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Government blocks Allies and Morrison's Brighton tower -

Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has blocked Allies and Morrison's Beetham Tower scheme in Brighton.

The Secretary of State's decision effectively ends any plans to build the 42-storey tower next to Brighton railway station.

The project was the focus of fierce opposition from both local residents and councillors, and after a public inquiry Kelly agreed with Brighton and Hove City Council that the development should be blocked.

Located on New England Square, the scheme proposed a 120m-high tower, including 146 flats, a rooftop garden, a hotel and a new public space.

The plans were unanimously opposed when the council's planning committee reviewed the scheme in April 2005, but the Beetham Organisation appealed the decision and a public inquiry was held in November.

Despite the blow, Hugh Frost, chairman of the Beetham Organisation, said it was still committed to building a mixed-use development on the site.

'We are reviewing the comments made in the inspector's report to the Secretary of State as a result of the public inquiry,' Frost said.

Allies and Morrison was unavailable for comment.

by Richard Vaughan

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