Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Zac Goldsmith promises new city architect role for London

Zac Goldsmith
  • 1 Comment

The Conservative candidate for mayor of London would appoint a chief architect if elected next month

Goldsmith said that he wanted a City architect to support ‘high-quality design’ in major developments, oversee the creation of 200 ‘pocket parks’ and advise on town-centre regeneration.

He also pledges in his housing manifesto to assemble a team of ‘flying planners’ to beef up the ‘hollowed out’ planning departments of austerity-struck London boroughs.

‘As mayor, I will not just build more homes but build better homes too, working with my new chief architect and local communities to design a London we will all be proud to call our home,’ Goldsmith said in a statement.

The chief architect would gain jurisdiction over the design of buildings on public-sector land and would help hold developers to account.

Goldsmith’s manifesto also pledges to shake up planning rules that ‘make it harder to build the homes London loves’.

His manifesto states: ‘London’s complex planning system has created ugly blocks designed by committee rather than the Victorian terraced houses and red-brick Edwardian apartment blocks which Londoners like. [Goldsmith] will consult widely with Londoners on the homes they wish to see - and then change the rules if required to ensure these homes can get built.’

Goldsmith’s pledge to appoint a chief architect was welcomed by Terry Farrell, who previously backed such a post at a national level in his independent review.

‘I am delighted that the idea is being proposed for London, a city with extraordinary and unprecedented pressures for growth,’ he said. ‘With those pressures, come once in a lifetime opportunities to improve the places we know and love, and good design should be at the heart of this.’

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • I wonder if one function of a City Architect would be to help to add respectability to the antics of any future mayor who adopted the 'Boris Johnson' style of governance?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.