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State of purdah

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City of London chief planner Peter Rees is uncharacteristically silent these days. The explanation? Because property billionaire John Ritblat, so it is said, has threatened to sue the City Corporation over changes of advice about his mega-scheme to demolish Plantation House, replacing it with a mixed-use mini-village. I understand that matters of height and massing have still to be resolved, along with 'various assertions'. Suggestions that a planning permission was promised and withdrawn are said to be wide of the mark. The fundamental problem is over height, and parties being 'misled into thinking something was possible when it wasn't'. Happily, legal action is said to be 'not on the horizon', but meanwhile the City fathers have instructed their man to say nothing to anyone about anything. Resolution should surely be possible (a) because John Ritblat is big-time not small-time, and (b) because Peter Rees would never do anything to harm the reputation of the City. Come on, guys . . .

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