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London's second-tallest skyscraper set for green light

London's second-tallest skyscraper set for green light

Planning permission is expected to be granted for what will be the second tallest building in London and the tallest in the City.

The 1 Undershaft building has been nicknamed the Trellis because of the steel-cross bracing that will characterise its exterior. The City of London Corporation’s planning and transportation committee are expected to give it the green light after receiving a recommendation from the chief planner to go ahead with it.

At 305 metres (1,001 ft), it will be the second skyscraper built in London to top the 1,000 ft mark, exceeded in height only by the 1,016 ft Shard.

It will also slightly exceed the 278m (912 ft) Bishopsgate Tower, which was granted planning permission recently.

Although the City of London housed the tallest skyscraper in Britain when the NatWest Tower (now Tower 42) was completed in 1980, that soon changed as the 770 ft One Canada Square tower at Canary Wharf shifted the focus of skyscraper building eastward. The cluster of skyscrapers in the docklands was followed by the Shard.

However, there was never any reason in principle why the square mile should not have more tall buildings, bar the bylaw that no structure should obscure the view of St Paul's Cathedral from the river. Not only are the City's buildings getting taller, but the designs more novel, with nicknames to match. Hence the Trellis will take is place alongside the Gherkin, the Cheesegrater and the Walkie Talkie.

Indeed, London as a whole is at the centre of a skyscraper boom, creating thousands of construction jobs across the capital. Many more are planned or being built in regeneration areas such as Nine Elms, and it may be just a matter of time before the record for the tallest building is broken.

Elsewhere in the UK, the growth of tall buildings is happening at a lesser pace. At present, only one skyscraper outside the capital - Manchester's Beetham Tower - exceeds 500 ft in height. But Manchester and Birmingham both have several very tall new buildings planned, with height records set to be broken there as well. In the case of Manchester, Owen Street Tower 1, which will be 672 ft high when completed, is now under construction.

Image: iStock


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