Foster's 'gherkin' in the City gets go-ahead

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The Independent Online

Norman Foster's controversial design for the redevelopment of the site of the Baltic Exchange building in the City was given the go-ahead yesterday, after the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, decided there was no need for a public inquiry.

Norman Foster's controversial design for the redevelopment of the site of the Baltic Exchange building in the City was given the go-ahead yesterday, after the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, decided there was no need for a public inquiry.

The 594ft tapered tower, nicknamed "the gherkin", was given planning permission by the Corporation of London, and Mr Prescott said that the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) did not need to call the plans in for closer inspection.

The Grade II-listed Baltic Exchange building, which was severely damaged by an IRA bomb in 1992, will be levelled to make way for the new 41-storey tower. There have beenobjections to Lord Foster's scheme, but the DETR said Mr Prescott had taken account of English Heritage's recommendation that the "old Baltic Exchange could be not properly preserved and that it could... be replaced by a new high-quality building".

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