Dezeen Magazine

Londoners demand skyscraper height restrictions

London residents have called for height caps and no-build zones to protect the city from the increasing number of new skyscrapers.

Over 400 skyscrapers are currently in the pipeline across the capital, but 49 per cent of inner London residents think this number is too high, according to a survey carried out for the pressure group Skyline Campaign.

The survey found that 59 per cent want to see height restrictions introduced for skyscrapers, and 56 per cent think tall buildings should be limited to business districts including the City and Canary Wharf.

Additionally, 73 per cent of those surveyed said they wanted to have more say in the design of skyscrapers. They think priority should be given to proposals that include affordable housing, and those that integrate with their context.

31 London Street by Renzo Piano
The 72-storey skyscaper Renzo Piano proposed for Paddington was scrapped earlier this year, following criticism from groups including the Skyline Campaign

Only 11 per cent of inner city residents said they believe skyscrapers play a role in alleviating the city's present housing crisis – with 60 per cent saying they believe tall towers mainly benefit wealthy foreigners.

The 500-person poll was carried out by Ipsos Mori and published on 28 August 2016. It was commissioned by the Skyline Campaign to raise awareness of the impact of skyscrapers on London's skyline.

Paddington Pole by Renzo Piano
The Paddington Cube is Renzo Piano's replacement scheme for the Paddington Pole skyscraper. It has 18 storeys, in contrast to the Pole's 72 floors

Earlier this year the group, led by architect Barbara Weiss, successfully forced Renzo Piano to scrap his plans for a skyscraper in Paddington.

The 72-storey Paddington Pole has since been revised as an 18-floor block called the Paddington Cube.

Eric Parry's 1 Undershaft is among the tallest skyscrapers proposed for London in the last year. At 73 storeys, it would become the tallest building in the City of London

When the independent forum New London Architecture released its own tall building survey in March this year it revealed an extra 119 skyscrapers planned for the city since the same time last year, bringing the total up to 436.

Among the tallest proposed is Eric Parry's 73-storey 1 Undershaft in the City.