A legal challenge to the £1.3 billion Shell Centre redevelopment has been rejected by the High Court.
The Shell Centre revamp is one of the first projects by Canary Wharf Group outside the east London estate.
The joint venture Braeburn Estates, along with Qatari Diar, will see most of the sprawling 1961 centre demolished with with eight new buildings for shops, office space, restaurants and homes.
In 2010, Shell signed a 15-year deal to decant most of its staff to former Barclays offices in Canary Wharf, making the estate its temporary HQ.
But the redevelopment plan ran into opposition from residents and heritage groups.
But a judge has now dismissed residents’ leader George Turner’s argument that Communities Secretary Eric Pickles made a legally flawed decision to grant planning permission.
However, the judge did express misgivings over the process. Mr Justice Collins said he was “seriously concerned” about the way a local government inspector presided at a 2013 public inquiry in 2013, concluding there had been “clear procedural impropriety”.
Mr Turner had complained that he had encountered obstacles trying to put the case against redevelopment but the judge ruled he was not seriously prejudiced.
The judge said: “The inspector's conduct in appearing to favour the applicants’ counsel against the claimant was most unfortunate, but is consistent with judicial misconduct as opposed to bias.”
He said the inspector’s conclusions were properly based on the evidence before him”.
Speaking at the time of the Canary Wharf “decant” former Shell UK chairman James Smith reiterated that the Shell Centre was “our home in London”.
He added: “The site is an exceptional location in one of the world’s great cities. We want to redevelop it to its full, modern potential in keeping with the continuing development of London’s South Bank.”