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A sneak peek at Google's sprawling new £650m London HQ

Architects representing Google have applied for planning permission to build the search giant's sprawling new headquarters in King's Cross.

The site will stretch from King's Cross Station to Regent's Canal and will be 11 stories high at the northern end. The 'groundscraper', as it has been dubbed, is set to measure 330 metres long - longer than the Shard is tall, by way of comparison.

Google will spend £650m buying and constructing the complex, with the finished development expected to be worth £1 billion.

Providing Camden Council gives the go-ahead, work will start in early-2014 with a view to opening the facility in 2017. The building will consolidate Google's current London operations, which are now based in Victoria and Holborn.

"Building our new headquarters in King's Cross is good for Google and good for London. We're committed to the UK and to playing a role in the regeneration of this historic area," commented Dan Cobley, Google UK managing director.

The specifics? Google's future HQ will take in a gross space of 1,000,000 square feet, including 725,000 square feet of office space and 50,000 square feet of ground level retail space, plus 20,000 square feet of bike parking. And what of the famed Google touch? In addition to the inevitable beanbags, Reuters has it that the brobdingnagian building will feature a climbing wall between floors.

Google added that the push to build its new HQ will create some 1,500 construction jobs, while the King's Cross Central Limited Partnership estimates that regeneration efforts in the area will bring a total of 35,000 jobs.

It also seems highly likely that Google's presence - plus the close proximity to Silicon Roundabout - will make King's Cross a new hub for the London startup community.

"This project is hugely important for King's Cross and underlines our commitment to support world class design. It will attract further investment into the wider area and act as a catalyst for the local economy and the community which we are building," said David Partridge, director of Argent (King's Cross) Ltd.

Google first announced plans to relocate to King's Cross in January.