Tulip skyscraper given approval to bloom over London
Plans for a new London skyscraper dubbed the Tulip have been approved by the Square Mile's governing body.
The City of London Corporation on Tuesday rubber stamped an application from Brazil's J. Safra Group and Foster + Partners for the development on 20 Bury Street.
At 305.3 metres high, it will be the second tallest building in Western Europe after the Shard and is anticipated to attract 1.2 million visitors per year.
The Tulip will include a viewing platform with rotating pods, a restaurant and sky bar, cycle parking and shower facilities, a park at street level and a publicly accessible rooftop terrace.
Planning Committee chairman Chris Hayward said: "After a lengthy and robust debate, the committee agreed to approve this truly unique visitor attraction.
"One of my key objectives... has been to enable the continued transformation of the City of London into a place which welcomes members of the public on weekends as during the week.
"This building has the potential to play an important role in realising our vision of the Square Mile as a vibrant 24/7 city."
It will also house a floor dedicated to education facilities during school hours, which will serve as a resource for local community groups and charities, The Corporation said.
The Corporation's Planning and Transportation Committee voted by 18-7 to approve the project, despite concerns that it could impede views of London.
Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: "This building – a lift shaft with a bulge on top – would damage the very thing its developers claim they will deliver – tourism and views of London's extraordinary heritage.
"The setting of the Tower of London, a symbol of the city not just to millions of Londoners but to the whole world and one of our most visited places, will be harmed. It has already been damaged by the Walkie Talkie and it would be a great shame if that mistake was repeated."
J. Safra also owns London's Gherkin and its plans were approved with a number of conditions attached to limit potential adverse impacts.
These include off-peak servicing to limit the number of vehicle deliveries at busy times, ticket sale restrictions during peak hours to avoid pedestrian congestion, accessible facilities for disabled persons, concessions for young children, students and senior citizens, and stringent internal and external security measures.