Tulip Tower gets chop from London mayor Sadiq Khan

Plans for an eye-catching new landmark in London dubbed the ‘tulip tower' lie in tatters, after Mayor Sadiq Khan vetoed the scheme.

The design for a 305-metre high observation tower in the capital city's financial district initially won planning consent from the City of London Corporation. 

But the Mayor of London has overruled the local authority, leaving Brazilian developer J. Safra Group mulling an appeal.

Reacting to the decision from City Hall, the development group said: ‘The Tulip Project team are disappointed by The Mayor of London’s decision to direct refusal of planning permission, particularly as The Tulip will generate immediate and longer-term socio-economic benefits to London and the UK as a whole. We will now take time to consider potential next steps for the tulip project.'

The design by Foster + Partners would have seen the construction of a spire comprising a lift shaft with a multi-storey viewing platform bulging outwards at the top.

Critics of the development claimed the tulip tower would damage tourism by blighting views of historic London. Proponents said it would attract 1.2 million visitors a year to an area which is generally quiet at weekends.

Explaining why Mayor Khan threw out the plan, a spokesperson said: ‘The mayor 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.

‘In particular, he believes that the design is of insufficient quality for such a prominent location, and that the tower would result in harm to London’s skyline and impact views of the nearby Tower of London world heritage site. The proposals would also result in an unwelcoming, poorly designed public space at street level.’

Renowned architect Lord Norman Foster resigned from the global practice he founded more than 50 years ago and which bears his name, the day after Mayor Khan rejected his firm's latest plan.

A company spokesperson told PropertyEU the timing of the resignation was unrelated to the project's failure to win planning approval.

‘This has no relation whatsoever to Mayor Sadiq Khan’s decision to direct the City of London planners to reject the Tulip project,' she said.

‘Following an internal company reorganisation Lord Foster and two non-executive directors have resigned from Foster + Partners Group Ltd, the previous Topco, and all three have been appointed to Foster + Partners Holdings Ltd along with two further directors from the previous Topco.'

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