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119 more tall buildings set to change London skyline

The number of skyscrapers planned for London’s skyline has soared over the past year, new research has revealed.

A total of 119 more tall buildings are in various stages of planning or construction in the capital than at the same time last year, taking overall pipeline of skyscrapers to 436.

The findings, published by New London Architecture and GLHearn, also showed the number of tall buildings under construction had increased 70 to 89 over the last 12 months.

CREDIT Visualhouse and Dan Lowe View from St Pauls towards the City proposed

CREDIT Visualhouse and Dan Lowe View from St Pauls towards the City proposed

Source: Visualhouse and Dan Lowe

View from St Pauls towards the City – proposed

A further 233 tall buildings in London have planning approval but are yet to start on site, while 114 towers are either in planning or at pre-application stage.

Ninety-four tall buildings were submitted for planning in the year to the end of February 2016, up from 72 in the previous year. Of these, 43 were approved in the same year, albeit 32 of these being part of the Greenwich Peninsula scheme, which has been going through the planning system over a number of years. Three applications were refused and the rest await planning approval.

The research found “a significant number” of the proposed tall buildings form parts of wider masterplans, which include multiple towers in clusters.

The iconic City Cluster will see a number of new tall buildings around Leadenhall, with the proposed 1 Undershaft set to become the tallest in the City at 73 storeys.

NLA chairman Peter Murray: “We believe that well-designed tall buildings in the right place, and well co-ordinated clusters, are acceptable.”

He added: “We continue to press for the mayor to prepare a three-dimensional computer model of the whole of London to better assess the impact of these buildings.

“The 436 tall buildings in the pipeline is a significant number. However, with the much publicised softening of the housing market, it remains to be seen how quickly they are delivered.”

CREDIT Visualhouse and Dan Lowe View from St Pauls towards Blackfriars proposed

CREDIT Visualhouse and Dan Lowe View from St Pauls towards Blackfriars proposed

Source: Visualhouse and Dan Lowe

View from St Pauls towards Blackfriars – proposed

GL Hearn planning director James Cook: “The two most striking findings for us were about the number of applications for tall buildings submitted and approved over the course of the year and construction activity.

“The planning system demonstrated how efficient it can be, with 43 applications for tall buildings gaining permission having being submitted during the year. While the majority of these towers were in one very large scheme, this nevertheless demonstrates the benefit of London’s strategic approach to tall buildings.”

He added that while the overall number of projects has increased, the level of construction activity remained “relatively flat”. “We attribute this to the significant development and investment risk required to commit to construct tall buildings.

“Overall it is clear that delivery is a long way behind the pipeline and the planning system needs to continue to ensure any scheme that comes forward is carefully designed with architecture of the highest quality.”

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