Published: Thursday, 22nd December 2016
New report from Historic England calls for a revised London Plan that encourages future planning and design to be inspired by a place’s historic character…
Built heritage adviser Historic England has called for a strategic, city-wide vision for enhancing rather than damaging London’s heritage.
It has published a new report which argued that the recent construction of a new 42 storey tower in Stratford, which spoils the protected view of St Paul’s Cathedral from Richmond Park, underlined a problem that the impact of some developments is being discovered too late.
The report highlighted that a recent poll of Londoners showed that some 48 per cent thought that the 430 tall buildings planned for the capital would have a negative impact on the skyline. However more than half of Londoners polled don’t know how to have a say over new buildings.
The report made the case that the revised London Plan should encourage future planning and design to be inspired by a place’s historic character. It stressed that London’s distinctiveness is worth protecting and urged London boroughs to use a character-based approach in their strategic policies to achieve good growth.
Historic England has also argued strongly that heritage should be at the heart of planning “not as an add-on at the end of the process”.
The report insisted: “Our historic environment is fundamental to creating a sense of place and can be part of a dynamic growth strategy, so it should be integral to the planning process and delivering regeneration.
“The London Plan should also focus on pan-London challenges, using both old and new tools, such as a 3D model of the city to achieve a truly city-wide vision.”
Emily Gee, London Planning Director for Historic England, said: “If London loses its special historic character, its distinctive brand goes with it and every community will be worse off. We call for policies in the new London Plan to encourage all those involved in the city’s future to act with the proper knowledge of its historic character and what Londoners want.”