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Boris pledges to protect views of London's heritage sites…

London Mayor Boris Johnson has again pledged to reintroduce the wider protected viewing corridors across London ‘shrunk’ by his predecessor Ken Livingstone.

Speaking today (4 June) at his first press conference since he was elected last month, Johnson said he wanted to drop Livingstone’s more relaxed London View Management Framework Supplementary Guidance – only brought in last July – and return to the 1991 rules governing sightlines – an ambition he also made in his manifesto.

These original guidelines, known as the RPG 3A Strategic Views Directions, protected 10 key ‘viewing corridors’ towards St Paul's Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster from places such as Greenwich and Primrose Hill.

Johnson said: ‘We are salami slicing the view of [heritage sites] and I want to protect them. I am not hostile to beautiful tall buildings – but they need to be in the right place.’

However some planning sources have questioned whether Johnson, a Conservative, will have the power to change Livingstone’s rules, which are underpinned by a Secretary of State direction – given by the current Labour government.

Meanwhile, the RIBA’s planning spokesman Peter Stewart played down the impact of the announcement. He said: ‘There were a few developers, on a few significant sites, who were delighted when Ken unveiled his view guidelines who will now be cross about what Boris is suggesting.

‘But it is pretty arcane stuff and I doubt it will affect too many sites.’

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