Rethink ordered for Canary Wharf skyscraper Columbus Tower

PUBLISHED: 11:25 10 March 2011 | UPDATED: 16:15 10 March 2011

The artist's impression of Columbus Tower.

The artist's impression of Columbus Tower.


DEVELOPERS behind a controversial 63-storey skyscraper plan have gone back to the drawing board.

Commercial Estates Group (CEG) has appointed architects Squire and Partners to review the proposal for Columbus Tower at the end of West India Quay.

The original plan was granted approval in 18 months ago by London Mayor Boris Johnson after it had been rejected by Tower Hamlets Council.

But it now appears CEG is having second thoughts about the scheme to demolish the existing Hertsmere House and build one of Britain’s tallest buildings.

“Columbus Tower is a good solution for the site, but we want to explore whether or not it can be improved,” said Nick Lee of CEG.

“The economy has been through some major upheavals recently, so it’s a good time to re-evaluate. We need to ensure that the final building is the right one for the site as it will be with us for generations.”

Mayor Johnson exercised new powers for the first time to ‘call in’ the decision back in October 2009, claiming the skyscraper would be “hugely beneficial to the whole of London”.

CEG was also required to contribute £4 million to the Crossrail project being built nearby and £1 million for affordable housing.

Michael Squire of Squire and Partners added: “This is the most significant site in Docklands outside the Canary Wharf Estate.

“Squire and Partners’ involvement in the original West India Quay masterplan makes this a scheme which is very close to our hearts.”

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