Home Commercial Property Ain't no sunshine: The City's tallest skyscraper under THREAT amid bitter "fight for light"

Ain't no sunshine: The City's tallest skyscraper under THREAT amid bitter "fight for light"

by LLP Editor
10th Mar 16 8:54 am

22 Bishopsgate’s future hangs in balance

Yesterday we told you that 436 new skyscrapers are set to furnish London’s skyline.

Well, soon one skyscraper might just get scratched off that list.

The City’s tallest skyscraper, 22 Bishopsgate, is under major threat because of an ongoing “rights to light” battle with neighbouring landlords.

Developers of the £1bn scheme, AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets and Lipton Rogers, are getting panned by other developers in the vicinity for overshadowing their buildings leading to loss of sunlight.

Lipton Rogers has approached City of London to use its emergency “Section 237 agreement”, a rarely-used law that can override any legal action the 62-storey tower might face.

Campaigners are up in arms about the proposals too.

Clem Cecil, of heritage group SAVE, said: “There is a real danger that large areas of London are going to be in darkness a lot of the time.

“It is a real issue for people and should not be skirted around by the planning system.

“I think people are only beginning to wake up to the fact that their environment is going to be strongly affected by losing light and they can object.”

Axa IM and Lipton Rogers said: “We are committed to developing the scheme and we are working with all our neighbours in an open fashion, as well as the City to bring forward the development within the intended timetable.”

The Planning and Transportation Committee is set to meet today to decide the fate of the building. 

In a note to committee members, the City’s planning officer Annie Hampson, said: “The owners have advised that there is a significant threat to progressing the scheme. There is an early need to place substantial pre-construction orders for materials and procure the main build contract in order to complete by March 2019”.

For those of you who don’t know, the fate of 22 Bishopsgate is somewhat jinxed. Construction of the tower, formerly known as the Pinnacle, was stopped half way through in 2008 amid the financial crisis.  

Here’s what went wrong with the construction of the building

Construction of the Pinnacle began in 2008 but repeatedly stalled.

In 2011, work on the skyscraper was halted after the owners failed to sign up any major tenants to occupy the tower.

In the same year, the owners brought in Brookfiled Multiplex to re-start construction.

However, work was halted once again after the partnership fell into legal battles over non-payment of fees.

In February 2015, the building site was snapped up by developers Lipton Rogers and Axa Real Estate for £300m who proposed new designs for the skyscraper.

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