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Quick decision due on Viñoly's 'Walkie Talkie' tower

The Planning Inspectorate appears to have rushed through the scheduling of the inquiry into Raphael Viñoly's 'Walkie Talkie' tower in the City of London.

The quango is understood to have scheduled the inquiry for March, just four months after the secretary of state Ruth Kelly controversially called in the Fenchurch Street skyscraper.

The four-month wait would be one of the very shortest in recent decades, with many schemes of this scale waiting over a year before going in front of a planning inspector.

Kelly called in the tower after the City had already awarded it planning permission, following a decision to cut it by 10 storeys.

Kelly's move came as something as a shock, as the skyscraper had won almost widespread support from all parties, with not even English Heritage requesting an inquiry.

Developer Land Securities will therefore certainly fancy its chances of a quick resolution to the inquiry.

by Ed Dorrell

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