The AJ can reveal that the Corporation of London is to buy up land either side of the Gherkin to build two new office buildings.
The spherical buildings, which have been given a working title of Plums 1 and 2, will nestle at the foot of the Foster + Partners - designed office block.
A senior source at the Corporation said: ‘This massive erection will act as a symbol of virility for London, but we do concede that planning will be a bit of a handful.
‘It will cost a packet,’ he added.
An OJEU is to be released before midday today (1 April).