The developers of the controversial London Bridge Tower last week received a letter from the Government Office for London advising that the deputy prime minister John Prescott has decided to call-in its application for his own decision.
"The Government recognizes the benefits to London of tall buildings in the right circumstances and this proposal is in line with the GLA's London Plan both in terms of tall buildings and regeneration. We believe a modern architectural masterpiece such as London Bridge Tower will make a positive contribution to the London skyline without damaging the Capital's heritage or important strategic views.
"Having spent 18 months undertaking an extremely thorough consultation process we have received overwhelming support both locally and throughout London."
Meanwhile Southwark council leader Cllr Nick Stanton said Renzo Piano's "Shard of Glass" design was of world class quality, and would positively contribute to London's World City image and the London skyline.
He said the London Bridge area was a key focus for improvement to the economy and the environment in Southwark and of London as a whole and that the tower would play a significant role in bringing about that change.
Cllr Stanton said: "The London Bridge Tower and the accompanying transport improvements will bring enormous benefits to the borough and local residents. They will create many jobs for local people and help sustain both Southwark's and the capital's economy.
"Southwark will put forward a strong case at the public inquiry and we are convinced the Secretary of State will listen and make the appropriate decision."
The decision to call in the plan has also been attacked by Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, who said: "I am disappointed the government has made the decision to call-in the London Bridge Tower proposal for public inquiry, especially so soon after John Prescott gave his support for another landmark tall building in the City of London, Heron Tower.
A public inquiry on the London Bridge Tower application is likely to take place before the end of the year. The public inquiry on the Heron Tower scheme caused around eighteen months delay in granting permission and cost approximately £11 million.
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