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Walkie Talkie Approved

The Corportaion of London have approved developer Land Securities new proposal for a skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London at a planning meeting yesterday afternoon.

The planning committee resolved to give consent to the 160.1 metre tall scheme, dubbed the Walkie Talkie, despite objections from English Heritage who felt it would impact negatively on the skyline.

20 Fenchurch Street was originally proposed at 192 metres but this was reduced after concerns that it was too tall and would affect protected sightlines of St Paul's Cathedral.

The planning committee also approved as part of the application, permission to demolish the existing 92 metre tall sixties mid-rise that occupies the site and also the construction of an adjacent four floor building that will host some of the building services, a similar plan to what Swiss RE utilised with their Gherkin and it's separate plant building.

Designed by Rafael Vinoly, the 39 storey scheme features a public roof gardens taking up the top three floors, the first of its kind in London replacing a previously planned corporate entertaining space.

A number of subtle design changes have also been made since it was first floated with the sharper edges blended slightly down into curves giving it a slightly less aggressive look and restraining the profile of the tower slightly.

The skyscraper has been firmly in the love-it-or-hate-it category thanks to it's unique look where the floors get bigger as it rises rather than smaller, a novel way of increasing the rental income that it can generate for its owner.

There's no public word yet on the precise time-table that the project will run at but Land Securities have announced they could be jumping on the burgeoning skyscraper bandwagon and start speculativly building on the site as early as 2007 for a 2010 finish.

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20 Fenchurch Street

20 Fenchurch Street
20 Fenchurch Street

20 Fenchurch Street
The Monument

The Monument
20 Fenchurch Street from Potters Field
20 Fenchurch Street from Potters Field