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Eric Pickles clears the way for Waterloo’s Elizabeth House scheme

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has decided against holding a public inquiry into the redevelopment of Elizabeth House on York Road, clearing the way for the scheme to proceed.

Eric Pickles clears the way for Waterloo’s Elizabeth House scheme

Plans for the 29-storey development designed by David Chipperfield were first approved by councillors back in 2012 but the scheme was referred back to the town hall last year after a legal challenge by English Heritage and Westminster City Council.

There are fears that the new building – along with the nearby Shell Centre scheme – will lead to the loss of the Palace of Westminster's world heritage site designation.

Lambeth Council has welcomed the secretary of state's decision not to hold another inquiry.

"This is great news and I hope, means an end to costly and lengthy delays to a once in a generation opportunity for jobs, homes and investment in the area," said Lambeth's leader Cllr Lib Peck.

"Lambeth Council has always believed the Elizabeth House development is absolutely consistent with the government's National Planning Policy Framework, it is fully supported by the Mayor of London and will bring considerable economic, social and cultural benefits to the area."

As well as 142 homes for market sale, the revised plans approved last year include 23 affordable homes on an adjacent site in Leake Street.

Next week Baroness Boothroyd will once again raise in the House of Lords concerns about the impact of tall buildings in Lambeth on the Westminster world heritage site.

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