Developer St George’s 50-storey Vauxhall Tower got the go-ahead last week, nearly four years after it was submitted for planning.

The £70m tower was thrown out by Lambeth council in 2003, despite being backed by CABE and London mayor Ken Livingstone. The council had objected because it only allocated 40% of the development for social housing, rather than the recommended 50%.

St George appealed and the ODPM granted permission last week after the developer revised the affordable housing mix to remove all studio apartments and include more family accommodation.

The tower, by architect Broadway Malyan, promises to use one-third of the energy of comparable buildings. This will be achieved using a wind turbine on the top of the building to generate power for lights, and high-tech pumps to harness heat from bore holes.