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Farrells' plans for Lots Road finally win green light

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John Prescott has given the go-ahead to Terry Farrell's plans for the redevelopment of the famous Lots Road site in Chelsea.

The Deputy Prime Minister has given his backing to the massive project - which would see two towers built on the site and the renovation of the Grade II*-listed power station itself.

Prescott's decision is a direct rejection of a planning inspector's report, which recommended the project be thrown out. This follows from his decision to over-turn another inspector last year who recommended Broadway Malyan's Vauxhall Tower be rejected.

The Farrell scheme, for developer Hutchison Whampoa, has been mired in controversy for years, its development having included two separate planning applications.

It has also suffered from being a split site, half of which falls within Kensington & Chelsea's remit and the other half within Hammersmith & Fulham's.

Prescott's decision to back the scheme has been strongly welcomed by London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

'The Lots Road development is precisely the kind of high-quality, high-density development we want to see,' he said.

'Fifty per cent affordable housing in a development of close to 1,000 homes is a great achievement that will increase the capital's stock of homes within reach of those on low and middle incomes.

'With so much in its favour, there really should have been no need for a public inquiry wasting precious public money and causing four years' delay.

'The progress of this development underlines the case for creating a positive planning power for the office of the Mayor of London, which would enable me to intervene in the small number of cases where boroughs take planning decisions that are clearly against the wider interests of the capital,' he added.

by Ed Dorrell

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