Tulip tower: Mayor rejects plans for London skyscraper


London’s Mayor has advised planners to reject proposals for a new skyscraper. In April, the City of London Corporation (CLC) approved the 1,000ft (305m) Tulip tower proposed for Bury Street, beside the Gherkin tower. It argued it was “truly unique” and would increase the number of people visiting the capital at weekends.

But Sadiq Khan said a number of concerns raised in a London Review Panelreport also meant the tower would harm the skyline. Mr Khan advised CLC planners reject permission on the basis of the reasons outlined by the Panel, which included:

  • The design did not constitute the very highest quality of design required for a building in the location
  • The proximity, height and material would have a negative impact on the Tower of London World Heritage site
  • The space around the proposed building was insufficient to be safe and to prevent overcrowding
  • A lack of new cycle parking spaces failed to comply with the London Plan for transport
Tulip tower drawing
Image captionA restaurant and sky bar was proposed as well as a floor for education facilities
Tulip tower drawing
Image captionThe proposed skyscraper would have been the second tallest in London after the Shard

The London Review Panel concluded The Tulip “does not represent world class architecture, it lacks sufficient quality and quantity of public open space, and its social and environmental sustainability do not match the ambition of its height and impact on London’s skyline”.

A spokesperson for the mayor said Mr Khan “has a number of serious concerns with this application and having studied it in detail has refused permission for a scheme that he believes would result in very limited public benefit”.

  • Mayor finds ‘Tulip’ breaches London Plan
  • What are the rules on building skyscrapers?
  • ‘Tulip’ tower planned for London’s skyline

The Foster + Partners-designed tower was to be built at 20 Bury Street. The Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee had supported the plan by 18 votes to seven after conditions were imposed such as restricting ticket sales during peak hours.

Tulip tower drawing
Image captionGondolas would have allowed visitors to ride along an eight-minute loop outside the tower


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