Secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles has approved Braeburn Estates' proposals for the redevelopment of the Shell Centre near Waterloo Station on London's South Bank, following a public inquiry.

The scheme by Braeburn Estates, a joint-venture between Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar Group, for a mixed-use development surrounding the existing 27-storey Shell Tower were approved by Lambeth Council in May 2013 and by the mayor of London in July. However, Pickles called in the planning application in order to consider in detail its design and the potential threat to the World Heritage site at Westminster.

A public inquiry was held in November and December 2013 and planning inspector John Braithwaite recommended that planning permission, listed building consent and conservation area consent be granted for the proposals.

Agreeing with the planning inspector's recommendation, Pickles concluded that the proposals: were in accordance with planning policy; would improve pedestrian access; would enhance the surroundings due to the high quality of the development; and would not be harmful to the value of the Westminster World Heritage site or any other heritage site.

"Having considered the criteria and other relevant matters, ministers agree with the independent planning inspector that planning permission should be granted for development of the Shell Centre at South Bank", said a spokesperson for the Department of Communities and Local Government, according to a report in Planning Magazine.

"They agree that the proposals will deliver high quality design, provide accessible jobs and homes, and enhance the character of the South Bank area", said the spokesperson.

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