CCTV's iconic new headquarters, planned for the heart of Beijing's central business district, has survived a cull of prestige public-works projects - and the doubts of no less a figure than Premier Wen Jiabao . Chen Gang ,head of the capital's upscale Chaoyang district, confirmed the 5 billion yuan, Dutch-designed headquarters had been approved by the country's top leadership - more than 21/2 years after the state broadcaster said it had agreement, in principle, from the State Council for the project. 'I'm happy to announce that [on Thursday] we received definite approval from the central government that the controversial CCTV building should be built,' Mr Chen said yesterday. 'It will be finished before 2007 along with the city's Olympic venues.' It had been widely rumoured that the project was held back after Premier Wen expressed concern it would worsen the capital's already serious traffic problems and add to overheating in the real estate sector. In addition, construction of five of the 15 Olympic venues has been scrapped to cut the costs of staging the 2008 Games. The design by Rem Koolhas calls for the construction of two inverted L-shaped towers rising to 80 storeys and joining far above the ground. The structure will house China Central Television's studios, news and entertainment programming centres and its administration. Top officials had argued that transport infrastructure would be put under further strain by having thousands of staff going to and from the CCTV headquarters. Chaoyang, in the city's northeast, is already blighted by traffic jams. But Mr Chen said the results of a survey in the district had eased these fears. 'If we built a normal office building on this land, more than 50,000 people would work in it. But CCTV has only 13,000 staff members and they don't work from nine to five. So they won't add too much to the traffic problem,' he said. He also said that, by 2007, 90 per cent of the new roads in Beijing should be finished to meet the Olympic Games deadline.