Supporters of the proposed £500m US embassy in London’s Nine Elms say the controversial project will provide a huge boost to regeneration after outline plans were approved last night by Wandsworth borough council.

The council and its backers claim that the US decision to site the embassy on this rundown, formerly industrial riverside site is a big vote of confidence in the area’s future. Opponents are nervous the complex will be a forbidding fortress.

Concerned voices include those of Boris Johnson, London’s mayor, and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, both of whom have raised worries about overbearing security.

English Heritage has been adding to the US state department’s woes by suggesting that the mass of the building would interfere with historic views but also by contemplating listing the existing US embassy in Grosvenor Square.

Financial Times