Policy 7.11 London view management framework



A  The Mayor has designated a list of strategic views (Table 7.1) that he will keep under review. These views are seen from places that are publicly accessible and well used. They include significant buildings or urban landscapes that help to define London at a strategic level. These views represent at least one of the following categories: panoramas across substantial parts of London; views from an urban space of a building or group of buildings within a townscape setting (including narrow, linear views to a defined object); or broad prospects along the river Thames. Development will be assessed for its impact on the designated view if it falls within the foreground, middle ground or background of that view.

B  Within the designated views the Mayor will identify landmarks that make aesthetic, cultural or other contributions to the view and which assist the viewer’s understanding and enjoyment of the view.

C  The Mayor will also identify strategically important landmarks in the views that make a very significant contribution to the image of London at the strategic level or provide a significant cultural orientation point. He will seek to protect vistas towards strategically important landmarks by designating landmark viewing corridors and wider setting consultation areas. These elements together form a protected vista. Each element of the vista will require a level of management appropriate to its potential impact on the viewer’s ability to recognise and appreciate the strategically important landmark.

D  The Mayor will also identify and protect aspects of views that contribute to a viewer’s ability to recognise and to appreciate a World Heritage Site’s authenticity, integrity, significance and Outstanding Universal Value.

E  The Mayor has prepared supplementary planning guidance on the management of the designated views. This supplementary guidance includes plans for the management of views as seen from specific assessment points within the viewing places. The guidance provides advice on the management of the foreground, middle ground and background of each view. The Mayor will, when necessary, review this guidance.

Supporting text

Table 7.1 Designated views

London Panoramas

1          Alexandra Palace to Central London

2          Parliament Hill to Central London

3          Kenwood to Central London

4          Primrose Hill to Central London

5          Greenwich Park to Central London

6          Blackheath Point to Central London

Linear Views

7          The Mall to Buckingham Palace

8          Westminster Pier to St Paul’s Cathedral

9          King Henry VIII’s Mound, Richmond to St Paul’s Cathedral

River Prospects

10         Tower Bridge

11         London Bridge

12         Southwark Bridge

13         Millennium Bridge and Thameside at Tate Modern

14         Blackfriars Bridge

15         Waterloo Bridge

16         The South Bank

17         Golden Jubilee/Hungerford Footbridges

18         Westminster Bridge

19         Lambeth Bridge

20         Victoria Embankment between Waterloo and Westminster Bridges

21         Jubilee Gardens and Thameside in front of County Hall

22         Albert Embankment between Westminster and Lambeth Bridges along Thames Path near St Thomas’ Hospital

Townscape Views

23         Bridge over the Serpentine, Hyde Park to Westminster

24         Island Gardens, Isle of Dogs to Royal Naval College

25         The Queen’s Walk to Tower of London

26         St James’ Park to Horse Guards Road

27         Parliament Square to Palace of Westminster

7.37  A number of views make a significant contribution to the image and character of London at the strategic level. This could be because of their composition, their contribution to legibility, or because they provide an opportunity to see key landmarks as part of a broader townscape, panorama or river prospect. The Mayor will seek to protect the composition and character of these views, particularly if they are subject to significant pressure from development. New development will often make a positive contribution to the views and can be encouraged. However, in others, development is likely to compromise the setting or visibility of a key landmark and should be resisted.

7.38  There are three types of strategic views designated in the London Plan – London Panoramas, River Prospects, Townscape Views (including Linear Views). Each view can be considered in three parts.The front and middle ground areas are the areas between the viewing place and a landmark, or the natural features that form its setting. The background area to a view extends away from the foreground or middle ground into the distance. Part of the background may include built or landscape elements that provide a backdrop to a strategically important landmark.

7.39  The Mayor identifies three strategically important landmarks in the designated views: St Paul’s Cathedral, the Palace of Westminster and the Tower of London. Within some views, a protected vista to a strategically important landmark will be defined and used to protect the viewer’s ability to recognise and appreciate the strategically important landmark. The protected vista is composed of two parts:

  • Landmark Viewing Corridor – the area between the viewing place and a strategically important landmark that must be maintained if the landmark is to remain visible from the viewing place.
  • Wider Setting Consultation Area – the area enclosing the landmark viewing corridor in both the foreground and middle ground, and background of the protected vista. Development above a threshold height in this area could compromise the viewer’s ability to recognise and appreciate the strategically important landmark.

Map 7.2 View Management Framework
Map 7.2 View Managment Framework

Map 7.3 Protected vistas

Map 7.3 Protected vistas

7.40  The Mayor has prepared supplementary guidance (SPG) on the management of views designated in this Plan. This guidance identifies viewing places within which viewing locations can be identified. It also specifies individual assessment points from which management guidance and assessment should be derived. Some views are experienced as a person moves through a viewing place and assessment of development proposals should consider this. This guidance will be reviewed when necessary to ensure it is compliant with Policies 7.11 and 7.12.

7.41  The SPG provides guidance on the treatment of all parts of the view, and where appropriate the components of the protected vista, for each view.

Share this page