By Francesca James

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will decide the future of the world famous advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi’s HQ in London’s West End after plans to redevelop this strategically important site, in one of the capital’s most important commercial districts, were refused by Camden Council.

The Mayor believes this site and its location, in this internationally recognised commercial hub, are so important to the development of the district and the wider London economy that he will determine the planning application himself using powers given to him in 2008.

The planning powers enable the Mayor to take over planning applications considered to be of wider strategic importance to the whole capital. In this case the number of sites becoming available for redevelopment in the area are limited and the application would deliver 40,000 square metres of prime office and commercial space, create jobs and support new enterprise. The development will also trigger a £1.6m contribution towards Crossrail, vital to the future success of the West End, and improving transport across the capital.

The plans will now be scrutinised by the Mayor before he makes his final decision.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “These buildings have been home to some of the most creative and innovative minds for the last 40 years, making the area an internationally recognised hub for the global advertising industry. Redeveloping this prime location will contribute to the competitiveness of London’s wider economy bringing with it new jobs and business. This proposal clearly meets the test of a planning application of major significance to London and I therefore believe it is right that I scrutinise it in greater detail.”