Berkeley unveils £100m plan for UK's tallest block of flats

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Berkeley Group yesterday unveiled plans for the UK's tallest residential tower block, a 49-storey, £100m scheme in London's Vauxhall area.

The development will be Europe's most expensive residential building, measured by cost per square foot. The scheme, by Berkeley's St George urban development arm, will see many of its apartments priced at well in excess of £1m each.

Peter Crossley, of Broadway Malyan, the architects of the scheme, said: "This is a world building, not just a London building. Its status will be as a world-class residential address."

The company said the river-side development would be a "gateway to the regeneration" of Vauxhall, currently a run-down area of London largely known for being a massive traffic junction. Mr Crossley suggested the likes of the Trump Towers in New York would be the peers of the Vauxhall Tower.

Tony Carey, the managing director of St George, said: "This is a huge investment in an area where people haven't chosen to live in the past."

At 591 feet high, the slender Vauxhall Tower will be about the same height as the City's Tower 42 and taller than the BT tower. The 167-apartment Vauxhall Tower will be built on at an existing St George scheme, a site that already houses a new low-rise block of flats. The company is developing, at a cost of £300m, a 7.5-acre plot of land that had been derelict for 40 years. A 400-bedroom four-star hotel is also planned, as well as shops, restaurants and a fitness club.

Mr Crossley said people would want to continue living in tall buildings, despite the 11 September attack in New York. "On a council estate, a tower is a bad place to live. But for a young, affluent professional couple, it can be the greatest place to live," he said.

Vauxhall Tower will have futuristic environmental features and require just one-third of the gas or electricity of a comparable conventional building.