Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Memoranda

Annex F



  8.  There are 10 strategic views in London. These are broadly identified in Regional Planning Guidance: Supplementary Guidance for London on the protection of strategic views (RPG3A). This guidance will remain extant (save for the change in notification procedure set out below) until appropriate alternative arrangements have been put in place.

  9.  No change is made to the 10 views identified first in 1991, in terms of their precise location or extent of the view points, viewing corridors, wider setting consultation areas or background consultation areas. However, it has been necessary to issue new directions for all the views. These set out revised consultation arrangements, to ensure that in addition to notifying the other local planning authorities involved in protecting a strategic view, the Mayor is directly involved in the process of considering applications for development which could affect the strategic views. With respect to consultation with the Mayor, these directions are similar in operation to the directions which relate to strategic wharves along the Thames. As explained in paragraph 6 above, where a local planning authority receives an application to which one of these directions applies, that authority is required to comply with articles 3 and 4 of the Order. Details of these directions are available from the GLA.

  10.  In order to bring RPG3A into line with these new directions, the section entitled "Protective Directions and Consultation Requirements" in RPG3A is hereby cancelled and replaced with the following:

  The Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport & the Regions has made separate Directions under the provisions of article 10(3) of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure Order and paragraph 1 of Part IV of the Schedule of the Town and Country Planning) Order 2000 to help protect each strategic view of St Paul's Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster from inappropriate development. These Directions came into force on 3 July 2000 and replace similar directions made in the early 1990s.

  Where development has been proposed which could affect a strategic view, the responsible authority (ie the local planning authority in whose borough the planning application lies) must consult each of the other local planning authorities involved in protecting that view, as soon as reasonably practicable after receiving the planning application. In such cases, the local planning authority must also consult the Mayor in accordance with the procedures set out in the Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2000. It would helpful if, when submitting any representations to the responsible authority on this matter, other local planning authorities forwarded a copy of those representations to the Mayor.

  If the height of a proposed development within a Viewing Corridor would exceed the development plane between the view point and either, the base of the lower drum of St Paul's Cathedral or, the general roof line of the Palace of Westminster, it should normally be refused.

  Although the restrictions on the height of developments within the Wider Setting Consultation Areas and Background Consultation Areas are not as rigid as in the Viewing Corridors, where threshold heights are exceeded the responsible authority is similarly required to consult on the potential impact of the proposed development with other local planning authorities involved in protecting the view and the Mayor.

  Any consultation with bodies other than those named in the Direction will be at the discretion of the responsible local authority. The measures for protecting strategic views, as outlined above and specified in the Directions, apply to all proposals for high buildings, including the replacement of buildings which currently obstruct and mar the views and proposals for buildings within the "shadow" of existing high buildings."

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