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CABE and English Heritage to oppose 'non-viable' towers

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CABE and English Heritage have jointly pledged not to give support to tall buildings which are not economically viable.The hardline stance is contained in a consultation paper launched by the bodies as the AJ went to press. CABE chairman Sir Stuart Lipton and English Heritage chairman Sir Neil Cossons said developers must prove that proposals for tall buildings could be financed and satisfied client demands before being given the green light.

They would not support what they considered to be unviable proposals 'because of the risk that a grant of planning permission will be followed by an attempt to substitute a viable alternative which may not be of acceptable quality', stated the consultation paper. It also said that applications for towers should contain 'fullyworked-up' proposals to ensure high quality. Outline planning applications were therefore 'inappropriate'. In future, tall buildings (of a height to be determined) would be assessed against a range ofmeasures including their context, location of transport, massing and the provision of public spaces.

Sir Stuart said he was looking forward to the public inquiry on Kohn Pederson Fox's Heron Tower, set for 23 October. 'I welcome the inquiry into the tower so that the rules can be understood.

If we're going to have quality there has got to be definition of the rules.'

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