Mayor of London Sadiq Khan
has rejected plans to build a so-called ‘tulip tower’ skyscraper in the City of
although the scheme previously received planning consent from the City of
The Mayor used his powers
to reject the plans on the basis that the design of the tower was not of
sufficient high quality, that it would impact surrounding historic buildings, plus
safety issues and a lack of cycle parking.
In publishing the refusal
Khan said: “I consider that the proposal would not constitute the high standard
of design required for a tall building in this location. The proposal would
compromise the ability to appreciate the Outstanding Universal Value of the Tower of London World
Heritage Site and would cause harm to the historic
environment, the wider skyline and image of London, strategic views, as well as the
public space surrounding the site.
“The public benefits of
the scheme are limited and would not outweigh this harm. The proposals would
also result in a poor quality, unwelcoming, unnecessarily confined pedestrian
environment and would provide inadequate cycle parking.”
The tower, designed by
Foster+Partners for developer J Safra, was intended to operate solely as a visitor
attraction rather than commercial space and would have incorporated internal
slides and moving transparent pods for visitors to ride in.
The developers still have the right to appeal the refusal or, of course, to propose some other imaginative scheme. So it is by no means unlikely that this prime City of London site will see some potentially controversial development plan in the not too distant future.