The controversial Tulip skyscraper has been approved by the City of London, despite complaints from various heritage lobbies and the Mayor of London’s office.
The tulip will be unlike any tower in the City in that it won’t have any office space whatsoever and is purely a viewing platform on a stem.
Although the City of London has now approved the plans, the Mayor of London has the opportunity to call in the planning application as well for review, and that could see the permission revoked.
The planning officer’s report accepted that the development is significant in terms of its local and wider impacts and in particular its less than substantial harm to the World Heritage Site. However, they felt that the public benefits of the proposal outweigh the priority given to the development plan and other material considerations against the proposals.
The City Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee approved the project by a vote of 18 in favour and 7 against.
If built, it will sit right next to the Gherkin, which is owned by the same company planning the Tulip.
Some modest changes were made to the application following its publication last year, and they have slightly increased the space being given over to the classroom which is to be offered to London schools for free. It is anticipated more than 40,000 school children would attend per year, although there is a limit, in that each school child can visit just once in their “school lifetime”.
Otherwise, it’s pretty much as reported here.
If built, then The Tulip is expected to attract around 1.2 million visitors each year, compared to around 3.5 million visiting the London Eye, or 718,000 to the View from the Shard. The planning report noted that the 1.2 million visitors number being quoted is less than the Tulip’s actual capacity, so there is space for the Tulip to grow.
Construction could start next year, with completion due in 2025.