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Boris Johnson strengthens protection of London landmarks

Famous views of London landmarks are set to receive greater protection, following the publication of new draft guidelines by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

The ‘London View Management Framework’ aims to ensure landmarks and World Heritage Sites are not obscured or spoilt by development when seen from specific points across the capital.

Most importantly, the draft – now out for consultation until September – increases the protection of the 10 established protected ‘Viewing Corridors’ between St Paul’s Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster.

Notably, the viewing corridor from King Henry VIII’s Mound in Richmond Park to St. Paul’s Cathedral has been widened from 70 metres to 150 metres, while other viewing corridor widths have been doubled.

As well as introducing two new viewing corridors, from Parliament Hill to the Palace of Westminster and from the Serpentine Bridge to the Palace of Westminster, the new guidelines provide better protection of central London’s World Heritage Sites. These include the Palace of Westminster, the Tower of London and Greenwich, and the view from St. James’ Park to Horse Guards Parade.

Peter Stewart, chairman of the RIBA planning group said: ‘It is slightly ambiguous, and my instinct is that it may be slightly more restrictive, but it is not cataclysmic. At the end of the day, the area affected is pretty small.’

The Mayor said: ‘This new guidance will help ensure that new development fits in with that built heritage and show how new buildings can enhance, rather than detract from, some of our favourite views. By removing uncertainty it will also help speed up the planning and development process and help drive London’s economy forward towards continued growth and prosperity in the coming decades.’

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