LONDON-Heron has won its three-year planning battle to develop the City of London’s third-tallest building at 110 Bishopsgate on the eastern fringe of the City. Deputy Prime Minister has ratified the planning inspector’s view that the building caused little environmental harm while bringing potential economic benefits to London. The decision has been closely watched by a number of other developers working up tower schemes for London and a number of new applications are expected in the coming months.

The Heron Tower development, designed by Kohn Peterson Fox, consists of a 37-storey building of 680,000 sf topped by a 125-ft mast. It is in the same height range as the existing Tower 42 and the Swiss Re tower which is currently under construction. But the plans were strongly opposed by the government’s conservation body English Heritage which objected that the tower would impinge on long-range views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London, which enjoy statutory protection.

Several other tower schemes are waiting in the wings including the Minerva Building just south of the Bishopsgate Tower and further schemes by Great Portland Estates; British Land and the Corporation of London. If all are approved they will create a new cluster of tower blocks to the east of the City. And John Prescott will decide later this week whether or not to call in the London Bridge Tower proposal on the south bank of the Thames for further consideration. At 1,000 ft the glass tower designed by Renzo Piano will be the UK’s tallest building and it has already been approved by the London Borough of Southwark and the Mayor of London.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has been a strong advocate of tall buildings since he came to power two years ago and he welcomed the Bishopsgate decision. “This is great news for the capital and conforms with my vision for London,” he said. “Now this tower has got the go-ahead, developers will be more likely to come forward with proposals for other major new office development which will help keep London competitive and support London’s economic future.”

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