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Renzo's backers rubbish rumours of delay to Shard

The group behind Renzo Piano's London 'Shard' scheme has strongly denied rumours the project will be delayed by more than a year.

A report in yesterday's The Times claimed Piano's much-anticipated 'Shard of Glass' scheme would be delayed until 2012 at the earliest because of one of the project's backers faced funding problems.

However, the story has been rubbished by a Sellar Property Group spokesman, which is one of the main parties delivering the 310m-high development.

The spokesman said: 'I don't know where they got the story from, but it's simply not true. The scaffolding is going up as we speak and once that has happened the existing building [Southwark Towers] will be demolished. Everything is progressing as planned.'

The Times had reported that Simon Habali, a one-third owner of the Shard, had found it hard to secure funding for the project due to him 'sitting on a £150 million loss' after buying the Esporta fitness chain for £470 million earlier this year.

The article added that Habali, Sellar and CLS - another property group - hoped to raise £350 million over the summer to finance the project, but this had not transpired and so the scheme would not be completed 'until at least 2012'.

However, according to Sellar Property, the completion date remains at 2011.

by Richard Vaughan

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