Here’s what went wrong
London skyscraper the Walkie Talkie has been hit by another controversy.
The City skyscraper might have to rebuild its newly-opened Sky Garden as a damning report by City of London has highlighted that the public space hasn’t been built according to approved plans.
According to the body’s chief planning officer Annie Hampson, plans for building two terraces – one for diners and non-diners – were approved. However, the developers did not build the terrace for non-diners.
Also, the builders did not build circular staircases around levels 36 and 37 but instead just built a singular staircase. The report also pointed out that size of the terrace on floor 37 was larger than the approved plans.
In her report, Hampson stated: “The owner is of the view that since the requirement is to provide access to the Sky Garden ‘as illustrated’ on the Sky Garden drawing, the changes were permissible because the drawing is ‘illustrative’, as long as the minimum areas of publicly accessible space are retained.
“The City is of the view that these changes are not consistent with the requirement to ‘provide and retain the Sky Garden as illustrated on the Sky Garden drawings’ as they were to illustrate the areas which non-diners could access.
“The City has discussed with the owner what might be done to mitigate the loss of these elements which were considered significant to the amenity and experience of visitors to the Sky Garden.”
A spokesperson for 20 Fenchurch Street said: “Over 200,000 people have made a free visit to the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street since we opened to the public in January. We’re incredibly pleased with the positive feedback we’ve received to date and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors in the future.
“Our visitor management plan, which reflects the section 106 public access requirements, has been developed with the input of the City of London and fine-tuned during the first few months of opening in response to footfall and visitor trends.
“We’re committed to ensuring that anyone making a free visit to the Sky Garden continues to have as enjoyable an experience as possible and, like other visitor attractions, we will continually review new ways of achieving this.”
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