Work began on one new London skyscraper each week last year

Emma Haslett
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1 Undershaft is one of a rash of new skyscrapers set to tower over the capital (Source: Aroland Holdings)

Work began on a new skyscraper in the capital almost every week last year, new figures have shown - with 48 new towers taking root in 2016, up 68 per cent from the year before.

The Tall Buildings Survey, by New London Architecture, found there are currently 455 tall buildings due to either be built or submitted for planning, up from 436 in 2015.

Of those, 100 are in the late stages of construction, including the City's Scalpel and One Blackfriars in Southwark, with 28 due to complete this year and 40 due to be finished in 2018.

Between them, they could create 100,000 homes across the capital, the figures suggested.

London's skyline is on the rise: the figures showed a 150 per cent increase in completions between 2015 and 2016, when 26 new tall buildings were completed.

But the capital's tower-building frenzy may end as quickly as it began. The survey suggested there are 31 buildings which received a resolution to grant planning permission five or more years ago, but haven't been started yet. Meanwhile, the number of planning applications has fallen 30 per cent since 2015 (although that was partly down to a rash of applications from the developers of Greenwich Peninsula at the time).

Among the latest towers to receive planning permission is 1 Leadenhall, whose looming presence over Leadenhall Market was given the go-ahead in January.

But that will be dwarfed by nearby 1 Undershaft, which, at 73 storeys, will be the second tallest tower in western Europe (after the Shard, natch) once it is built.

If the capital runs out of space, it could always suspend a tower upside-down from an asteroid, as per one architect's suggestion. At least it rules out planning disputes...

The City Towers coming our way

60-70 St May Axe aka the Can of Ham

Estimated completion date: 2019

At 24 storeys, this lumpy little office tower will be a relative dwarf in the City.

1 Undershaft aka The Trellis

Estimated completion date: 2025

When it's completed, this 73-storey giant will be the City's tallest tower.

22 Bishopsgate formerly known as The Pinnacle

Estimated completion date: 2019

First, it was going to be the elegant, curved Pinnacle - then the downturn happened and construction ground to a halt after seven storeys, earning it the nickname "the stump". 22 Bishopsgate's latest iteration is a 62-storey, three-pronged look. "The Half Eaten Kit Kat", anyone?

52 Lime Street aka The Scalpel

Estimated completion date: 2017

The City's latest addition is close to completion - the 38-storey Scalpel is due to be finished this year. The office block already has already signed up tenants including Axis Capital and BPL Global.

6-8 Bishopsgate aka The Mitsubishi Tower

Estimated completion date: 2020

This boxy 40-storey tower, next door to the Cheesegrater, will include a mix of office and retail.

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