London gives greenlight to new controversial skyscraper tower

LONDON,April 3 — The go-ahead was given Tuesday to a new skyscraper tower in the heart of London designed in the shape of a tulip.
The City of London Planning Committee granted planning permission for the 305.3-meter high Tulip tower despite strong opposition.
It will be the second tallest building in Britain after the Shard, which is also in London.

The City of London chief planning officer, Annie Hampson, said she believed the Tulip provided a “striking building marking the City”. She said it had an interesting relationship with another landmark building in London, the Gherkin.

A 12-floor bud-shaped observation area will offer stunning views across London and will include an education center for London schoolchildren.
The “bud” at the top will also include a viewing platform with rotating pods, a restaurant and sky bar.
It is forecast that 1.2 million people a year will visit the slender tower.

The controversial structure, designed by architects Foster + Partners, was opposed by heritage groups, including the country’s official cultural watchdog Historic England and the Tower of London, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Duncan Wilson, CEO of Historic England, said: “The setting of the Tower of London, a symbol of the city not just to millions of Londoners but to the whole world and one of our most visited places, will be harmed.” – XINHUA