Mayor of London Boris Johnson has used his power of direction to overrule the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority in the latest round of a power struggle between City Hall and Union Street.
The Mayor's threat triggered an angry response from members of the fire authority who accused deputy mayor Sir Edward Lister of an 'unwise' and 'discourteous' intervention.
City Hall wants the sell-off of the valuable riverside site – which is worth tens of millions of pounds – to be market-tested via the Mayor's London Development Panel, while the fire authority's advisors favour disposal on the open market.
The London Development Panel establishes a framework agreement between 25 developers, enabling public land owners to award individual contracts without having to go through a full procurement process each time.
Panel members include major developers such as Lend Lease and the Berkeley Group.
The mayoral direction was published on the same day that the Government launched a public consultation on plans to reform the makeup of the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority to give the Mayor more power over the fire service in the capital.