[Re: Tulip tower to wilt after Gove veto, Nov 12]
On the face of it, the now rejected “Tulip” tower ticked a lot of planning boxes. In particular, it was within the “City Cluster”, the area designated by the City of London as suitable for skyscraper developments and at 305 metres tall, it would certainly have optimised land use, so why was it rejected?
There are two key points to take away from the eventual appeal decision. The first was that the location was held to have been capable of causing significant harm to the heritage value of the Tower of London.
The second, related, point, came down to design. The National Planning Policy Framework now places considerable emphasis on design quality.
The design of the Tulip was criticised by the planning inspector as not being of the “highest architectural quality” partly because of the heritage considerations it had to address.
Another key planning policy point is the increasing emphasis on sustainability.
The Tulip was held to have “poor lifetime sustainability” because of the use of concrete in its structure.
The increasing challenge for developers going forwards will be how to deliver very tall towers from an engineering perspective, while also meeting ever stricter requirements for sustainability.