48-storey Stiff & Trevillion office would have been built next to Gherkin

A controversial 48-storey office tower on which Mace was construction consultant and which was planned for a site beside the Gherkin has been sent back to the drawing board after City planners turned it down.

The City of London was first expected to give the Stiff & Trevillion-designed tower the green light in the spring but the decision was postponed until a site visit by planning committee members was completed later in the year.

It had been recommended for approval but the 197m tower, which also be neighboured by the Foster & Partners-designed Tulip, due to find out if it gets the all-clear next month, was turned down for planning earlier this week.

Bury House - Stiff and Trevillion - illustrative view from Bury Street 2

Source: Stiff & Trevillion

The tower would have featured blue terracotta cladding

Councillors said reasons for the decision included the impact of the tower’s bulk on the setting of the nearby grade-I listed Bevis Marks Synagogue, built in 1701, as well as concerns over daylight.

They also raised concerns over the scheme’s impact on the Tower of London, pointing towards objections made by both Historic England and Historic Royal Palaces.

The scheme would have replaced Bury House, a seven-storey 1970s stone and glass office building at 31 Bury Street.

The client is Bentall Green Oak and Thornton Tomasetti is structural engineer, with Arup on facades. RLB is QS with Hoare Lee, Sweco and Bowles Wyer also on the project team.

Bentall Green Oak said it was “disappointed” by the decision and was considering its next steps.

In previously recommending the tower for approval, City planners had said the quality of the design and materials would mitigate any harm.