Will Alsop's proposed skyscraper near the City of London (above) could be facing a trim in height after Squire and Partners was forced to cut five floors from its own neighbouring scheme.
The move to cut down the building's size is understood to have followed an intervention during the planning process by English Heritage, which was concerned about the tower's effect on nearby conservation areas.
Squire's reduction from 44 storeys to 39 (below
) looks likely to spell the end for Alsop's plan for a 142m-tall skyscraper, with a more modest tower now likely to be built.
Even Terry Farrell's proposed Eagle House development, which currently stands at 34 storeys, could be lopped down in size.
Squire's scheme, backed by developer Derwent London, is one of many proposed towers on City Road, which is now seeing a glut of major developments in the offing, due to its close proximity to the City.
However, it is thought that English Heritage may have issues with the influx of towers in the area, claiming the site, which runs along the northern fringe of the City, past Old Street and up towards Islington, is not suitable for high-rise developments.
The amendment by Squire and Partners means the total number of units in the residential tower will be cut from 250 to 225, with the affordable housing being reduced from 79 to 66.
In a statement referring to the Squires tower, English Heritage said: 'English Heritage welcomes the demolition of the unattractive buildings on this prominent site by Old Street roundabout, and believes its redevelopment offers a good opportunity to improve the area.
'However, the current proposals for the site would actually harm rather than enhance the area.'by Richard Vaughan