The Square Mile will get a shiny new skyscraper by the end of the decade, following planning approval from the City of London Corporation.
At 284m, the new skyscraper at 55 Bishopsgate will be one of the tallest buildings in Europe and the third biggest in the City, behind 1 Undershaft scheme (305m) and 22 Bishopsgate (295m).
It will offer space for around 7,000 office workers and provide areas for the public to enjoy the City’s culture and views.
Sitting next to the Gherkin and Walkie Talkie Building, construction will begin as early as 2024 with the dismantling of the existing building. The project is set to cost around £600m.
The project was given approval by the Corporation’s planning application sub-committee on Friday.
55 Bishopsgate will have 63 storeys, including 22 of mixed-use space, in additon to a free-to-visit public rooftop and more than 100,000 sq m of office space.
It is projected to meet almost 15 per cent of office demand required for the Square Mile by 2036, which includes co-working and affordable space.
The rooftop will host a biodiverse climate-resilient garden to help Londoners relax, though its biggest attraction is likely to become its 360-degree view of London from an outside platform.
The construction is also said to be sustainable and central to the City’s ‘Climate Action Strategy’, with the use of highly efficient renewable technology.
The development will also include with more than 2,500 sq m of space for tourists and Londoners to enjoy culture and entertainment, with the opportunity to host events, pop-ups and installations, and the ground-level space open 24-hours and seven days a week.
The planning committee said there would be more space for cultural activities on the second and third floors, including an auditorium.
“I am delighted to see the 55 Bishopsgate scheme granted planning permission which sets a high bar for others to follow,” Shravan Joshi, chairman of the City of London Corporation Planning and Transport Committee, said.
“The free, public viewing gallery and external platform will deliver an exciting and inclusive resource for all to enjoy,” he continued.
“Decisions like these also cement the City’s position as the world’s leading international financial and business centre.
“The site is central to the City’s growth modelling and will make a huge contribution to the office space needed to meet projected economic and employment growth demand.”
The project has not come without resistance, however, with St Paul’s Cathedral and Historic England voicing concerns about its construction.
Historic England argued the skyscraper would change London’s iconic skyline skyscraper, with the building to obstruct views of St Paul’s from Waterloo.
Tom Foxall, regional director for Historic England in London and the South East, said: “We are disappointed that the 55 Bishopsgate Tower proposals have been approved by the City of London Corporation.
“We raised concerns about the harm these plans would have on St. Paul’s Cathedral in the protected view from Waterloo Bridge and to important views of London from St James’s Park.
“From the Park, the proposed tall building would rise jarringly above the group of 18th and 19th century buildings near Whitehall that are visible in the important protected view across the lake and Duck Island.”