Council set to object to plans for 1,000ft ‘Tulip’ skyscraper

Tower Hamlets Council are set to object to the plans. Picture: Mike Brooke

Tower Hamlets Council are set to object to the plans. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke

Tower Hamlets Council is set to formally object to plans for a 1,000ft bud-shaped skyscraper citing it would ‘seriously harm’ the view from the Tower of London,

The proposed ‘Tulip’ building would sit alongside the Gherkin and be the tallest building in neighbouring City of London if approved.

However council officers said the skyscraper, designed by architects Foster + Partners, would have a “significant” adverse effect on the setting of the Grade I-listed eleventh century fortress, which is just 600m from the proposed development.

It would also complicate transport infrastructure and pollution levels in the borough, according to a report.

London’s highest viewing platform is planned for the building and designers have proposed eight floors of attractions, including a bar, restaurants and a “classroom in the sky”.

“Visitors will benefit from interactive materials and briefings from expert guides about the history of London.

Complementing the experience will be a sky bar and restaurants with 360-degree views of the city,” said the architect’s practice.

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Lord Norman Foster, the practice’s founder, added that the Tulip was “in the spirit of London as a progressive, forward-thinking city”.

But Tower Hamlets planners are arguing that the level of harm it would cause is not outweighed by public benefit.

A report states: “Due to its height and intended use the development would have a significant adverse impact on the Grade I listed Tower of London, including its setting and townscape views, as well as having a significant adverse impact on local transport infrastructure and greenhouse gas emissions.”

It adds: “There is likely to be significant impacts to the public transport network which has not been fully assessed.”

The findings will be sent to the City of London this week.

If planning permission is granted, work on the Tulip would likely begin in 2020 with the project completed over five years.

A spokesman for Tower Hamlets Council said: “The strategic development committee agreed that the council should formally object to the development referred to as The Tulip, due to the serious harm it would cause to the setting of the Tower of London World Heritage Site and the lack of any substantial public benefits that might off-set that harm.

“The committee also agreed that there was insufficient information to fully understand the environmental and transport impacts. The council’s observations will be sent to the City of London for its consideration.”