The Mayor of London has vetoed plans for a controversial new skyscraper in the City of London.

The Tulip, named for the shape of its distinctive viewing gallery, would have been western Europe’s second tallest building – just one metre shorter than the Shard.

But opponents said its “phallic-shaped” structure would be “an ugly and bulbous blight on London’s skyline”.

The skyscraper, set to build next to the Gherkin in the heart of London’s financial district, was approved by the City of London Corporation in April.

Work on the 305 metre-tall attraction was due to start next year, with an opening date planned for 2025.

But the Mayor’s London Review Panel report, published yesterday, said the designs did not meet the world-class architecture standards demanded of a project of this scale.

Enfield Independent:

The London skyline if the Tulip was built. Photo: Foster + Partners

With its concrete stem and large viewing gallery, the building could resemble a watchtower looming over London, according to the panel.

And with limited free public access, the benefit of attracting tourists was outweighed by the downsides, they concluded.

The panel also suggested that the height of the build would negatively impact the nearby Tower of London, and raised concerns about overcrowding at street level around the attraction.

A spokesperson for Sadiq Khan said: "The Mayor has a number of serious concerns with this application and having studied it in detail has refused permission for a scheme that he believes would result in very limited public benefit.”

London Assembly member Tom Copley, Labour’s housing spokesperson at City Hall, said he was glad the Mayor had rejected “an ugly and bulbous blight on London’s skyline”.

Mr Copley wrote to the Mayor in April to highlight his opposition to the project.

He said: “It is impossible to see how Londoners would benefit from this phallic-shaped viewing tower, which does not provide free access to the public, would waste valuable land and lead to even more overcrowding and pressure being placed upon transport infrastructure in central London”.

The architects behind the Tulip, Foster & Partners, said they were disappointed with the Mayor’s decision.

A spokesperson for the firm said: "The Tulip will generate immediate and longer-term socio-economic benefits to London and the UK as a whole.

"We will now take time to consider potential next steps for the project.”

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