While there is no doubt that the 37 storey skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street, London certainly catches your eye as you walk past, it seems that property in the region really is “red hot”. Despite the fact that the 37 storey building has yet to be completed developers are investigating claims that the building is reflecting light onto cars in the streets below which has actually melted part of the vehicles.
A number of motorists have returned to their vehicles to be confronted with the sight of melted wing mirrors, red hot interiors and in some instances there are claims that dashboards have also crumbled under the heat.
So is the walkie-talkie skyscraper to blame?
The enormous partly constructed skyscraper has been nicknamed the “walkie-talkie” due to its very unique shape which widens towards the top of the building. One side of the building has been fitted with a sunshade which effectively avoids the alleged issues highlighted today although the frontside has been fitted with copious amounts of glass to give a stunning view over the city of London.
It seems as though the curved design may well have created something of a central focal point firing down extremely powerful beams of light to the streets below. Some of those who have been affected by the alleged light beams hitting their vehicles claim that developers have already apologised and at least one victim has confirmed that their repair costs have been covered by Land Securities and Canary Wharf.
Quote from PropertyForum.com : “Despite the fact that the Bank of England has highlighted the potential of a house price bubble in the UK, the UK government is becoming more concerned and there is talk of overheating, it seems that investors are still being encouraged to buy UK property.”
What can be done to protect the streets below?
At this moment in time the City of London authorities have agreed to suspend the use of three specific parking bays below the building which seem to have attracted the brunt of the heatwave. This will give developers time to look at the structure of the building in more detail and, if the allegations prove to be correct, no doubt changes will be made to the side of the property in question.
It could be that the weather conditions which may have attributed to the car damage were particularly freakish and unlikely to happen on a regular basis but this is something which will need to be investigated in more detail. There will also be many other developers in the property sector looking at possible repercussions of this particular issue and how it may impact any of their ongoing developments in the future.
Does the property sector require tighter regulations?
Until we know the full facts of the alleged issue with regards to the “walkie-talkie” skyscraper development it is unlikely we will see any immediate changes in property development regulations. However, if there is deemed to be a direct connection between the structure, the shape of the property and the damage to vehicles below then we may well see the authorities calling for tighter regulations.
It was also interesting to see that many passers-by commented upon the amazing beam of light reflecting from the building with many forced to avert their eyes to avoid potential injury.