26 April 2017 | 10 °C

Mayor Wants Room For More Views

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 107 months ago
Mayor Wants Room For More Views
St. Paul's cathedral

It was just last week that Londonist speculated our new mayor might not be so enthused about the skyscrapers redrawing London's skyline as his predecessor was. Now we have confirmation from the blond-barnetted one himself: he is to demand tougher rules on high rise buildings.

Johnson outlined his views on skyscraper requirements thus:

"They should be buildings of quality, they should be buildings of distinction... I do think we should be protecting strategic views in London, and I do think we should be protecting beautiful, world-famous [landmarks]"

Boris is concerned, firstly, about protecting the capital's historic views, and in particular the "viewing corridors" of St. Paul's and the Palace of Westminster, restrictions on which were eased under Livingstone.

Secondly, as The Times reports, Boris is planning to eschew Ken's "build 'em high and damn the planners" approach - which saw an 83% rise in homes delivered between 2000 and 2007 - in favour of an emphasis on "more family homes with gardens". Well, an Englishman's home is his castle, after all, though how such bucolic dreams will chime with an ever-growing population should be interesting to see.

The Standard, barely able to contain its glee, published a list of buildings that might be under threat. Many are apartment blocks, and Boris will likely be encouraged in his efforts to jam a kravat into the cement mixer by a survey that suggested 84% of people would rather live anywhere than a high-rise building.

In another sign of the changing times at City Hall, there have been suggestions that Labour peer Richard Rogers, currently London's design adviser, would step down from the position. When pressed on Lord Rogers' future, deputy mayor Richard Barnes shot back "I don't know. Do you have a crystal ball?". Rumours that noted architectural bore and foe of tall towers, Prince Charles, will be replacing Lord Rogers in his watchdog role are spurious and, frankly, silly.

Image courtesy of Michael Wailes via the Londonist Flickrpool

Last Updated 23 May 2008

dePfeffel

Well, once again I must say I'm pleasantly surprised at the pace the new mayor is setting - one campaign promise after another is being delivered. Mr Johnson is displaying a level of authority and efficiency which, as a floating voter, I have to say I had not expected from him. Shame on me for being taken in by the cynicism of the metropolitan media w*nkers.

Scanning the list of buildings that are under threat, I see absolutely nothing of any merit and a lot of glass phalluses that will end up making large parts of the London skyline indistinguishable from Houston or downtown LA. Is that what we want? The Victoria and City Road proposals, in particular, are inappropriate for those areas. Hopefully the era of Foster/Rogers domination is at an end.