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City planners back KPF's Smithfield plans

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KPF's controversial redevelopment of London's historic Smithfield market has won crucial approval from City of London planners, the AJ has learned.

Planning officers are now set to recommend the massive commercial office scheme when the City of London planning committee meets next Tuesday.

The approval is not, however, a great surprise given that City of London planning officers have a track record of recommending contentious schemes, such as Grimshaw's Minerva Tower.

Nevertheless, it is expected to face a barrage of opposition from conservation bodies opposed to the partial demolition of the Victorian meat market.

Adam Wilkinson, of SAVE Britain's Heritage, said he planned to have 'his three minutes' at the committee meeting.

He added: 'We are not surprised that planning officers have recommended approval given the City of London's previous stance. We can only hope the officers see sense if the Government Office for London does not call in the application first, which obviously we hope will happen.'

KPF's scheme has had a bumpy ride through planning. Last September architects drastically pared back the proposals after part of the site, The Red House Cold Store, secured listing from the ODPM. (AJ 08.09.05),/p>

Neither KPF nor developer Thornfield Properties was available for comment.

by Clive Walker

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