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James Hatts

Sadiq on tall buildings: 'the answer won’t always be yes'

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has signalled that he intends to apply more robust scrutiny to proposals for tall buildings in the capital than his predecessor Boris Johnson.

Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan

Speaking at the London School of Economics on Monday night, Mr Khan said: "I am not against new tall buildings in London. They can be very attractive and we need them if we are to cope with the growing population.

"But every design must be judged on its merits.

"The skyline ultimately belongs to Londoners and future generations. As Mayor, I am the guardian of that skyline on Londoners' behalf.

"Any proposed scheme that dramatically changes that skyline should expect the highest scrutiny and adhere to the most exacting standards: the way it looks, its impact on surrounding communities and its safety measures...

"So I'll always consider every proposal on merit – with an open mind – but I'm afraid that while I am Mayor the answer on tall buildings won't always be 'yes'."

SE1 is home to the EU's tallest building – The Shard – and several ultra high rise schemes are in the planning stage, including the 18 Blackfriars development which if built will be the second tallest building in SE1.

Mr Khan also signalled that he would take a robust approach to to developers seeking to wriggle out of affordable housing requirements, citing changes in viability.

He told the LSE audience he would be unafraid to say "hard luck" to developers making such requests.

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