London

Norton Folgate development: Judge upholds Boris intervention

A general view of construction cranes on the London skyline. Image copyright PA
Image caption Seven buildings, comprising mainly office space with retail units and 45 residential flats, will be built

The former mayor of London's decision to approve a development in a city conservation area has been backed by the High Court.

A judge upheld Boris Johnson's decision to intervene in the Norton Folgate development in east London.

Tower Hamlets Council had rejected the proposals after receiving 550 objections from individuals.

But Mr Justice Gilbart said Mr Johnson's comments during the case "warm the cockles of my heart".

Mr Johnson won the case even though errors were made in the planning process of the development.

Seven buildings

As he handed down his judgment, Mr Gilbart said he would "never forget" reading a transcript of the mayor's comments during one meeting.

Without going into detail, the judge remarked: "It warms the cockles of my heart."

In January, Boris Johnson bypassed the council and used his powers to intervene, announcing he intended to grant both planning permission for the development and listed building consent.

In a bid to block the development, the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust asked the High Court to rule the mayor had acted unlawfully because statutory criteria governing the use of his powers were not met.

But Mr Justice Gilbart's decision has cleared the way for seven buildings, comprising mainly office space with retail units and 45 residential flats, to be built.

The judge dismissed the trust's application and refused permission to appeal.

The trust later said it was considering asking judges of the Court of Appeal to intervene.

This story has been corrected after it previously said the decision was related to the Bishopsgate Goodyard development.

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