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Simpson cuts down Southwark skyscraper for the second time

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Ian Simpson's controversial One Blackfriars Road tower in Southwark, south London, has been chopped down in height once again, from 52 to 47 storeys.

After a triumphant bid by English Heritage (EH), the Beetham Organisation agreed to revise its proposals for the tower and reduce it from 180m to 170m in height (The tower is pictured in its 180m iteration).

EH was first successful in cutting the height of the building when it was originally unveiled back in 2005. The then 225m-tall tower was strongly opposed by both the heritage watchdog and CABE.

It now looks unlikely, however, that EH will recommend Simpson's new tower be called in by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears.

In a statement, EH said: 'A tall building in this location would, in the opinion of EH, be premature, pending the adoption of a tall buildings policy and area-development framework for this part of inner London.

'The height reduction proposed would, however, significantly reduce the impact of the building on the protected historic view of Whitehall from St James's Park.'

It added: 'While EH cannot withdraw its objection, it has agreed that it would not ask the Secretary of State to call in an application for the revised proposal.'

by Richard Vaughan

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