Plans for a new skyscraper that would overshadow the Tower of London, just half a mile away, have been rejected, to the delight of the capital’s mayor.
The proposed development, dubbed The Tulip, would have been the second tallest building in western Europe after the Shard, also in London, standing 305.3 metres high.
But the building, featuring a viewing platform with rotating pods and a sky bar, would overshadow the World Heritage Site, Historic England said.
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, dismissed the application on Thursday.
It was anticipated that The Tulip would have attracted 1.2 million visitors per year, but the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, opposed its construction.
A spokesman for the mayor said: “The mayor is delighted that the secretary of state has dismissed this appeal outright, agreeing that the Tulip Tower would be the wrong type of building for central London and that it would have a negative, long-term impact on London’s skyline.
“Sadiq has long argued that the proposed tower would be little more than a concrete lift shaft with a viewing gallery at the top, offering very little in terms of benefits for Londoners, with no new office space or housing.”
In the rejected application from Brazil’s J Safra Group and Foster + Partners, The Tulip, which was to stand next to the Gherkin, in the City of London, was imagined as being a “hub for culture, business and learning”.
Plans to build the ‘Tulip’ tower in the City of London have been dismissed by the Secretary of State for @luhc.
We have always opposed the proposal, mainly for its impact on the Tower of London, and so are pleased with this decision.
Our statement ⬇️ https://t.co/FinoysdpUF
— Historic England (@HistoricEngland) November 11, 2021
Chief executive of Historic England, Duncan Wilson, said: “We have always opposed the proposal, mainly due to the impact it would have on the Tower of London, and so are pleased with this decision.
“We have long been of the opinion that the Tulip would be visually intrusive and highly incongruous from key viewpoints of the Tower, detracting from the experience of visiting the site for millions of tourists and Londoners.
“It is also our view that it would harm the extraordinary significance of the Tower of London as a World Heritage Site, and therefore the proposals ran contrary to local and national planning policies.
“We welcome this outcome, which will help to protect one of the world’s great historic monuments that has provided a stage for our shared history for over 900 years.”