Lewisham council has approved proposals for a £60m regeneration project in south-east London a year after the scheme was criticised by conservation body English Heritage.
EH said last April that Architect John McAslan & Partners’ 26-storey building at the old Seager distillery was too tall and would have a negative impact on surrounding historic buildings.

It recommended that the plan should be scrutinised by deputy prime minister John Prescott.

In response to the criticisms the shape of the tower has been changed, although it has not been reduced in height. The plans still include more than 200 flats as well as almost 60 affordable homes, a restaurant and gallery space.

Developer MacDonald Egan has been in consultation over the development for the past two years. It believes the project complements neighbouring schemes such as the Stephen Lawrence Centre and Convoys Wharf.

London mayor Ken Livingstone has endorsed the project. He said: “The scheme overall is considered to deliver an exemplary design quality in line with the emerging London Plan policies and urban renaissance principles.”

Work is expected to begin this year and to be completed by 2005.

MacDonald Egan is also working on two projects in Hackney: a £7m mixed-use scheme and another predominantly residential scheme.