Tower of London

London World Heritage Sites

The London Plan sets out policies to conserve and enhance London’s World Heritage Sites and their settings. It states that the Mayor will produce guidance on defining the settings of London’s World Heritage Sites.

There are four World Heritage Sites and one potential site on the Tentative List in London:

  • Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey, including St Margaret’s Church
  • Tower of London
  • Maritime Greenwich
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Darwin Landscape Laboratory (Tentative List)

Each has been designated a World Heritage Site because they are deemed to be of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and acknowledged to be of international significance.

The sites themselves are set in a very dynamic, complex urban environment in which pressure for development is high. However one of the things that makes London distinctive is the way it combines old and new, protecting heritage but encouraging change.

What guidance does the SPG provide?

The purpose of this SPG is to provide:

  • information on understanding World Heritage Sites and their settings in the context of London
  • information on the elements that contribute to a site’s Outstanding Universal Value, to ensure these are conserved and enhanced by developers, policy makers and other stakeholders
  • guidance for assessing the effect of potential development on London’s World Heritage Sites and their settings.

Which London Plan policies does the document provide guidance on?

The overarching policy for this SPG is London Plan policy 7.10 (World Heritage Sites).

Other relevant London Plan policies which should be considered in the development of policy and consideration of proposals in the setting of World Heritage Sites include:

  • policy 7.1 Building London’s Neighbourhoods and Communities
  • policy 7.2 An Inclusive Environment
  • policy 7.3 Designing Out Crime
  • policy 7.4 Local Character
  • policy 7.5 Public Realm
  • policy 7.6 Architecture
  • policy 7.7 Location and Design of Tall and Large Buildings
  • policy 7.8 Heritage Assets and Archaeology.
  • policy 7.9 Heritage-led Regeneration
  • policies 7.11 and 7.12 London View Management Framework
  • policy 2.10 Central Activity Zone – Strategic Priorities
  • policy 2.13 Opportunity Areas and Areas for Intensification
  • policy 2.18 Green Infrastructure
  • policy 4.6 Support for and enhancement of arts, cultural, sport and entertainment provision.
  • policy 5.3 Sustainable Design and Construction
  • policy 5.4 Retrofitting

Although these policies relate to the London Plan 2011, they are still relevant to the London Plan 2015

The document

The SPG is available to download below.

London World Heritage Sites - Guidance on Settings SPG


The Statement of Consultation can be found below.

World Heritage Sites SPG Statement of Consultation