Skyscraper gets cut down to size

42-storey tower would "destroy" London’s most famous views.
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View of Thames, Westminster and proposed skyscraper
High and mighty: the tower (far left) standing 500ft above Vauxhall, would spoil iconic views of Westminster landmarks, planners ruled
A skyscraper of 42 storeys, which conservationists claim would destroy views of iconic London landmarks including Parliament Square, Westminster Abbey and Battersea Power Station, has been refused planning permission. The developer, Bondway Vauxhall, says it will appeal against the decision.

Lambeth council has thrown out plans for the distinctive zigzag-patterned tower, which would have loomed almost 500ft over Vauxhall Cross and provided 276 apartments, a third of which would have been affordable.

English Heritage (EH) led objections to the scheme, pointing out that it would have been clearly visible poking up between the chimneys of the Grade II* listed Battersea Power Station.

Claire Vint, EH’s historic buildings and areas adviser, said she did not oppose modern buildings in historic areas but she believed that the Bondway tower was simply too tall.

She was also worried that, along with a series of other towers proposed for the area, it would form a “wall” across the capital’s skyline.

Vauxhall Cross has been earmarked by Mayor Boris Johnson as a prime site for tall buildings and other projects are on the drawing board.

Westminster council also objected, saying the tower would ruin views of Parliament Square, Whitehall and Westminster Abbey.

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