The Communities Secretary has given the project the thumbs-up despite claims from English Heritage and the Royal Parks that the building would spoil the views of Somerset House and St James’ Park respectively.
The final report giving permission to the tower says: ‘[Blears] considers that the impact on this [St James’ Park] view would not be as great as the inspector fears, and would not be unacceptable.
‘In reaching this conclusion, she has taken into account the high quality of the design of the building, which demonstrates technical virtuosity, imagination and keen attention to detail.’
Blears admitted, however, that the building would have an impact on Somerset House.
Fears were also raised over how the building would impact the setting of the Grade II-listed Royal Festival Hall and National Theatre.
However, Blears claimed that the impact on the Royal Festival Hall would ‘not be unacceptable’ and the tower aspect would ‘not be detrimental’.