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Grimshaw's ill-fated Minerva Tower scheme killed off

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Property firm Minerva has finally admitted Grimshaw Architects' designs for its office headquarters are too big for a company of its size, and scrapped the project.

The planned City of London skyscraper was at one stage set to be the tallest office block in the capital, with a towering 53 storeys to its name, but was later downsized to just 14 storeys.

However, despite Grimshaw's revised designs, the property company has called time on the project, even though the scheme had been given the green light by planners in 2004.

The decision comes as no great surprise - even coming less than two months after both Minerva and Grimshaw insisted the scheme was still going ahead - as the project has been dogged by controversy since the beginning.

The scheme was initially given the go-ahead after a public inquiry, as it was met with fierce opposition from both local residents and heritage campaigners.

And despite the death-knell for the tower, it seems Minerva has retained a sense of humour about the situation. Tim Garham, the group's development director said: 'To deliver a building of this size speculatively into the market, is, if you excuse the pun, a very tall order.'

It is not certain what will take the place of the Minerva Tower as yet; however, there have been reports of a new 14-storey scheme, being called St Botolph's House.

by Richard Vaughan

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