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Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson explains why the government’s ruling should be welcomed
The decision to throw out plans for the Tulip tower in the City of London last week was a real win for the nation’s heritage. When the news appeared in my inbox last Thursday morning, I was both delighted and relieved. At Historic England, we were always opposed the proposal, mainly because of the negative impact it would have had on the Tower of London. By rejecting plans for the 305m structure, the Department for Levelling Up, Communities & Housing has helped to protect one of the world’s great historic monuments, a place that has provided a stage for our shared history for over 900 years.
We’ve long held that the Tulip would be visually intrusive and highly incongruous from important viewpoints inside and outside the Tower, which would detract from the experience of visiting the site for millions of tourists and Londoners. We also argued that that it would harm the extraordinary significance of the Tower of London as a World Heritage Site, and therefore the proposals ran contrary to local and national planning policies. Fortunately, the planning inspector David Nicholson came to similar a conclusion.
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