Far East Consortium Secures Approval For London Tower
UNITED KINGDOM – A 56-storey skyscraper at Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands has obtained permission to proceed with its construction, reported The Architects’ Journal on Monday (21 February, SGT).
The scheme will involve Ensign House, a 1980s vintage office building in South Quay torn down and replaced by a bronze-coloured tower that comes with 500 residential units and flexible workspace on the ground level
Apart from having a pocket park, the 230m-tall skyscraper will be crowned with a thin spire, which will be lit up at night to commemorate the “siting of the building”.
The development is owned by Hong Kong-based firm Far East Consortium, which purchased the 48,438 sq ft site in 2020 for £28.25 million. The real estate developer appointed architectural firm Maccreanor Lavington to design the skyscraper.
Tower Hamlets Council’s urban planners said the reduction of office space on the site would conflict with its local plan but they deem to be justified and outweighed by the existing low occupancy levels of the existing office building as well as the underused nature of the site as a whole.
They also said the new development will provide much-needed affordable housing, and would not impact any heritage properties, strategic views, nor amenity in any nearby buildings. They added that a dearth of kid’s play space will be countered by a £70,000 investment towards play infrastructure in a local park.
Councillors on Tower Hamlet’s Strategic Development Committee voted by seven votes to one to approve Far East Consortium’s project during a meeting on Wednesday evening (16 February).
The approval comes a month after the committee was due to vote on Morris+Company’s plans to build a castle-inspired Canary Wharf tower, but was requested not to by developer Ballymore at the last minute following criticism against the skyscraper by the London Fire Brigade.