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Land Securities plays waiting game on Crossrail levy

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Land Securities will wait for Boris Johnson’s new Crossrail levy to become mandatory before coughing up for the Rafael Viñoly-designed ‘walkie talkie’ tower it plans to build in London’s Fenchurch Street

The developer’s waiting game may pay off, as London Assembly’s Planning and Housing Committee has been questioning some of the levy scheme’s details.

‘When there’s something formally in statue and there’s a formal requirement, we’ll have this debate,’ said a Land Securities spokesman. ‘We haven’t started building yet.’

Planners in the mayor’s office reviewing Land Securities’ planning application had suggested the developer pay £1.45 million towards the new rail system, even though the levy has not yet been written into the London Plan.

This figure is based on the Johnson’s proposed charge of £213 per m2 per office space for all commercial properties over 500m2, but the London Assembly committee thinks a sliding charge should be applied, taking into account how much the building will benefit from Crossrail.

Johnson has proposed charging new developments within London’s ‘central activity zone’ and northern part of the Isle of Dogs, but the assembly thinks other areas along the Crossrail route should also have to make contributions.

The developers behind David Chipperfield’s Seal House block at London Bridge and a seprerate development at 1 Howick Place in Westminster have also been asked for Crossrail money.

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