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Farouk Campbell

"Like a spike through the heart"

"Like a spike through the heart" is how English Heritage describes the impact of the proposed London Bridge Tower on the Tower of London World Heritage Site.

"It would have a major detrimental impact and be wholly inappropriate and unsympathetic to the character of Southwark and two protected strategic views of St Paul's" says English Heritage.

The proposed 306 metre high London Bridge Tower in the station forecourt would be the tallest building in Europe. The English Heritage commissioners take the view that, while the building is potentially of the highest quality, the tower would detract severely from the character of Southwark and protected views of St Paul's Cathedral.

English Heritage also consider that the scheme fails to provide a comprehensive masterplan for the integration of the new building with the wider re-development of London Bridge Station and Borough Market. "A building of the size of London Bridge Tower would put considerable additional stress on the already overloaded capacity of the transport infrastructure" added English Heritage.

This month the plans go on show for the first time at Hay's Galleria when developer Sellar Property Group will be stressing claims that tower is environmentally friendly. Chief Executive Irvine Sellar says: "London Bridge Tower is architecture of world class quality and I believe the scheme will spectacularly enhance London's skyline and boost regeneration of the surrounding area."

However, a MORI poll commissioned by English Heritage has found that 62% of those questioned "do not want any more very tall buildings in London". 91% approve protecting the views of St Paul's. 67% think it is very important that a new building should fit in with its surrounding area.

• The London Bridge Tower exhibition is at Hay's Galleria from Monday 9 July to Friday 13 July, open 10am to 4pm (Friday 3pm).

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