Capital skyline: What is the future for tall buildings in London?

09 June 2014

This meeting took place on 10 June 2014. Read the transcript here.

How will the growing number of tall buildings impact on London? Are Londoners being informed and consulted enough on the changes taking place in many parts of their city? Are the Mayor's planning controls enough to manage the impact of tall buildings on the capital's skyline?

There are over 230 skyscrapers in the pipeline, and nearly 80 per cent include residential provision. Who are these homes for, and what role will they play in solving London’s housing shortage?

According to the Mayor’s London Plan an extra 5.2 Million m2 of office space is required simply to meet demand over the next 17 years. That’s equivalent to building 82 Walkie Talkie skyscrapers[1] . Fifty-eight per cent of this demand will be in central London and the Isle of Dogs where sites are already constrained - and so building tall is the only option in these locations.

At its meeting on 10 June the Planning Committee will be looking at why the number of proposed tall buildings is on the rise, whether residential developments will really meet London's housing need and if planning policies are up to the task and being adequately applied in the face of so many tall building applications.

The Committee will question the following guests:

  • Julia Barfield: Managing Director, Marks Barfield Architects (MBA). .
  • Sir Edward Lister: Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning, GLA.
  • Rowan Moore: architecture critic.
  • Tony Pidgley CBE: Chairman, Berkeley Group plc.
  • Peter Rees: Professor of Places and City Planning, The Bartlett, UCL.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday, 10 June from 10am in Committee Room 5 at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend. The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Notes to editors

  1. 20 Fenchurch Street
  2. Full agenda papers including a list of priority questions.
  3. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.