Government approve "Shard of Glass" London’s tallest building

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has given planning approval to the Renzo Piano designed London Bridge Tower in Southwark. The proposal, promoted by Teighmore Ltd, represents London’s only truly mixed-use development. The tower measuring 306 metres in height will be by far the tallest building in the capital.

The major landmark decision follows a public local inquiry where Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker appeared as expert planning witness. The proposal attracted controversy and as such the decision to grant planning permission represents a considerable success.

Totalling 124,242 sq.m (1,337,329 sq.ft) the building comprises offices, a hotel, apartments, retail and restaurant uses, health and fitness club and associated servicing and car parking. In making his decision the First Secretary of State reached a number of important conclusions:

Design. For a building of this size the quality of the design was critical. The SoS was very impressed with the quality of the design, concluding that “the proposed tower is of the highest architectural quality.”

Views. With respect to the impact of the proposed building on the strategic views of St Paul’s. The SoS concluded that the proposal would represent an improvement over what exists and would not reduce the visibility or setting, nor would it devalue or diminish its status or significance.

Impacts. Similarly in considering the impacts on the Tower of London World Heritage Site he concluded that no material harm to its setting would arise.

Location. The highly sustainable location of the site was recognised as an important factor. This combined with the regeneration objectives set for the area by both Southwark and the Mayors office were important considerations.

Michael Crook, Partner at Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker, concludes that “this decision demonstrates that welldesigned tall buildings can be located in London, in particular where regeneration benefits will be delivered. There is a clear acceptance at all levels that London Bridge is such a location.”

Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker provided planning consultancy advice to Teighmore Ltd and appeared as expert witness at the public local inquiry.

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker

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