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Old July 10th, 2009, 10:10 AM   #1
london lad
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Heron Plaza | City of London | 135m | 43 fl | On Hold

Can't seem to find a thread on Heron Plaza .
After rumours of an increase in the height of Heron Plaza & change in use to a hotel during the last 6 months. Heres the confirmation.


Ronson to develop Four Seasons in City
propertyweek
10.07.09

By Laura Chesters, Deirdre Hipwell

Heron Plaza signs its first-ever agreement with luxury hotel operator

Gerald Ronson’s Heron International has agreed terms with luxury hotel chain Four Seasons to develop a hotel as part of its Heron Plaza in the City of London.

In Heron’s first-ever deal with the luxury hotel and residence operator it has agreed heads of terms to create the City’s first Four Seasons hotel at the site on 110 Bishopsgate.

The agreement is subject to a strict non-disclosure agreement. Exact details of the size of the hotel are unclear at this point.

Any agreement will be subject to a revised planning consent for Heron Plaza. The original consent, which was granted in 2004, only covers the 46-storey office skyscraper, Heron Tower – which is already under construction – and retail and public space.

It is thought that Heron will submit a revised application by the end of the year with plans for the Four Seasons and extended public spaces.

Four Seasons was founded in 1960 and has a range of hotels and residences in city centres and tourist resorts. Its has 82 properties in 34 countries, and has more than 40 projects under development.

It only has two hotels in London – on Park Lane, which is undergoing a renovation that is due to be completed next year – and at Canary Wharf. It also has a hotel in Hampshire.

Jonathan Goldstein, joint managing director of Heron International, said: ‘The addition of a Four Seasons hotel as part of the Heron Plaza would provide a tremendous new facility in the heart of London, as well as significantly enhancing the whole Heron Plaza complex.’

If Heron and Four Seasons receive planning consent and complete the agreement it will be an improvement for the City, which has few high-quality and luxury hotels.

Heron Tower, which was designed by architect Kohn Pedersen Fox, will continue to form the centrepiece of the plaza.

Next Thursday Ronson will host a ‘Heron Tower time capsule’ ceremony at the site. He will Bury a ‘time capsule’ in the tower’s foundations ‘at the last opportunity prior to the foundations being sealed and, in line with feng shui traditions, to place a tortoise Shell in the foundations of the building’.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 10:55 AM   #2
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The new sightlines mean this won't receive planning permission.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjfox View Post
The new sightlines mean this won't receive planning permission.
We don't know what the new height will be until the planning applications is submitted but if they have announced a hotel operator then you would presume Heron know what they are doing. It is actually just outside the proposed new sightlines. The one EH & the Tower of London are banging on is not one of the main ones.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by london lad View Post
It is actually just outside the proposed new sightlines. The one EH & the Tower of London are banging on is not one of the main ones.
Well it is an interesting one this. Until the planning application goes in no-one public knows what affect it will have. There's already been mutterings though as you said that EH aren't happy because it appears to 'pollute' the outline of the one of the Tower of London towers from the protected sightline from Tower Bridge. But as you say these 'framework' views aren't the strictly defined ones that Boris and Milton have set in stone, so there's a possibility he could override EH, especially if the Corporation lean on him slightly.

I expect it will go in for planning, EH will shout and scream, Boris won't say anything public but in private be wary, the developers will roll over, we'll get a height reduction and less public space, it will go in again, EH will still complain, Boris will say he's happy and give permission, the ES will big up Boris saying he's stopped another tower block destroying historical views, nothing will happen on site for years and then work will slowly begin when everyone is bored of the project and architecture has moved on. That's pretty much de facto for every new proposal in London isn't it?
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:40 AM   #5
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I dunno with this one. With each new planning permission for tall buildings & with each winning PI you would think the rules are pretty clear. But as ever in London nothing is certain.

Bare in mind it already has consent for a 100m tower on this site so you would have thought whatever view it supposedly ruins the 100m view would still be seen in it.
Mr Ronson pretty much blew out the water the old misguided rules with the first Heron tower PI so I would think he is a tough cookie and will not roll over as easily as over developers.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:57 AM   #6
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I favour the developer on this one.
-They have the existing planning permission
-They have a tennant showing they are serious. I really believe it is harder to turn down definite investment rather than concepts.
-They will have the support of the City
-Standing so close to another, much taller tower, makes the EH argument absurd. (Yeah, I know!)
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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:05 PM   #7
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Interesting. i have been waiting to hear any news on this.

I think it will go through. The COL is keen on getting proper hotels in the area and show everyone that the city is alive and kicking in spite of the global recession. And their words carry a lot of weight with the mayor.

Hopefully we get the height increase to 150m plus too and then we have the 5th proper skyscraper in the city.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 01:49 PM   #8
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A Four Seasons hotel? It's good news that they have such a good client lined up before the design is even revealed, I doubt The City itself will refuse pp, this will be great for them. It's EH and their ilk we need to worry about.

I'm looking forward to seeing this.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 02:36 PM   #9
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Given that the site is adjacent to the new much higher tower, it would be very difficult to challenge this one on hight - and will demonstrate that the view corridor approach cannot simply be employed without looking at the existing context and the intent of the view corridors. if the visual primacy of St Paul's is not clearly impacted, and the new tower fits into its urban context reasonably, a significantly newly revised and extended planning framework will be questioned if it is considered overly restrictive. This is a good test.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 02:53 PM   #10
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Fact is, sightlines or otherwise.. the city needs towers of this height to create a harmony between the streetscapes and the new/proposed towers.. to accentuate the grace and height of the main towers whilst them being a part of the narrow streets..

Further more, it's needed! I hope he gets his wish in having Heron, Heron Plaza and the Milton Court..
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Old July 10th, 2009, 04:31 PM   #11
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Great to hear this is still going strong, it went worryingly silent for too long!

Would i be right in thinking that this below, right of the Heron Tower was the old estimation/height plan for Heron Plaza?

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Old July 10th, 2009, 05:03 PM   #12
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This is the page from the London View Management Framework which Boris is amending. This managed view existed before, but as was said Ken took them as guideline and not a final say. It is to be seen if Boris feels the same.

image hosted on flickr


The Heron Tower, as far as I'm aware, appears from this view to be behind the Gherkin, with a slight visible amount of it appearing out to the right. Heron Plaza will fall to the right of Heron Tower, with its leading right edge overlapping behind the left hand castellation of the Tower of London. This is where the problem of the height increase lies, because before the tower never appeared in this view and simply was below the tree line. Now the tower is proposed taller it will break up the silhouette of the Tower.

Note the line: "Development should not breach the skyline of the four towers of the White Tower or its castellations." That's quite strict in its wording and something EH would look towards as reason to deny planning permission and possibly take this tower to a PI if it feels strongly enough (and I think they will).

We'll see when the renders appear. Maybe with EH already being vocal they've rejigged the design to be thinner so it doesn't touch the castellation and none of this will be a problem.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 05:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Boy View Post
Great to hear this is still going strong, it went worryingly silent for too long!

Would i be right in thinking that this below, right of the Heron Tower was the old estimation/height plan for Heron Plaza?

yes that's not it. you can see it's not even as tall as the willis building, which you can see in this also.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 05:18 PM   #14
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I got quite excited by some movement on a significant tower in the city when I read it on SSN.

Would it get extra points because it is being developed as a hotel, rather than just being office - I don't know does it carry extra value in some way?
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Old July 10th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #15
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people are assuming that the tower is going to be in the exact same place
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Old July 10th, 2009, 08:24 PM   #16
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the mind still boggles that the City of London were so against having hotels within its boundaries until quite recently. 4 Seasons is a great pouch (excuse the cricketing vernacular), although I question its location on busy Bishopsgate, and unlike the Canary Wharf FS, it will be fairly short and right behind the Heron Tower, thus blocking most of the view. Anyhoo, good news if this goes ahead.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 12:23 AM   #17
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This whole viewing corridor thing is total nonsense, how many towers will be visible in that panaorama in a couple of years.
How can you turn do a building which will create hundreds of jobs and generate a huge amount of revenue in a recession, just because you can see a building behind the tower of London, something which most people couldn't give a fuck about

Those viewing corridors are only proposed, they have not been formalised yet.

If Boris turns this down then he really is a prize **** who doesn't give a toss about London's prosperity
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Old July 11th, 2009, 12:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarJoLe View Post
It's not the one facing Bishopsgate that is being demolished for Heron Plaza but the one to the east. You can see it here, it's the building behind the red crane in the middle.

image hosted on flickr
Quote:
Originally Posted by gothicform View Post
people are assuming that the tower is going to be in the exact same place
so you're saying this might not be where it's going? Doesn't seem like a huge site that we're talking about and much flexiblity in where to place Heron plaza on it if it's the one pointed out here. And if it is this will definitly end up right above the western turret of the White Tower on that Tower Bridge viewpoint from above as I just rechecked with some accuracy on a map. And the extra 50m will more or less exactly be what will show up above the turret. Couldn't be worse in terms of ammunition for EH..

Last edited by ibiza; July 11th, 2009 at 12:51 AM.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
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just because you can see a building behind the tower of London, something which most people couldn't give a fuck about
Actually a lot of people do. The number of times I have overheard tourists around City Hall and Tower Bridge bemoaning the modern buildings around the Tower. I have to say I think we are in the minority in understanding the aesthetic idea of having modern and old next to each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ismail View Post
Those viewing corridors are only proposed, they have not been formalised yet.
The framework view I posted above has existed since the original View Management Framework was published during Ken's terms as Mayor, it was just he saw them as a guide and not a defacto rule and overrode a lot of EH's views that the City cluster and South Bank development was damaging the setting of a world heritage site- a point that made EH bring in UNESCO because they felt their views were being ignored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ismail View Post
If Boris turns this down then he really is a prize **** who doesn't give a toss about London's prosperity
London can still prosper without tall buildings. It sends the wrong message to developers and completely destroys Ken's notion of 'controlled densification' whereby he knew tall buildings were inevitable and tried to make the best design possible. But Boris was elected by a lot of people simply because they believed he would ban tall buildings, and now he has, and for them that means he is doing a good job. These people don't tend to believe in the notion that developers are good for London and just see them as destroying history in the pursuit of profit, unable to grasp that London takes the best of its history and refreshes the rest to offer up-to-date requirements for the modern world, making London the first world city it is today.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ismail View Post
This whole viewing corridor thing is total nonsense, how many towers will be visible in that panaorama in a couple of years.
How can you turn do a building which will create hundreds of jobs and generate a huge amount of revenue in a recession, just because you can see a building behind the tower of London, something which most people couldn't give a fuck about

Those viewing corridors are only proposed, they have not been formalised yet.

If Boris turns this down then he really is a prize **** who doesn't give a toss about London's prosperity
I totally agree, yes tourists probably do comment on the new buildings in the back ground of ToL but that life and I dont think it ruins peoples visit (this is more likely to be effected by the cost of drinks etc). A bit of education goes a long way, and information could be provided in the area explaining that the area is in a working capital city and needs to keep generating wealth and providing buildings which allow businesses to do this. We all know the importance of people being employed, so alot of tourists would understand this and accept it. This could be celebrated and put in a positive light. We cant afford to put sight lines over everything else.
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