BDP confirmed that negotiations were taking place, but refused to be drawn over detailed plans. The site, which is owned by an investment fund, could be combined with adjacent land to create a public space around the landmark building.
A City of London source said: "There's more than just the footprint hitting the street. Combining more than one site would provide some breathing space." The source added that other buildings in the emerging City cluster would include the provision of a certain amount of public space.
The proposed tower would have a maximum of 40 storeys, but there are also options for a 26 or 32 storey building. It would include 60,000 m2 of space and provide shops at ground level. The source said he expected BDP to put in a planning application within six to nine months.
There’s more than just the footprint. More than one site would give breathing space
City of London source
The success of BDP's proposal could depend on the fate of two other plans, the Minerva building application and the public inquiry into Renzo Piano's London Bridge Tower, also known as the Shard of Glass. As with those towers, the BDP building would have an impact on strategic views.
The Piano tower received a setback this week when Paul Finch, deputy chairman of CABE, gave evidence at the inquiry. He said that the planning application as it stood should be refused.
Finch said that the tower would do no harm to the skyline or to strategic views but he said the plans for the site did not meet the requirements for good urban design.