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London Mayor Boris Johnson has taken over the planning application to redevelop the Saatchi building in central London.
Property developer Derwent had had its application to redevelop the building denied by the Camden Council, but now the Mayor has taken over the application.
The Mayor of London has the right to take over any planning application that affects the city of London as a whole.
Derwent’s controversial plans for the building include more office space and 55 flats. Camden Council rejected the plans due to what was deemed unaffordable residential space and a lack of public space. Overall the plans were called an ‘overdevelopment’ by the Council.
In a statement the Mayor said: “These buildings have been home to some of the most creative and innovative minds for the last 40 years, making the area an internationally recognised hub for the global advertising industry. Redeveloping this prime location will contribute to the competitiveness of London’s wider economy bringing with it new jobs and business.
“This proposal clearly meets the test of a planning application of major significance to London and I therefore believe it is right that I scrutinise it in greater detail.”
This will mark the fourth time in the last three years that the Mayor has intervened in such a case.
City Hall also stated that the project would raise GBP 1.6 million for the Crossrail scheme as well as create new jobs.
The Saatchi building was the headquarters of perhaps the world’s most famous advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi.
Founded by brothers Maurice and Charles Saatchi, the agency has been responsible for some of the world’s most famous advertisements, including ‘Probably the best beer in the world’ for Carlsberg, and ‘Labour isn’t working’ during the 1979 general election in the UK.
Currently the agency has its headquarters in New York.