Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Memoranda

Memorandum by London Assembly Spatial Development Strategy Investigative Committee, Greater London Authority (TAB 49)

  I write on behalf of the Assembly's SDS Investigative Committee in response to your press notice of 23 November 2001 seeking memoranda on your new inquiry on tall buildings.

  I am sure you are aware that the Mayor has chosen to give this issue a high priority, as evidenced by the generally supportive nature of his decisions in relation to planning application of strategic importance involving tall buildings, and by interviews he has given to the press.

  My Committee has recently conducted a scrutiny towards the London Plan: Initial Proposals for the Mayor's Spatial Development Strategy, and we were keen to get to the bottom of the Mayor's emerging policy stance on tall buildings. In the course of our investigations we took evidence from the Mayor of London, English Heritage, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Town Planning Institute, and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors on this issue.

  I refer to our final report. We took evidence on the first two of your questions—the role of tall buildings, and where they should be located—and I refer you to paragraphs 3.35 to 3.42 in our report, and to recommendation 10 on page 22. The Committee's view is that the Mayor should identify in consultation with boroughs a limited number of suitable locations for tall buildings in London, and that he should work up a coherent set of evaluation criteria for dealing with planning applications for tall buildings. It will be for the London Plan to carry this forward, and we await the publication of the next stage (the Draft London Plan, expected May 2002) when we will return to a detailed scrutiny of the Mayor's stratetegic planning policies.

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Prepared 22 January 2002