Giant Tulip tower - the second tallest in London - could get green light

The 1,000ft viewing tower next to the Gherkin would become London’s second-tallest building after the Shard.

<p>The Tulip would become London’s second tallest building, and the tallest in the City. Credit: DBOX for Foster + Partners </p>

The Tulip would become London’s second tallest building, and the tallest in the City. Credit: DBOX for Foster + Partners

A huge tower - known as the Tulip - could be built in central London as new Housing Secretary Michael Gove is expected to overrule the Mayor of London.

Mr Gove is allegedly planning to overrule Sadiq Khan’s decision to reject the Tulip – a 1,000ft viewing tower next to the Gherkin that would become London’s second-tallest building.

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Government officials are expected to approve the project, believing it will boost foreign investment into London’s financial district, the Telegraph reports.

The plans were approved by the City of London Corporation in 2019 – but blocked by Mr Khan’s office, claiming it would damage the city’s skyline.

A City of London spokesperson said: “It was the judgement of the committee that the Tulip would play an important role in further realising a vision for the Square Mile as a vibrant 24/7 world-class destination and that the building would send a powerful message that London remains open to all.”

However, not all of the City’s planning members are in favour of the Tulip.

A computer-generated image from inside the Tulip. Credit: DBOX for Foster + Partners

Graeme Harrower, a member of the City’s planning and transport committee, said: “The statement by the City of London Corporation’s spokesperson that the ‘building will send a powerful message that London remains open to all’ doesn’t make sense.

“London isn’t closed, and even if it were, putting up a Las Vegas style tower - which won’t be completed until a few years’ time - wouldn’t open it.

“Like this statement, the City corporation’s original decision to approve this architectural weed represented a triumph of spin over sense.”

Another source told the Local Democracy Service they would be surprised if Michael Gove supports the development.

They said: “The City generally has a pro-development bench but not for vanity projects.”

They added that many members of the City’s planning committee are against the plans but approved them in 2019 because there were no solid planning reasons to reject it.

The Safra private banking family wants to build the tower in the Square Mile, featuring a restaurant and public viewing platforms.

A computer generated image showing the view from the Tulip over the Thames and London. Credit: DBOX for Foster + Partners

If the plans are approved, the Tulip would be London’s second-tallest building after the Shard.

Robert Jenrick, Mr Gove’s predecessor, was set to determine the project in September but the decision has been moved to November 11 at the latest.

A spokesperson for the Mayor told The Telegraph: “The Mayor rejected this application two years ago due to the negative impact it would have on London’s skyline and the very limited public benefit. He awaits the Planning Inspectorate’s decision in due course.”

A spokesman for the Government said: “A decision on this case will be issued on or before 11 November. The variation of the timetable should not be taken as giving any indication of what the final decision will be.”

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities was contacted for comment.