Groundwork is finally beginning on St George Tower, or the Vauxhall Tower as it is often known, a 181 metre tall residential skyscraper that has long been approved in London.
Developed by St George who the project is named after, and sited next to St George Wharf in the Nine Elms Opportunity Area just a short distance from the proposed new American embassy and Battersea Power Station, the project has proved contentious in the past due to the effect it will have on some views of the River Thames and it has taken since 2001 to get this far.
It was with this in mind, that the British government referred the scheme all the way to a public inquiry which the developer eventually won allowing the project to go-ahead despite the refusal of Lambeth Council to approve it.
The 181 metre tall tower designed by Broadway Malyan will be the tallest solely residential building in the United Kingdom when finished, although it will not offer the highest living space in the country as that title will be held by The Shard. It will host 207 apartments, and a wind turbine on the top although it will no longer be the first tower with such power generation - Strata in Elephant and Castle has three turbines on it.
With work now starting on site, this means that the planning permission will not lapse as it was due to run out later this year leading the developer towards the potentially awkward situation of having to apply for permission again with no guarantee they could get planning approval renewed. With piling beginning on the basement, construction is expected to be completed with the tower occupied by its first inhabitants in four years time.
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