Skyscraper Plans Scrapped in the Square Mile
The City of London's Chief Planning Officer, Peter Rees, has revealed that there are no more plans to build high rise towers in the Square Mile.
Mr Rees told The Independent, “It will be an end of an era. The development is moving toward refurbishments of older buildings and, after the current cluster of skyscrapers, we will not see new ones planned.”
Its thought that London’s initial plans to replicate Manhattan’s skyline has come to a halt, as the City of London enters its new phase of renovation and development.
Alderman Michael Bear, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, expressed his concurrence with the plans, stating that refurbishment was the way forward, “from 1986 onwards, the buildings have perfectly good floor plates and allow for complete redevelopment into modern, sustainable offices”. Refurbishment is also more economically viable, and will save money, time and effort in the long term.
Of course, there are still plans in the pipeline for the last cluster of skyscrapers to be erected. Already, the capital has seen the Heron Tower in London Bridge completed, with British Lands ‘Cheesegrater’ tower at 122 Leadenhall Street, and Land Securities ‘Walkie Talkie’ tower at 20 Fenchurch Street to be completed in 2014. Shortly after these, Arab Investments’ Pinnacle tower, and Brookfield Properties’ 100 Bishopsgatetower will mark the end of the skyscraper era.
The first phase of this ‘refurbishment era’ is already underway, at One Angel Court, where office space will be increased by 300,000 square feet.
There are also rumours that other areas in London will cease to build skyscrapers, and opt for refurbishment instead. After the Shard at London Bridge is completed in 2012, developers believe refurbishment will move into the forefront, as towers take too long to plan and build.
This new era will certainly bring about a change to London’s skyline, which will be absent of construction work and cranes. However, whether refurbishment is as successful as brand new towers remains to be seen.
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