Walkie Talkie prompts City clampdown on wind tunnels as skyscrapers transform London

Kasmira Jefford
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The Walkie Talkie is notorious for creating powerful wind tunnels
Complaints over powerful gusts of wind around the base of the Walkie Talkie skyscraper in the City have prompted planners to demand property developers seek a second opinion over their wind reports. Wind tunnels have become a more frequent problem as an apparent result of skyscrapers going up in the capital. The City of London is now asking for an “independent verification” of developers’ wind studies.
The City of London Corporation is demanding that developers have their wind studies independently audited after stronger-than-expected winds at the bottom of Land Securities and Canary Wharf's 20 Fenchurch Street building.
Traditionally a low-rise city compared with other metropolises like New York, London’s skyline has dramatically changed over the last decade, with more plans being submitted for skyscrapers than ever.
The City’s head of design Gwyn Richards said that as a result of this building boom, developers will have to carry out more rigorous reports.

Wind tunnels have become a more frequent problem

“The wind outcome at street level experienced post-construction on a number of projects differs somewhat to the conditions we were expecting from the one outlined in the planning application wind assessments.,” he said.
“This is why we are asking for an independent verification of the wind studies on a number of new schemes to ensure a rigorous and resilient approach as possible.”
Axa Real Estate’s 22 Bishopsgate scheme and Wilkinson Eyre’s tower at 6-8 Bishopsgate are among the first to undergo the new procedure.

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