Plans approved for 55 Bishopsgate

Plans approved for 55 Bishopsgate
Credit City of London

London will get a new skyscraper after councillors approved plans to build the multi-million-pound glass tower at 55 Bishopsgate.

The building will soar 235m high and consist of 63 storeys. Works are expected to begin soon.

City of London council approved the scheme during a planning committee meeting on Friday, July 21.

There was an objection by St Paul’s Cathedral claiming the glass build could harm the views of the historic structure.

The building will be situated near the “Gherkin” and join other landmarks like the “Walkie Talkie” building at 20 Fenchurch Street and the “Cheesegrater” at 122 Leadenhall Street.

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Credit City of London

It will include a free public gallery giving 360 degree views at the top and provide office space for some 7,000 City workers. There will be a pop-up retail space and a dedicated cultural space.

Representing the applicant at the meeting on Friday, asset management firm Schroders said: “We’re very excited about this project, which we believe to be a unique opportunity to deliver on many of the mutual objectives of the City and the wider built environment.

“Our proposals include over 100,000 square metres of best-in-class office floor space for the City, which will support approximately 7,500 City-based new jobs”.

Councillors also heard of concerns raised by St Paul’s Cathedral and Historic England that the development would “materially detract” from St Paul’s.

A City report showed a formal letter from St Paul’s surveyor saying: “We acknowledge the dynamic, evolving nature of the City of London. We also note the existing character of the setting of the Cathedral, which already includes a number of tall buildings.

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Credit City of London

“However, in our view, due to its height, massing, and location, the proposed development would unduly increase the prominence of the eastern cluster of tall buildings in comparison to and weighting the cluster much more closely to the Cathedral.

“This would materially detract from the townscape and heritage value of St Paul’s as a prominent historic landmark, altering the balance of visual prominence between the Grade I listed building and the tall buildings cluster beyond.”

Councillors were told the level of harms to the historic landmark would be “lower level of less than substantial” and contribute to investment in the Square Mile.

The plans will now go to Mayor Sadiq Khan to decide whether to step in.

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