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London Shell Centre Project to Be Reviewed by U.K.

U.K. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles asked to review a plan to redevelop the site of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s London headquarters near the London Eye Ferris wheel.

Pickles asked to study the plans because the project may affect the Parliament area on the opposite side of the River Thames, the Communities Department said in a statement today.

“Ministers are very selective about calling in planning applications and only take this step if planning issues of more than local importance are involved,” the department said in the statement. “The process will include reviewing all relevant considerations, including the design and any potential impact on the UNESCO World Heritage site by Parliament Square.”

Canary Wharf Group Plc and Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund won local-government approval in May to construct offices and 877 homes at the site. The project includes more than 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square meters) of real estate in eight buildings ranging from five to 37 stories. The tower occupied by Shell since the 1960s would remain part of the development.

The government’s decision to review the project isn’t unusual for large-scale developments, according to a spokesman for The Hague-based Shell.

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