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Monday, 10 April, 2000, 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
Skyscraper planned for central London
canary wharf tower
Will Canary Wharf be dwarfed?
Plans have been launched to build a 1,200 foot high skyscraper in central London.

The man behind the ambitious scheme says the building is needed to provide office space in the City.


tower
How the London Bridge Tower might look
Flamboyant entrepreneur Irvine Sellar said: "There is a shortage of quality office space, but more than that I think London deserves a global landmark of this sort."

At present the capital's tallest building is Canary Wharf tower which stands 800 foot high and dominates London's otherwise flat eastern skyline.

But the Docklands landmark would be dwarfed by the proposed 87-storey London Bridge Tower.

Confident

Mr Sellar, who first made his name as a clothes magnate in 1960s Carnaby Street, is confident his vision will become a reality.

He said: "I know there are a lot a plans announced for skyscrapers which turn out to be completely speculative, but we are very confident about this.


NY skyline
London is low-rise compared to New York
"For one thing, we already own the site and we have the backing of the freehold owners, Railtrack."

The 600 million development would soar 1,200 feet - 366 metres - above London Bridge Station, just south of the Thames and within walking distance of the City of London.

It would provide over a million square feet of office space.

The tower would be exactly twice as tall as its nearest City rival, the 600ft International Finance Centre, formerly known as the NatWest Tower.

St Paul's hidden?

A spokeswoman for local council, Southwark, said that the proposals had not yet reached the planning stage but confirmed that the council supported the idea in principle.

However, one possible objection, already raised by Southwark Council, is concern that the tower might interfere excessively with views of St Paul's Cathedral, almost directly across the river.

But Mr Sellar said his company, Sellar Property Group, had already commissioned research into sight lines, which showed this would not be a problem.

The firm now hopes to submit a formal planning application by mid-summer and, assuming approval is granted, to complete the tower by 2005.

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See also:

24 Dec 99 | Americas
Big Apple thinks small
11 Jun 99 | World
The madness of height
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