London Mayor scraps plans to build controversial 'Tulip' skyscraper

Artist’s impression of The Tulip Credit: Foster + Partners

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has rejected plans to build a new skyscraper dubbed the "Tulip".

Despite initial approval earlier this year, Mr Khan determined the proposed building could "harm" the wider skyline and other historic views of London.

The proposed development, on land at 20 Bury Street, would have stood at 305.3 metres high (1002ft), making it the second tallest building in Western Europe after the Shard.

The City of London Corporation rubber stamped an application from Brazil’s J Safra Group and Foster + Partners for the development in April, but Mr Khan said the Tulip would not “constitute the high standard of design required for a tall building in this location”.

The Tulip would have stood over 305 metres high. Credit: Foster + Partners

“The proposal would compromise the ability to appreciate the outstanding universal value of the Tower of London… and would cause harm to the historic environment, the wider skyline and image of London, strategic views as well as the public space surrounding the site.

“The public benefits of the scheme are limited and would not outweigh this harm,” Mr Khan said.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan turns down plans to build the 300ft building. Credit: PA Images

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “We welcome the news that The Tulip has been refused permission by the Mayor.

"We have long been of the opinion that this is the wrong building in the wrong place. We advised that its height and design – essentially a tall lift shaft with a bulge on top – would cause permanent and irreversible damage to the setting of the Tower of London, and in turn, the image and identity of the capital.

“We are particularly pleased that the Mayor recognised the building would result in harm to London’s skyline and impact views of the nearby Tower of London World Heritage Site.

"This building did not justify harming London’s precious and irreplaceable heritage.”

The building would have been the second-highest building in Europe - after The Shard. Credit: Foster + Partners

The Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee voted by 18-7 to approve the project, despite concerns that it could impede views of London.

J Safra also owns London’s Gherkin, on land adjacent to the proposed Tulip site.