Go-ahead for Wharf tower

LONDON Mayor Boris Johnson yesterday used his new planning powers to overturn a local council decision and approve a Docklands skyscraper.<br /><br />The Columbus Tower, developed by Commercial Estates, will stretch 63 storeys &ndash; making it bigger than Canary Wharf&rsquo;s iconic Canada One tower, and even the Heron Tower and the Pinnacle, buildings currently under construction.<br /><br />The East London borough of Tower Hamlets turned down Commercial Estates&rsquo; planning application in August, arguing it would impact on nearby protected buildings, after approving nearly identical plans in 2005.<br /><br />But Johnson has thrown out the opposition and given the green light to developers.<br /><br />Johnson said: &ldquo;I believe the application will not only strengthen the success story of the Isle of Dogs, but will be hugely beneficial to the whole of London.&rdquo;<br /><br />The planning approval is controversial because it was a widely-held belief that no tower would ever be built higher than the Canada One tower, which has become synonymous with the Docklands site.<br /><br />It is believed the go-ahead was given only after the developer said it would contribute &pound;4m to Crossrail and over &pound;1m towards affordable housing in the area. Over &pound;2m will also be invested into the local community by the developer.