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Skyscrapers could dwarf London’s historic buildings

Nick Myall
Monday 08 Feb 2016

London’s Westminster city council reviews its policy on tall buildings

The iconic buildings of central London in the UK could soon be dominated by skyscrapers after Westminster city council recently made public its plans to review a cap on tall buildings.

So far most of London's skyscrapers have been concentrated in the capital’s financial districts and zones earmarked for development. But now the local authority for the city of Westminster — an area that includes the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park — plans to review its opposition to tall buildings.

A Westminster city council spokesman has been quoted as saying: “We will be consulting later this year on our approach to taller buildings in Westminster.”

Duncan Wilson is the chief executive of Historic England, the public body that looks after the country’s historic environment. He has warned that the capital’s appeal to tourists could be damaged if large scale high-rise development takes place. “Don’t kill the golden goose”, he recently said.

He went on to say, “We are not anti tall buildings per se, but they have to work with their surroundings. There is a risk of damaging something that has been nurtured over the centuries.” 

A pressure group, the Skyline Campaign, promotes the view that “the Skyline of London is out of control.”

It’s founder, Barbara Weiss said: “Most of the tall buildings being put up are not particularly good architecture. They are generic, or faddish, and are not well positioned in a city masterplan.”

The debate is set to continue as demands to build higher continue set against a backdrop of pressure on the capital’s limited space.  

 

Nick Myall

News Editor

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