It sounds like a scene from a science fiction movie, where the world’s skyscrapers take on a life of their own and start terrorising innocent pedestrians but the newest grand addition to London’s skyline, the so-called Walkie Talkie, seems to be doing exactly that.
The newly completed City building gave passers-by a shock a few weeks ago when it began beaming an intense ray of light down onto Eastcheap, earning it the nickname the “Walkie Scorchie”.
But City A.M. has now revealed that the problem is much more serious, and is a serious hazard to objects below. On Thursday, the Walkie Scorchie seemed to have claimed its first victim as it melted a jaguar parked below. Much of the vehicle, which was parked outside at midday for about an hour, was melted and some of it is now beyond repair. A further van was damaged by the beam of light.
Developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf have so far dismissed the “Scorchie” allegations but have worked with the City of London to now suspend three parking bays outside while it investigates the issue.
In a follow up statement to the melting reports, issued on Tuesday, the developers said:
“We are taking the issue of light reflecting from 20 Fenchurch Street seriously, and are looking into the matter as a priority.
“The phenomenon is caused by the current elevation of the sun in the sky. It currently lasts for approximately 2 hours per day, with initial modelling suggesting that it will be present for approximately 2-3 weeks.
“As responsible developers we are making every effort to keep local businesses informed and we have communicated with them regularly since the issue first appeared. While we investigate the situation further we have liaised with the City of London to suspend three parking bays in the area which may be affected.
“In addition, we are consulting with local businesses and the City to address the issue in the short-term, while also evaluating longer-term solutions to ensure the issue cannot recur in future.”
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