Shell's £1bn HQ Development Plan Under Threat
A row has broken out after the government said it would review planning approval granted to Royal Dutch Shell for a £1bn redevelopment of its headquarters.
In May, Lambeth council gave the green light to the Qatari-backed project to extensively redevelop the current Shell site close to the London Eye on the south bank of the river Thames.
However, the work is now on hold after the government intervened to consider issues including the effect the scheme would have on views of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
Lambeth council has described the decision as "bitterly disappointing" and London's mayor Boris Johnson has been vocal in his opposition to the government review.
"This project will bring hundreds of new homes and thousands of new jobs," Mr Johnson said.
"It's vital that this is resolved quickly and any delay is minimised to avoid compromising the redevelopment of one of our pre-eminent cultural quarters."
The redevelopment plan had been expected to create a 1.45 million square foot complex comprising the existing 27-storey Shell centre and eight new buildings with shops, offices and hundreds of homes.
The scheme, to be undertaken by developers Qatari Diar and Canary Wharf Group, was due to start at the end of this year and be completed in 2019.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "Ministers are very selective about calling in planning applications and only take this step if planning issues of more than local importance are involved."
Canary Wharf Group, which is majority owned by Songbird Estates, and Qatari Diar were not immediately available for comment.