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Deputy PM John Prescott has agreed with his planning inspector and refused an application for a nine-storey L-plan office block near to Manchester's Grade I-listed town hall. The scheme by Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams had ground-floor shops, restaurants and basement car-parking and was called in for an inquiry last year. It would have involved knocking down three listed buildings, and overshadowed the town hall, said the Government Office for the North West. Manchester Civic Society said 'David has beaten Goliath.'

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