The London Assembly Planning Committee yesterday wrote to the Mayor calling on him to tackle the proliferation of tall buildings dramatically altering London and its skyline.
I’ve written before on this blog about the tall buildings issue, which has been the subject of heated debate since the NLA exhibition “London’s Growing Up!” last spring found that there are 236 more in the development pipeline. Despite the growing chorus of voices – from campaigners, from the London Assembly, and from citizens – calling on the Mayor to address the issue, he has steadfastly refused to even admit that there is a problem.
The letter from the Committee, which I chair, lays out the evidence from experts in the fields of engineering, architecture, and heritage about the impacts of this unmanaged phenomenon. We then call on the Mayor to:
- Establish a ‘skyline commission’ to advise on the design impact of tall buildings.
- Adopt more detailed and rigorous master planning in relation to tall buildings, especially within Opportunity Areas.
- Draw up a London Plan policy that formalises the ‘clusters’ policy for tall buildings.
- Undertake a review of existing protected views, with the intention of adding new viewing corridors.
- Support the development of a fully interactive 3D computer model of London’s emerging skyline.
- Adopt a requirement for all developers with proposals for tall buildings to consider other building configurations.
The evidence base presented to the Mayor will make it difficult for him to ignore. Our solutions are also proportional and realistic – recognising the contribution that tall buildings can make to the city, whilst being designed to prevent the worst excesses that do nothing more than act as safety deposit boxes for rich, often international, investors.
You can read the Letter to Mayor tall buildings here.