Land Securities has won permission for its 39 storey ‘walkie talkie’ tower at 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London.

Secretary of state Hazel Blears ruled yesterday that the scheme, designed by Rafael Vinoly, complies with the local development plan and national planning policies, including guidance on tall buildings published by English Heritage and the architecture watchdog CABE.

The decision follows a three-week planning inquiry held in March. The secretary of state backed the conclusion of planning inspector Ken Barton, who ruled that views of St Pauls Cathedral would be preserved and there would be no significant impact on the Tower of London World Heritage Site.

Commenting on the controversial design, the inspector said, ‘the proposed tower would add interest to the skyline.’

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