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US embassy wins outline planning permission

Outline planning permission has been granted for the new US embassy at Nine Elms in south-west London

The new building in Vauxhall will replace the Eero Saarinen-designed Grosvenor Square building currently occupied by the US embassy (pictured). Although plans have not been finalised, it is expected to be between 15 and 20 storeys, and the design must preserve existing views across the river.

Wandsworth planning spokesman Leslie McDonnell said, ‘At this stage, we will be looking closely at the building’s appearance from Nine Elms Lane, the effect on important local views from Albert Bridge and Chelsea Bridge and the impact on Battersea Power Station.

‘This is an outline consent which sets out the broad terms on which the development can proceed. It is very much the first hurdle. There is a lot of detail still to be resolved. Most of this will become clear once the winning design has been chosen. This will then require a series of detailed approvals from the council.

‘We are delighted that this scheme is moving forward. It promises to kick-start the wider regeneration of this part of north Battersea and encourage further development on other sites in the area.’

Four architects have been selected for the final phase of the design competition, which disallowed British firms from taking part: Kieran Timberlake, Morphosis Architects, PEI Cobb Freed & Partners and Richard Meier & Partners.

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