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West End Green row flares up again

A huge planning battle between Michael Squire and Chetwood Associates for one of London's largest development sites has reignited following a controversial decision by the ODPM.

Yesterday, John Prescott overruled a planning inspector's report to back Squire's designs for a massive retail and residential development at West End Green, close to London's Edgware Road.

Prescott ignored a rival scheme, designed by Chetwood Associates for Sainsbury's supermarkets, which, if successful, would have scuppered Squire's plans for one of London's most hotly contested retail locations.

In deciding between a number of options for the site, the secretary of state opted for a scheme which incorporated a 22-storey tower instead of 26-storey skyscraper.

Westminster Council, Transport for London and Sainsbury's have all expressed concern over an appeal by developer West End Green Properties - Squire's client.

The developer had lodged an appeal against Westminster council's failure to make a planning decision on the site's future within the statutory period. This appeal was subsequently considered by the Planning Inspectorate.

Sainsbury's now has 42 days in which to start a High Court challenge against the decision.

by Rob Sharp

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