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Tulip tower given the go ahead by London city planners

the tulip

The proposed Tulip tower has been approved by the City of London planning and transportation committee.

Designed by architect Foster & Partners, the 305m high structure will be the City of London’s tallest tower and will be just 10m shorter than the Shard, the UK’s tallest building.

The resolution to grant planning permission for the the Tulip was passed by 18 votes to seven.

It follows a poll earlier this year by the project’s developers, commissioned by Comres, found 65% of 1,011 adults thought the tower would be an “attractive addition to the London skyline”.

Following the vote, the City of London will now submit its resolution to grant planning permission to London mayor Sadiq Khan, who will decide whether or not to approve the proposal.

Before the vote took place, Foster & Partners senior executive partner Grant Brooker read a note to the committee from the firm’s founder and executive chairman Lord Foster

The note read: “Aside from being astounding in its own right, [the Tulip] will act in a cluster of tall buildings that mark the city within a city.

“Socially it will broaden the activities beyond its domain of business. Of course, like the Gherkin [St Mary Axe tower] nearly 20 years ago, it is inevitably controversial.

“But like the Gherkin itself, it has the same potential to be a symbol far beyond its host city.”

Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson outlined his opposition to the plans,  saying: “By way of context, Historic England is the government’s principal adviser on historic environment with statutory duties to protect designated heritage assets.

“We rarely feel the need to address a planning committee in person but on this occasion we do so because of the very serious harmful impact of the proposed Tulip [tower] on the Tower of London world heritage site and more broadly because we believe the proposed structure would also damage the image and identity of London itself.”

The Tulip is to be a visitor attraction without any office space. The developer, Bury Steet Properties, is owned by Jacob Safra, who also owns the St Mary Axe tower in the City.

Construction of the tower is planned to begin in 2020 with the project due for completion in 2025. Foster & Partners has said it wants the Tulip to complement the neighbouring St Mary Axe tower which it also designed.

An economic impact assessment produced this year by Deloitte estimated that the Tulip would offer economic benefits to London of nearly £1bn by 2045 and 600 additional permanent full-time jobs during 20 years of operations.

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