An application to build the world's tallest skyscraper in Changsha has not yet been approved, the local government said yesterday, appearing to contradict the developer's claims that construction was cleared to start.
The Binshui New City management committee said it wanted to reassure critics that construction of the 838-metre Sky City - which developers plan to build in a record-breaking seven months - would not proceed until "relevant legal procedures" were met, Xinhua reported.
The panel said nine domestic construction experts had studied the project, including its structure and quake resistance, but an examination of plans for its construction, and its firefighting facilities, and applications for licences were still under way.
The statement followed a report by the state news agency on Thursday saying that the Broad Group's project had not received necessary approval from Hunan's provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
The report said there had been no construction since a ground-breaking ceremony the previous weekend.
Broad Group spokeswoman Zhu Linfang had disputed that report, insisting that the plan had "obtained all necessary government approval" and was proceeding as planned. Zhu called on Xinhua to "correct its mistake".
Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the group said the company was still proceeding with applications for the necessary certificates and licences. She said that it was only doing site work and the project was not in the construction phase.
Developers say Sky City, which would be made of "prefab" steel modules built off site, would be able to accommodate 30,000 people with flats, a school, hotel, hospital and offices, as well as an 8,000-square-metre garden.
Broad Group president Zhang Yue said that 3,000 workers would do assembly work at the construction site for three months while 20,000 would finish manufacturing in four months in factories.
If all goes to plan, the skyscraper will be crowned the world's tallest building - 10 metres taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Super high-rise buildings usually take years to build using conventional techniques. The Burj Khalifa took 47 months to build.