We’re hearing a couple of stories about very tall buildings in Docklands. First up, the proposed 63 storey Columbus Tower is mired in yet more uncertainty. It’s previously faced problems from City Airport, whose planes would fly close to its top, and Crossrail, whose trains would pass close to its base. But full planning permission has been granted.
Before construction can begin, however, an existing building on the site has to be dismantled. Mysteriously, in some kind of demolish/repolish mix-up, the owners decided to refurbish instead. Now Columbus’s backers have sold the site to the Commercial Estates Group for £25 million.
CEG’s development director, Jonathan Kenny sounds like he has no idea if his company will build the tower:
Given we have only owned [the site] for the past week, it is fairly hard to say. We are reviewing what we have bought.
So do these companies just buy up property willy-nilly, and only then consider what to do with it? We’re confused. Any readers have some insight into this?
The refurb and sale don’t look good for Columbus, though a local commercial estate agent is quoted as saying that there is still ‘a very good chance’ that the tower will go ahead. The key words here are ‘estate agent’.
Meanwhile…across the quay.
A man has been jailed for three years for threatening to blow up 1 Canada Square (the tower known to most as ‘Canary Wharf’). Hoax bomber Gary Cooke phoned up security and declared 'I am a Saddam follower and I am here to blow up Canary Wharf…I am here now'.
What makes this case particularly interesting is the unusual nature of the terrorist cell behind the hoax attack. Cooke claimed that his dead mate ‘Ali’ telepathically put him up to the job.
The court heard that Mr Cooke has a history of abuse and psychiatric problems. ‘You are a fantasist with a ridiculous fantasy life,’ claimed Judge James Wadsworth (no doubt wearing his gown, robes and 18th Century wig).