The City of London Corporation, which oversees the running of the Square Mile, is expected to give planning approval for a 305-metre tower at 1 Undershaft on November 28, after receiving a recommendation for approval from its top planning officer, according to the agenda for the planning and transportation committee.
While the committee,which is due to meet next week, could still oppose the skyscraper plans, most projects that have the City planning officer’s recommendations tend to be voted through. Controversial schemes, such as skyscrapers, receive more scrutiny from the committee members.
Once built, 1 Undershaft will rise to nearly 305 metres high. This will make it taller than the 225-metre Leadenhall Building, known as the Cheesegrater, and the proposed 278-metre tower at 22 Bishopsgate, whose investors recently recommitted to its construction.
However, it will be just shorter than the 306-metre Shard across the river on London Bridge.
The developer had hoped to build a taller scheme at 309.6 metres, however it was forced to reduce its scale due to aviation height restrictions.
According to the planning and transportation committee agenda, the 1 Undershaft project has received some objections, including from Historic Royal Palaces, which argued that the tower would harm the views of historical landmarks, such as the Tower of London, a World Heritage Site.
However, Historic England, the statutory body that advises the government on England’s heritage matters, raised no official objection, according to the agenda. Still, the body argued that a “clear and convincing case needs to be made to the City of London to demonstrate that the harm set out… is necessary and cannot be avoided,” according to the agenda.
• About 1 Undershaft
• The 73-storey project is proposed by investor Aroland Holdings and designed by Eric Parry Architects
• The scheme will replace Aviva’s current headquarters at 1 Undershaft in the insurance district of the City
• It will house 90,000 square metres of office space and 2,005 square metres of shops
• It will include a viewing gallery and an education space on the 71st and 72nd floors, which will be managed by the Museum of London
• A version of this article appeared on WSJ City, a made-for-mobile app that combines the best of the Wall Street Journal and Financial News, tailored for an audience in the City of London. Download here