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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 November, 2003, 13:32 GMT
Tallest skyscraper given the go-ahead
Artist impression of the tower
The tower will cost 350m
Plans for the tallest building in Europe have been approved by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

An inquiry into the 1,000 feet London Bridge Tower, known as the Shard of Glass, began in April.

English Heritage strongly opposed the 350m building, containing homes and leisure facilities, due to concerns it would ruin the London skyline.

The Sellar Property Group will demolish existing buildings at London Bridge Station in south London.

Southwark Council originally gave its backing to the plans in March 2002, but Mr Prescott called the application in so an inquiry could be held after objections were raised.

The new building would tower over the UK's other tallest structures
The council says the tower will give the area a "much-needed economic boost".

World-renowned architect Renzo Piano has designed the building which the developers say will bring 10,000 jobs into the area.

Work is due to start in 2005 and the site containing apartments and offices, a hotel, shops, restaurants, a health spa, fitness club and gallery viewing areas, is expected to be completed by 2009.

James Sellar, director of the Sellar Property Group said he was delighted at the decision.

'Inappropriate' building

"We think this is wonderful news for London and the UK as a whole. It sets a precedent for outstanding design."

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has also given his support to the proposals.

Councillor Catherine Bowman, from Southwark Council, said: "This is great news for Southwark and for London.

"The London Bridge Tower is outstandingly beautiful and will be a modern yet sympathetic addition to the capital's skyline."

But English Heritage said they were disappointed with the outcome saying the building is "inappropriate".

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