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Viñoly's 'Walkie Talkie' tower given the all-clear

Rafael Viñoly's hugely controversial 'Walkie Talkie' tower in the City of London has finally won the go-ahead.

Land Securities, the developer behind the 39-storey tower (pictured right, with KPF's yet-to-be-built Helter Skelter to its left), received planning permission this morning for the site at 20 Fenchurch Street.

The news will come as a relief to Mike Hussey, the man leading the troubled development for Land Securities' London Portfolio. In April Hussey told the AJ that up until then the scheme had cost the firm £19 million 'without a start date in sight' ( Developer still backing Viñoly's Walkie Talkie tower - despite cost

).

The 155m-tall building was called in by then secretary of state Ruth Kelly despite receiving the thumbs-up from the City Corporation, CABE and the Greater London Authority.

Now, Vinoly can firm up his designs for the building, which will include 58,000m2 of office accommodation, retail space and a public 'Sky Garden'. The green space will be the highest in London and will boast a botanical garden, roof terrace and restaurant.

Speaking of the Communities and Local Government's decision to allow the tower, Hussey said: 'The design by Rafael Vinoly, one of the world's most innovative and acclaimed architects, is exceptional. We anticipate strong interest from occupiers and will be preparing the site for development now that we have consent.'

by Max Thompson

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