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Boris addresses Skyline campaign

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The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has responded to issues raised by the ongoing AJ/Observer Skyline campaign by calling for ‘beautiful homes’ in a speech to developers

Speaking at the London Real Estate Forum in Berkeley Square, Johnson appeared to back a key demand of the campaign – that higher architectural quality is required to safeguard the capital’s skyline - although he gave no hint of any changes to the planning system.

Johnson said London was on the verge of an ‘absolutely golden age of construction’ but said developers should prioritise quality and address the needs of Londoners when designing homes.

Many campaign supporters including former City planning officer Peter Rees have complained that high-rise homes are being used as ‘safe deposit boxes’ by wealthy foreign investors, distorting their development and design.

Johnson said: ‘Let’s exploit this moment to build homes now in our city that Londoners need and let’s build them for Londoners and let’s build homes of such beauty and distinction that nobody can complain about what they do to the skyline.

‘Let’s build homes that will be loved and venerated in 50 or 100 years’ time. Go to it.’

The mayor was speaking on Tuesday evening, just hours after London Assembly planning chair, Nicky Gavron, accused him of ignoring the ‘growing consensus calling for him to look again at his policies and implementation’ on tall buildings.

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