Court Upholds Tower Plans

21 March 2014, 11:43 | Updated: 21 March 2014, 13:19

Controversial plans to build a 29-storey tower block near Waterloo Station have been upheld by the High Court.

That's despite fears the scheme will endanger the World Heritage Site which includes Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.

Westminster Council and English Heritage both objected to the Elizabeth House development planned for a run-down area near Waterloo railway station in Lambeth, warning that it is "risking the nation's heritage".

The council and English Heritage argued at the High Court that it would cause "substantial harm" to world-famous views of the capital and affect the dominance of Big Ben as "an internationally recognised symbol of London".

As new tower blocks continue to spring up, Unesco has raised concerns about the "visual settings" of the World Heritage Sites of the Tower of London and the Abbey, and said they could be placed on the UN's "Heritage in Danger" list.

Lambeth Council has said it is "extremely disappointed" that the legal battle has delayed a scheme fully supported by the Mayor of London that could result in the capital gaining 1,900 new homes.

Dismissing the claim, the judge said it had been agreed that Westminster Council and English Heritage would pay £10,000 in legal costs, with each paying half of that amount.