01 November 2005

01 November 2005

View from Blackheath Park?

Views of some of London's most historic buildings could be threatened by new planning guidelines, it is claimed.
Westminster and City of London planners have raised concerns about the mayor's draft London View Management Framework.

Guidelines currently favour wide unobstructed views of buildings like St Paul's Cathedral and Parliament.

But a Westminster Council spokesman said views of key landmarks would be a lot narrower and skyscrapers could be built behind them, ruining the view.

"The general feeling is that this is an attempt by the mayor to change planning policies in such a way as to make it a lot easier to develop very, very tall buildings," he told the BBC News website.

Peter Rees, the City planning officer, said mayor Ken Livingstone wanted to narrow long-distance views of St Paul's from places like Hampstead Heath, Parliament Hill fields and Blackheath park.

"It would be a bit like seeing it through a gap in a fence," he said.

"Those views would all be reduced to the point where they really aren't worth having."

But the mayor's office said its plans would be modified after public consultation.

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