Shard Of Glass Skyscraper Delayed To 2012

Plans to build London’s tallest skyscraper have suffered a fresh setback amid infighting among the consortium behind the £400m project.

The 70 storey tower, dubbed “the Shard of Glass” and situated next to London Bridge railway station, is now unlikely to be finished before 2012, three years after the original completion date. Construction is due to begin next year and should be completed in 2011. It will take a further year to finish the residential part of the tower block, which includes luxury apartments on the upper levels.

The tower is to be built on the site of Southwark Towers, occupied by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accountancy firm. PwC will vacate the building this summer. Demolition is due to begin in October or November.

Planning permission for the tower – Europe’s tallest skyscraper – was granted in November 2003, but progress has been marred by reports of rifts in the consortium backing the venture. Simon Halabi, the Syrian-born property tycoon, was reported to have fallen out with partners Irvine Sellar and CLS Holdings over £28m in “project management fees”. CLS issued a statement last month denying talk of a rift.

A spokesman for the venture said that the partners are “getting on with it” and rumours that Halabi is considering selling his stake in the development – worth an estimated £100m – are untrue.

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