Boris 'calls in' proposed Tower Hamlets scheme

London mayor Boris Johnson has asserted his planning powers to take over a planning decision for a major development near Canary Wharf after the London Borough of Tower Hamlets rejected the scheme.

Johnson has "called in" the proposals for Columbus Tower, which were intended to provide 70 apartments and a 192-room hotel alongside 31,000sq metres of office space.

The mayor will now scrutinise the application and make a final decision, which could override the London Borough of Tower Hamlet's judgment.

This is the first time since his election last year that the mayor has exercised these powers, which allow him to completely take over planning applications from local planning authorities.

Johnson said: "This is a decision I have not taken lightly. However, the Columbus Tower proposal clearly meets the test of a planning application of major significance to the whole of London."

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