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A call-in inquiry convened by the Secretary of State (John Prescott) to consider proposals for the tallest building in Europe, designed by Renzo Piano and the brain-child of Irvine Sellar, supported by Southwark Council and the Mayor of London (Ken Livingstone) but objected to by English Heritage, the Royal Parks, Historic England, Historic Royal Palaces and CABE.

After a hard-fought inquiry which focussed on the impacts of the proposals on views of the Tower of London, the inspector (John Gray) recommended the grant of permission and the Secretary of State did so. The result is a contemporary icon symbolising the world-city of London. Russell Harris QC piloted the proposal from application to successful grant of permission.

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