GLA paper shows £150,000 earmarked for leading counsel

View of Foster & Partner's Tulip proposal, seen from Whitechapel High Street

Source: Dbox

View of Foster + Partner's Tulip proposal, seen from Whitechapel High Street

Sadiq Khan is preparing to spend £350,000 to defend his decision to refuse planning for Fosters + Partners’ controversial Tulip tower.

Last month, Tulip developer, billionaire financier and Gherkin owner Jacob J Safra, formally launched an appeal over its rejected plans.

Now Khan, who recently reiterated his opposition to the 305m-tall tower in a letter to communities secretary Robert Jenrick, who will rule on the £350m scheme, has authorised the Greater London Authority to spend up to £350,000 to fight the appeal.

A mayoral decision signed last Wednesday has revealed the leading counsel on the appeal will be paid up to £150,000.

The mayor is also prepared to shell out £60,000 for architectural advice, £40,000 for a heritage consultant and £25,000 on administration and printing.

The documents said: "The principal objective is to put together an effective high-quality team of external consultants and GLA/TfL officers led by an eminent planning leading counsel capable of defending the decision to refuse planning permission. The expected outcome is a robust and successful defence."

Dates for the hearing have yet to be set.

>> Also read: Khan repeats opposition to Fosters’ Tulip
>> Analysis: What is so contentious about the Tulip?

Members of the City’s planning and transportation committee had given their backing to the project at a meeting last April – where Historic England’s concerns over the tower’s impact on views of the nearby Tower of London world heritage site were rejected.

But the size of the project, which included multiple observation levels – including external gondolas, a restaurant and “sky bar”, and education space – in a 12-storey structure at the top of a slender concrete shaft, meant the City’s backing was subject to Khan’s approval.

Last July, the mayor used his planning powers to instruct the City to refuse consent despite their support. Khan said the proposal “would not constitute the high standard of design required for a tall building in this location” and would cause harm to the “outstanding universal value” of the Tower of London world heritage site.

Others working on the scheme for Safra include cost consultant Alinea and construction consultant Skanska.

How much it will cost Londoners to defend decision


Leading counsel


Architectural advice


Heritage consultant


Tourism and economic specialist


Administrative and printing


Transport consultant