Campaigner George Turner loses High Court appeal, removing last barrier to £1.2bn scheme

Campaigner George Turner has lost his battle to halt the £1.2bn Shell Centre development in central London.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the Planning Inspector who scrutinised the plans for the project by Squire & Partners showed no bias in coming to his decision regarding the controversial development on the South Bank.

The ruling by the Court of Appeal means that the final barrier in the way of the development has now been cleared.

Turner claimed the scheme, masterplanned by Squire & Partners and with buildings designed by Stanton Williams, Grid, KPF and Patel Taylor, would cause serious harm to the capital’s heritage.

Speaking at the High Court today, Turner said the defeat was “totally crushing”.

He added: “When this scheme comes to be built, given the huge sensitivity of the site in central London, people will be very confused about how the public authorities allowed that development to go ahead.”

The Shell Centre project was called in by former communities secretary Eric Pickles but approved by a planning inspector who was later heavily criticised by the Hight Court judge presiding over Mr Turner’s case.

Developer Braeburn Estates, a joint venture between Qatari Diar and Canary Wharf Group, wants to build eight buildings of up to 37 storeys, containing offices, retail, leisure and nearly 900 homes on the land around the 1954 Shell Centre tower.

A spokesperson for Braeburn Estates, the joint venture between developers Canary Wharf Group plc and Qatari Diar, said: “We are pleased that the appeal against our proposed redevelopment of the Shell Centre has been dismissed.

“It had already been through an exhaustive planning process and we now look forward to commencing works on site in the near future and, in so doing, to bringing many benefits and much regeneration to this important part of London.”