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Tories call for a halt to London's 'skyscraper frenzy'

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A host of proposed skyscrapers in London should be scrapped, according to shadow culture secretary Ed Vaizey.

In a speech given on 22 May to the Heritage of London Trust, the Tory minister called for all tall buildings, such as Renzo Piano's Shard of Glass, to be blocked.

Vaizey also accused both the government and the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone of being 'in thrall to the skyscraper', and added that next month UNESCO could place both the Palace of Westminster and the Tower of London on the World Heritage Sites' 'endangered' list.

Vaizey said: 'The Tower of London's views would already have been damaged by the Minerva Tower, had it not been for financial problems, but the London Bridge Tower remains a danger.'

He added: 'Two tall buildings have been proposed in Victoria, there is a risk of development in Waterloo and Blackfriars, and there is a proposal for a tower at Coin Street.

'All of these proposals - some merely ideas, others more substantial, and one going ahead - would have a massive impact on the historic and important views around the Palace of Westminster. They should be stopped. The government should immediately put in place a buffer zone to protect the site.'

by Richard Vaughan

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