Israeli gets nod to build towers in London

Gil Levy will build an office and residential high-rise in Southwark, across the Thames from the City.

Israeli developer Gil Levy has obtained planning permits for two high-rises in London’s Blackfriars in Southwark on the south bank of Thames. The public hearing on the project had been underway since last September. Levy is developing the project through Circleplane Ltd.

In October, in an interview with "Globes", Levy said revealed that he planned to build a 23-storey office block and a 42-storey residential high-rise at 20 Blackfriars Road. The buildings would have an aggregate space of 135,000 square meters.

Levy purchased the site from Land Securities plc (LSE: LAND) for ₤90 million (NIS 777.5 million at the prevailing exchange rate) in July 2007. The site is located on 20 Blackfriars Road, which runs between Saint George's Circus and the southern approach to the Blackfriars Bridge. The City is located on northern bank of bridge. Market sources estimate the investment in the development at ₤405 million.

The Southwark local planning and building commission approved the project in January 2008, but when it was sent to Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blears for approval two months later, she ordered a public hearing on the project.

Last week, Blears Blears ruled that the development would not have a damaging impact on historic views in the capital. The report states that the "proposal is of appropriate scale and geometry not to overpower the existing built form or detract from night time views, and that the scale or appearance of the proposals, individually or cumulatively, would not dominate or overpower the setting of the view from St James Park."

Blears' approval was the last regulatory obstacle before going ahead with the project.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on April 5, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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