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Edinburgh plans tall building map

Edinburgh looks set to become subject to the strategic viewing corridor rules that have caused such a consistent problem for those proposing skyscrapers in London.

Edinburgh City Council has commissioned a landscape architecture office to assess where tall buildings should and should not be situated in relation to the World Heritage Site and the rest of the historic city centre.

It is understood that the council has commissioned Colvin and Moggridge to analyse the city, because there has been a recent spate of developers expressing an interest in building tall.

The move could leave developers and architects facing the same problems as their counterparts in London.

In the capital, the heritage lobby, ranging from English Heritage to more militant groups such as SAVE Britain's Heritage, have used the strategic view regulations to object to schemes such as Grimshaw's Minerva tower.

Colvin and Moggridge has worked in similar areas throughout Britain; for example, representing the Royal Parks Agency in objecting to the tall buildings element of London mayor Ken Livingstone's draft London Plan.

However, practice director Martin Bhatia insisted that its work would simply be a tool for planners and would not be biased either for or against skyscrapers.

'All we are doing is creating a tool with which Edinburgh planners can assess the impact of proposed tall buildings on the historic areas of the city, ' he said.

'Edinburgh council recognises that development in the city is moving forward and it has decided that it needs this work in order to move forward with confidence.' Bhatia said his firm would look to produce a 'tall building contact map' for planners to assess which areas of the city would be affected by proposals.

'We want to give planners an understanding of the issues relating to their city, ' Bhatia added. 'We want them to be empowered to ask the right questions.'

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