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London facing a slowdown in new towers after record 2019

Shutterstock jono photography one blackfriars tower march 2020
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London faces a slowdown in construction of new skyscrapers, after a record 60 were completed across the capital in 2019 

According to the latest survey by New London Architecture (NLA), new towers went up in 17 different boroughs last year. The total number of high-rise completions was up 140 per cent from 25 in 2018.

All but seven of the 60 new towers were classed as residential-led.

However a reduced pipeline, a slowdown in construction starts and the impact of the coronavirus crisis point to a drop-off in new towers in 2020.

The number of buildings of 20 storeys and over in pre-planning, planning and under construction has dropped by 3 per cent to 525 compared with March 2019, while construction starts have fallen to their lowest level since 2015. There were 30 high-rise starts in 2019, down from 38 in 2018.

Tall buildings report graphs4

Tall buildings report graphs4

However, planning permissions for towers did increase by 7 per cent last year.

The NLA tall buildings survey shows there has been a shift away from the centre, with outer boroughs now accounting for 35 per cent of the future tall building pipeline.

Newham continues to be the outer borough with the largest number of pipeline schemes – 37. However, hot spots such as Ealing and Barnet have seen a hike in the number of towers in their pipelines.

NLA curator-in-chief Peter Murray said: ’These figures are for a period when the world was very different. Covid-19 means we will have to re-evaluate the direction of development in our cities.

Covid-19 means we’ll have to re-evaluate the direction of development in our cities

’It raises questions about population growth in London, about property values and social quality. Will the pressure to build more homes reduce? What will be the long-term reaction to physical distancing and lockdown? Just as the virus itself created uncharted waters for the medical professions, so its effects on cities are unprecedented in terms of planning, design, development and wellbeing.’

Tall buildings report graphs5

Tall buildings report graphs5

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