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Squires finally bags planning for contentious Vauxhall island towers

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After almost seven years of waiting Squire and Partners has won planning for a £400 million skyscrapers scheme in Vauxhall, south London

The project was approved by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles this week following a public inquiry surrounding local authority Lambeth Council’s non-determination of the plans.

Squires’ plans for two towers on the traffic island site were initially revealed back in 2005 and submitted an application for a scheme of 46 and 23 storeys the following year.

Later, in 2010, revised plans were submitted for towers of 41 and 31 storeys. However late last year an appeal was launched over non-determination after the council failed to make a decision on the reworked scheme..

At the public inquiry in March, Terry Farrell speaking on behalf of the local council spoke out against the proposals, claiming the scheme would isolate the public on a traffic island.

The approved £400 million scheme features 291 apartments and 58 affordable units alongside a hotel and 2,400m² of offices.

Located within the mayor’s Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area, the project is the latest addition to the cluster of tall buildings consented for the area.

Last week Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners won planning for a new skyscraper on the site of nearby Eastbury House while in June a raft of major skyscraper schemes by Foster + Partners, KPF and Rolfe Judd were given the green light.

Michael Squire said: ‘We are delighted that the plans for the Vauxhall Cross Island site have been granted consent by the inspectorate.

‘The scheme will transform and reinvigorate the area, opening up the confusing transport interchange and providing an important connection between the historic centre of Vauxhall, the river and the emerging Vauxhall, Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area.  New retail, offices and public spaces will improve the ground floor environment and bring life to this previously derelict site.’

Montagu Evans managed the project team for the last three years on behalf of land owner Wendover Investments.

Raoul Veevers, a planning partner at the company, said: ‘Bringing to fruition this scheme on this site has been challenging, but this consent will see the development of one of the key strategic sites in Vauxhall and help to establish this area as one of the most important residential and economic hubs in the capital.’

Steve Reed, Lambeth Council leader, said: ‘Now that the decision has finally been made about the future of this site we are determined to work together to ensure the future regeneration of Vauxhall.

‘There may have been different views in the past about the best way forward. The situation has now changed. Going forward we will be working together to realise and unlock this important site’s enormous potential for Vauxhall.’

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