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Demolition work underway on Shard site

Demolition contractor Keltbray has confirmed site clearance work was continuing on 72-storey Shard of Glass skyscraper in London Bridge amid reports that the current credit crunch could delay construction.

Keltbray managing director John Pike said there was no truth whatsoever in claims that the contractor had been pulled off site following problems with funding of the project.

"We are onsite working and all agreements with the developer remain in place," added Pike.

Earlier in the week, London Mayor Ken Livingstone reconfirmed his support for the project.

Speaking at Mayor’s Questions on Tuesday, Livingstone reconfirmed that Transport for London (TfL) would take 17,650m2 of office space across seven floors. He denied that TfL was looking for alternative accommodation due to fears the building would not be completed on time in 2011.

“We have no intention of withdrawing TfL’s commitment to take a substantial part of the office space,” said Livingstone. “However, at the same time we have many other staff and many of our leases are coming to their end, so we are looking at other sites.”

Fears for the landmark project were sparked when one-third funder CLS Holdings this week claimed in its statement of interim accounts for 2007 that it had hit funding problems.

“Negotiations in respect of the funding for the project are at an advanced stage but have, unfortunately, been affected by the recent adverse credit markets,” says the report. It is unlikely, however, that this restructuring of the £800M project’s finance will delay site clearance and groundworks.

Speaking at NCE’s Tall Buildings event this week, Arup project director Joe Sumner told delegates that work had already begun on site and that Shard developer Sellar Property Group last year secured £196M of interim finance to fund the initial phase of construction.

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