London's newest skyscrapers in South Bank get go-ahead

Plans for a cluster of high-rise buildings on London’s South Bank, including a tower 48 storeys high, have been approved by Southwark Council.

The complex, comprising nine buildings, will join the already-approved 52-storey Ian-Simpson-designed residential tower One Blackfriars.

The development (left of picture) designed by the Carlyle Group and PLP Architecture, involves the demolition of two existing buildings – Samson House, built in the late 1970s and Ludgate house, built a decade later.

Under the plans they will be replaced with 1.4 million square feet of floor space, including 494 homes, 450,000 square feet of office space, 25,000 square feet of retail and 18,500 square feet of cultural space, according to Building.co.uk.

Southwark Council’s approval has come despite opposition from English Heritage and the City of London. However, there is a possibility the scheme could be “called in” for review by the government.

The scheme will also need to secure Boris Johnson’s approval.

The Carlyle Group managing director Mark Harris said: “Our vision of an exciting new urban quarter on this prime Thames-side location has taken a significant step towards realisation with the council’s decision to provide planning consent for our project.

“The site, which is right on the river, is currently extremely under-utilised from a physical, social, employment as well as cultural perspective and the support we have received from the local community and Southwark Council throughout this process, and last night, endorses our belief in the need for change.”

Southwark Council leader councillor Peter John said: “This is an amazingly exciting project which will bring new homes, new jobs and new opportunities for Southwark and its residents - everyone in our borough can benefit from developments like this.”

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