Boris Johnson instructs council to refuse permission for residential tower block on ground of attractiveness

London mayor Boris Johnson has rejected plans for controversial plans to redevelop Queen's Market in Upton Park with the construction of a 96m high residential tower block.

Johnson directed Newham council to refuse planning permission to redevelop the market.

Plans were originally submitted to the Mayor for consultation in May 2008 but the applicant was advised that they did not conform with the London Plan on several counts, including the quality of the design if the proposed tower.

The plans were subsequently revised, but Johnson said they still failed to address the Mayor's concerns regarding the appearance and attractiveness of the proposed tower.

Johnson said: “I have carefully considered this application. However, it is obvious that a tower of this size, so much higher than any existing tall buildings in the area, is neither attractive or in proportion or suited to any of the surrounding buildings, streets or the general urban realm of Newham.

“I am not opposed to the improvements to Queen's Market,” he added. “But I am against this inappropriate tower and have, therefore, instructed Newham not to approve these current plans.”

The news was welcomed by long-running campaigners “Friends of Queens Market”, who feared the plans would threaten the existence of the 110-year-old market.

Building work would have resulted in a split-site temporary market, forcing out 40% of the traders.

Local opposition to the developers' involvement on the site began in 2006, with a 12,000 signature petition. There were also over 2,600 letters of objection to the current scheme.