A record number of London skyscraper plans ongoing

1 min read

Author: Cyril Richert
The "Walky Takly" Tower near Monument -21 April 2013
A record number of London skyscrapers are in the pipeline, prompting campaigners to warn that the capital’s skyline could be ruined by a “wall of glass” as property developers seek to capitalise on foreign investor demand for homes in the capital” wrote the Financial Times on Monday 27th January.
Those are news that we have been reporting in several occasion on this website. Foreign developers see London as a very attractive market for they home clients, with money to invest in the UK capital. Thus, Chinese are buying the Ram Brewery site, and it follows rival Chinese developer Wanda’s announcement to build a 60 storey skyscraper in Nine Elms, (mostly luxury flats with a small portion considered as “affordable”).
While David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson encourage bigger Chinese investment in Britain, the Parliament as expressed concerns with a  debate about properties being bought by foreigners, last June.
In the FT, Susan Emmett, a director of residential research at estate agency Savills, said that “We need to be building at higher densities to deliver the number of homes London needs. Tall residential blocks help achieve this, particularly near public transport nodes.But do we need more empty units bought by people for the only purpose of using it as an investment/safe deposit, instead of leaving there? Have a look at Imperial Wharf to see the consequence of such developments.

Can we trust politicians to protect where we live?

During its first campaign in 2008, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, pledged not to approve such plans if residents express outrage. Six years ago is probably eternity in politicians view and therefore forgettable. Since then he has approved most of the skyscrapers plans and the skyline of the city has changed drastically with the Shard, the Walkie Talkie, the Cheese-grater, the Razor…etc. And currently, more than 200 towers of at least 20 storeys are either under construction or being planned.
In his own party, Mark Field (Conservatives MP for Cities of London and Westminster) is at war against Boris Johnson’s decision to grant planning for a massive development around Waterloo station.
As reported in the FT, former Wandsworth council lead, Sir Edward Lister, now deputy mayor for planning at the Greater London Authority, rejected the suggestion that the GLA had allowed a free-for-all on skyscrapers across the London skyline, saying it permitted tall buildings only in clusters, and only in particular areas, such as Old Street, Nine Elms, Elephant & Castle, London Bridge and along the South Bank. “We’re not going back to the days of the 1960s, of putting up tall buildings any old where.Only in clusters, really? What about the Ram Brewery?

Did you like reading this article? Help us writing more!

Clapham Junction Insider (formerly called CJAG website) has been publishing local news for more than 14 years and remains committed to providing local community information and public interest journalism.

We aim to feature as much as possible on community campaigns and initiatives, local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents and helping residents.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.

Until recently, all stories, analysis and reports published have been made with the great help of many volunteers. However, at the end of the day it cost time and efforts and we are frustrated that we cannot do more: there are many subjects that we would like to cover but we need financial resources to help us providing regular information.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

2 ways of supporting our project

Do you think what we are doing is helping the community and you want to encourage us to do more? We have set up two ways of supporting our project:

  1. Paypal: For one-off contributions, you can just use your bank card. However if you wish to encourage and support us regularly with a small amount, you will need a Paypal account to set up a monthly subscription. Click here to donate.
  2. Patreon: this is a well-known membership platform that connects content creators with supporters. Mainly, it offers financial tools that let supporters subscribe to projects that give creators a predictable income stream as they continue to create content. Click here to subscribe and support us regularly.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

CJI editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.