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More skyscrapers planned for SE1

Tall buildings are once again a hot issue in SE1, with Renzo Piano's 66-story London Bridge Tower expected to gain planning approval on Monday and Berkeley Homes submitting an application for a 26-storey building in Tabard Street.

Southwark planning officers have recommended approval of Irvine Sellar's controversial 300 million scheme and London Mayor Ken Livingstone, is also lending his support. If Southwark approves the tower, only Stephen Byers, as Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, can veto the scheme.

The London Bridge Tower, which would be bigger than Canary Wharf (50 storeys) and neighbouring Guy's Hospital (29 storeys), will include offices, retail and residential space.

The Commission for the Built Environment has voiced concerns and English Heritage described the scheme as "inappropriate and unsympathetic". There have also been concerns about the possibility of the tower becoming a terrorist target.

Ken Livingstone says: "as well as being an outstanding piece of modern architecture, which will make an exemplary contribution to the London skyline, Renzo Piano's proposed tower will also deliver enormous regeneration benefits and global investment to northern Southwark, central London and London as a whole."

Architect Renzo Piano says "Southwark needs economic revival. Southwark needs to produce new workplaces and bring a renewed balance between the different neighbourhoods of the city of London.

"Southwark needs urban rehabilitation, so we have to generate more permeable street patterns. The railway has always acted as a barrier within the neighbourhood, separating the Borough from the river Thames."

Photos of the planned building can be viewed here and here

Meanwhile Berkeley Homes has drawn up plans to build a 26-storey mixed use residential, retail and office scheme in Tabard Street and Sterry Street near Borough tube station. The three-building scheme envisages 500 flats in buildings 1 and 2, together with ground floor shops. The 26-storey building 3 would include 32,300 sq ft of offices. The scheme has already attracted discussion from local residents in our forum.

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