2of speculative office space above it. That building's shell and core is due for completion in February 2001 with the fit-out planned to be ready in February 2002. M&S said it will be topped out on 2 August.

A spokeswoman for the Corporation of London said the circumstances of the application, which is expected to go to planning committee in around four to five months, were 'unusual'. The Wilkinson Eyre scheme, if it goes ahead, will be the third tallest in the Square Mile at 144m behind Foster and Partners' Swiss Re building and the 185m Tower 42 (formerly the NatWest Tower).

Churchill Properties would not comment on whether a deal is being attempted between M&S and Churchill but M&S is pressing ahead with its scheme. Churchill owns the neighbouring site.

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