John Biggs calls on Boris to protect London’s skyline

Labour London Assembly Member John Biggs last week voted to call on the Mayor of London Boris Johnson to rethink his approach to tall buildings on London’s skyline after it was revealed London has 236 new skyscrapers in the development pipeline.

Research highlighted by the London Assembly Member John Biggs found that over 230 buildings of 20 stories or more are in the pipeline for development, radically altering the shape of the capital’s skyline without meeting London’s housing need. Of the 230, 189 are residential, but primarily luxury flats with relatively small numbers of affordable housing meaning they will make little contribution to solving the housing crisis.

Whilst recognising there is a place for skyscrapers in the capital Biggs argues that further luxury penthouses do little to address the needs of ordinary Londoners and threatens the historic London skyline. John Biggs was joined by Assembly Members from all parties in unanimously supporting a motion calling on the Mayor to adopt new policies to protect London’s skyline. The motion also called for the Mayor to establish a Skyline Commission made up of design experts from a variety of fields to offer advice on commissioning and carry out design reviews.

John Biggs AM, Labour London Assembly Member for City & East London, said:

“There are parts of East London where there is scope for tall residential buildings, such as Stratford and the Isle of Dogs, although even here there are additional pressures, particularly on the Isle of Dogs, on local services – schools, doctors, transport, open space – which are causing concerns. But the Mayor is making a mockery of his planning policies when he continues to wave through proposals for skyscrapers all over London, and which do little to help people looking for an affordable place to live. Under Boris Johnson, London is fast becoming a high-rise playground for the super-rich leaving more and more Londoners priced out of the market. 

“Tall buildings have their place, but they must respect the existing character of the local area and meet a genuine need. That’s why I am calling on the Mayor to rethink his gung-ho approach to skyscrapers in the capital.”

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