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Tory peer attacks Vauxhall tower plans

A former Conservative environment minister has hit out at plans for the 50-storey Vauxhall Tower on the Thames in London as a 'horrendous ruination of the

skyline'.

Lord Baker of Dorking described the planned Vauxhall Tower, which

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has said he is 'minded to'

approve, as 'a tower for the toffs' and a 'damaging

monstrosity'.

The plans, by Berkeley Group subsidiary St George, had been rejected

by Lambeth Council and a Government inspector who headed a public

inquiry had strongly advised against them.

Lord Baker urged ministers, in a Lords debate, to 'revisit' their

decision to give planning permission to the proposed development next

to Vauxhall tube station.

For Tories, former Kensington and Chelsea Council leader Baroness

Hanham warned the tower would be 'taller than Canary Wharf' and

that it would set a bad precedent.

Lord Bassam of Brighton, for the Government, told peers: 'Because

of the delicate position in which the application is there is little

that I can say about this specific case.'

'No final decision' had been taken, he stressed.

But Mr Prescott had said in March he was generally in favour,

subject to there being adequate provision for affordable housing.

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