Walkie Scorchie beat planners

THE DEVELOPERS behind 20 Fenchurch Street, better known as the Walkie Scorchie, yesterday said they had commissioned a report into its light beam – from the same consultancy who missed the problem at the planning stage.

The developers hired light consultancy firm GIA several years ago to look into issues that would arise from the construction of the concave-shaped building – and at the time the firm said there were unlikely to be major concerns.

Now, GIA has been hired again to produce a plan as to what to do for the longer-term.

Options include using some sort of chemical film to dissipate the effects of the sun’s glare.

“All our extensive modelling and advice suggested this should not happen,” said Duncan Bonfield of FTSE 100 firm Land Securities, one of the building’s co-developers.

Bonfield said his company would wait for their report and then seek second and third opinions of what to do next. He also said that last week, when City A.M. first revealed the heat problems on the pavement of Eastcheap, the company “didn't appreciate how hot it was.”

A senior executive at one of the developers yesterday joked that her team had been hoping for an overcast day that would stop media coverage of the story: “We all went to church and prayed for a cloudy day,” she said. “We almost, but not quite, got what we wanted.”

The scandal has focused attention on the City’s glut of new tall buildings, with others highlighting the potential for hotspots elsewhere. Last night workers began constructing a temporary sunblock on Eastcheap.