Examination of Witnesses (Questions 475-479)|
TUESDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2002
475. Good morning and can I welcome you all
to the final session of the Committee's inquiry into tall buildings.
Can I ask you to identify yourselves for the record.
(Mr Davies) I am Philip Davies; I am the Regional
Director for London of English Heritage.
(Sir Neil Cossons) I am Neil Cossons; I am the Chairman
of English Heritage.
(Mr Finch) I am Paul Finch, Deputy Chairman of CABE.
(Mr Rouse) I am Jon Rouse, Chief Executive of CABE.
476. Do any of you want to say anything by way
of introduction or are you happy for us to go straight ahead?
(Sir Neil Cossons) We have a very brief introduction,
Chairman. We have four points to make very quickly. We believe
this debate is primarily about people and places and the quality
of urban environments which can be vibrant, in which people can
live and work and which have social and economic viability, and
that the debate about tall buildings is a part/subset of that.
The second point is that English Heritage is not and never has
been opposed to tall buildings as such but is particularly anxious
that, if the case is made for tall buildings, they should be in
the right place. Thirdly, we are very aware of the paucity of
social and economic evidence for tall buildings and have a research
study just commencing in which CABE and others right across the
section, including developers, will be involved in order to try
and provide all of them with better quality of information. Finally,
we think that the matter is of such importance that there ought
to be some form of national guidance, possibly in a PPG.
477. Is there any timescale for the research?
(Sir Neil Cossons) We hope that we might have the
initial results by the spring of next year; there is a possibility
of before then.
478. Could I just have an idea about the scale
of the issue. Have you any record about the number of proposals
coming forward to build tall buildings?
(Mr Davies) Not nationally. Our regional offices are
obviously approached on a regular basis about proposals that are
coming forward. In London, we think there are perhaps as many
as 15 or 20 coming forward at this particular point in time. It
is quite difficult to get a figure of the national overview at
(Mr Finch) I would say they are now commonplace, not
just in London. Tall buildings are pretty much in all our chief
urban areas as proposals.
479. Is this an increase in the trend?
(Mr Finch) Yes.