Skyscraper plans revised following protests


Plans for a 72-storey skyscraper that would have been the fourth-tallest in London have been revised following protests from residents about its height and the environmental impact on the area.

Paddington Place - dubbed the "skinny Shard" and the "Paddington Pole" - was to have been 254m (830ft) high, compared to the 306m (1,004ft) Shard, the tallest building in western Europe.

But developers Irvine Sellar, Great Western Developments - the company behind the Shard - and Westminster City Council on Saturday agreed to re-examine the plans following concerns raised by campaigners and Historic England.

The scheme, the largest regeneration in Westminster, seeks to create a new gateway for Paddington station and St Mary's Hospital. Plans would see improvements to the rail station and a new tube station on the Bakerloo line, as well as offices, restaurants, around 330 homes and an open-air "sky garden".

Protesters from the Skyline Campaign group say it would "shatter London's historic skyline, blight protected views and alter forever local character".

They say on their website: "This proposal does not comply with Historic England's advice, nor with the interests and will of local residents and businesses, or of those of many concerned Londoners and visitors who are waking up to the recent proliferation of poorly conceived towers in the capital."

Following the decision Philippa Roe, leader of Westminster City Council, said: "This is a very positive step and will allow time for us all to bring forward a development that enjoys broader community support and that we jointly believe will deliver enormous benefits to Westminster and London.

"We remain committed to ensuring that all the benefits of the original scheme are retained in the revised plans."