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Mayor pushes for high rise to fund Crossrail

Mayor of London Boris Johnson will use new planning powers to look again at the proposed Columbus Tower, which had a planning application rejected earlier this month, which could help pay for Crossrail.

The £700M Tower, which at 237m tall would be the tallest in London, would be built next to Canary Wharf and would include residential and business space in addition to a hotel.

However, Tower Hamlets council refused the developer’s planning application on 4th August 2009.

Using his new powers, the Mayor has made the decision to look again at the proposal, which he believes is of ‘strategic importance’, and potentially approve the project.

“This is a decision I have not taken lightly, however the Columbus Tower proposal clearly meets the test of a planning application of major significance to the whole of London,” he said. “Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs form a key part of my economic development strategy and I have also made it clear that I consider Canary Wharf to be suitable for tall buildings.

“There is already a planning consent for a tall building on this site and the development itself would deliver a significant contribution to Crossrail, the most important new infrastructure project London has seen since the first tube tunnels were dug by the Victorians. For these reasons, I believe this application requires me to scrutinise it in greater detail.”

The Mayor took on the power to approve planning applications from local planning authorities in April 2008.

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