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Helmut Jahn waits in wings with debut UK skyscraper

Helmut Jahn has drawn up plans for London's latest 'secret' skyscraper - a speculative 250m, 50-storey office block for the City's eastern cluster.

German developer DIFA is eagerly awaiting the outcome of the Heron Tower public inquiry before going public with its plans. Meanwhile, 'up to 10' further tower schemes for the City are waiting in the wings, according to the Corporation's city planning officer, Peter Rees.

Jahn's tower, planned for a site owned by DIFA, south of the junction between Bishopsgate and Threadneedle Street, will be his first in the UK if it goes ahead.

Kevin McGovern of Tishman Speyer, who has been advising DIFA on the project, said preliminary discussions have already taken place with CABE, the GLA and the Corporation of London.

He said the project was 'on hold' until after a decision on the Heron Tower had been reached.

English Heritage confirmed that it knew of the planned tower but has not yet been formally presented with the scheme.

The eastern cluster, an area earmarked for the development of tall buildings by the Corporation of London, lies around Tower 42 in the east of the City. While supporters claim that a cluster of financial towers is essential for the City's continuing economic success, opponents argue that such towers would damage the skyline.

Lord Rogers is also working on a tower for the area, while a scheme believed to be by Lord Foster is in its early stages. The developers are believed to be Henderson Securities and British Land.

Other towers planned for the cluster include Foster's 180m Swiss Re tower at St Mary Axe, currently under construction, and Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners' £300 million, 36-storey St Botolph's House, which was submitted for planning the day before the destruction of the World Trade Center and later withdrawn until further notice.

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