City of London skyline to be transformed by influx of new skyscrapers

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City of London skyline to be transformed by new skyscrapers
Credit Miller Hare

The London skyline is set to be transformed by the number of major skyscrapers planned in the city.

The City of London could soon have ten new skyscrapers alone, with others expecting to appear elsewhere in the capital over the next few years.

According to the 2022 annual Tall Buildings Survey published by New London Architecture, there could be as many as 583 buildings of 20 storeys or more either planned or being constructed across the capital over the next decade.

The survey added that at least 341 towers have full planning permission and a further 109 were already being built. On top of this 71 of the buildings had partial permission at the time of the survey. If granted permission they could be built over the next 10 years.

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Bishopsgate credit Miller Hare

Here are some of the tallest skyscrapers expected in London soon:

55 Bishopsgate

Plans have already been submitted to the City of London Corporation to build the UK’s third-tallest skyscraper at 55 Bishopsgate and its set to be 100 metres taller than the Gherkin and 50 metres taller than Canary Wharf’s biggest skyscraper, One Canada Square.

The £600 million project in the Square Mile is being led by developer Schroders Capital, while the building has been designed by architect Arney Fender Katsalidis (AFK). If the project goes ahead, the huge tower will be 285 metres tall (63 storeys) – just 25 metres shorter than the Shard. The project is predicted to be completed in the late 2020s.

85 Gracechurch Street

Plans for a 32-storey skyscraper by Leadenhall Market have also been submitted to the City of London. The tower would sit close to the “Walkie Talkie” and would include an 850 square metre food hall plus 20,000 square metres of office space.

But the new skyscraper has received objections from Historic England and Westminster City Council. Their comments are largely focused on concerns the building will affect views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the rest of the historic London skyline.

Local residents are currently being consulted on the plans and a decision on the proposals is expected in March.

72 Upper Ground

Three new tower blocks could also be built on the South Bank unless the Government blocks the plans. ITV’s former studios could be bulldozed and replaced by glass towers, the tallest being 25 storeys high.

Around 5,500 people have signed a petition calling for the scheme to be thrown out, as it is to be built in a conservation area and near the Grade-II-listed IBM building and National Theatre. But City Hall ruled any harm to the area’s heritage would be outweighed by the “public benefits” of the scheme.

Lambeth Council planning officers said the offices will create up to 4,500 jobs in the borough once finished. A public inquiry was launched into the building in December with the results expected soon.

Future projects

A further eight skyscrapers could be built in the City of London soon. The projects are currently in the pre-application stages and plans will soon be submitted to the Square Mile to try and get planning permission.

The new buildings are a sign that the business hub is bouncing back after COVID, according to City of London Planning and Transportation Committee Chairman Shravan Joshi.

The chairman told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Despite the impact of COVID and recent economic uncertainty, the City’s real estate sector has shown that it remains resilient and buoyant.

“The high number of applications for major office developments, and the fact we had more planning applications last year than in the previous year, is a vote of confidence in the City’s continuing status as a world-leading business hub, and we expect 2023 to be another very busy year for planning in the Square Mile.

“In the City, we benefit from a concentration of high quality, premium office space and of skills and experience – not just in financial and professional services but in sectors like technology, media and education – which will enable us to thrive in the future.

“It’s exciting to see how the City has regained its old buzz over the last year and developments such as the new police and courts complex at Salisbury Square will revitalise large swathes of the City, creating new jobs, new public spaces and cultural areas.

“These schemes will ensure the City will thrive as a 24/7 destination of choice for visitors, workers and residents.”

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