43-Storey Tower Will Rise on the South Bank

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Byline: JonathanPrynn Consumer business editor

A 43-storey tower proposed for the south Bank that was condemned as "an act of architectural vandalism" has been approved by a High Court judge.

english Heritage and Westminster council challenged plans for the Doon street skyscraper after former Communities secretary Hazel Blears waved it through in August last year against her planning inspector's advice.

However, today Judge Mole ruled that the development, which will fund a public leisure centre and swimming pool, should be allowed to proceed.

Critics said the high rise apartments, dwarfing the south Bank's Hayward Gallery and the royal Festival Hall, would blight the "sublime symmetry" of the courtyard of somerset House and ruin views from st James's Park.

the tower was proposed by Coin street Community Builders, a social enterprise that redeveloped oxo tower Wharf and built social housing on the south Bank. It was backed by architects including Lord rogers and sir terry Farrell.

Iain tuckett, the firm's group director, said: "We welcome the judge's decision. …