Communities secretary overrules inspector's recommendation for refusal of 43-storey tower on South Bank

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands has won the battle for planning approval of its 43-storey Doon Street residential tower on London's South Bank.

UK communities secretary Hazel Blears has overruled the recommendation of the planning inspector to refuse approval, following a public inquiry.

English Heritage and Westminster City Council had both opposed the development - which includes a mall and sports centre as well as the 144m residential tower - which they claimed would damage historic views.

However, Blears concluded that although construction of the tower would harm the settings of certain historic areas, this would be offset by the scheme's provision of a sports centre in a deprived area.

The development, for Coin Street Community Builders, was called in by Blears last year after being initially given approval by Lambeth Council in August 2007.

The architect had already reduced the tower in height from 173m to 144m following 52 local objections.