London mayor puts forward proposals to further protect historic views

Developers will have to ensure that future plans protect historic views in London under updated proposals put forward by the city's mayor Boris Johnson.

He wants to strengthen the protection given to views of London's landmarks such as St Paul's Cathedral and has published new draft guidance that will help ensure they are not obscured or spoilt by development when seen from specific points across the capital.

The proposals are set out in a consultation paper, The London View Management Framework, which updates the current guidance from 2007 and significantly increases the protection of the 10 established protected 'Viewing Corridors' between St Paul's Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster.

Developers and planners must carefully consider the height of new buildings that are built within these corridors. For example, the viewing corridor from King Henry VIII's Mound in Richmond has been widened from 70 metres to 150 metres at the Cathedral, and some viewing corridor widths have been doubled.

The update also introduces two new viewing corridors from Parliament Hill to the Palace of Westminster and from the Serpentine Bridge to the Palace of Westminster. And it also allows for further protection of central London's World Heritage Sites – the Palace of Westminster, the Tower of London and Greenwich.

'We are privileged to enjoy a fabulous architectural heritage history as we go about our daily lives whether crossing one of the Thames bridges, walking along its banks, or from a higher, distant vantage point. We must protect those views at all costs,' Johnson said.

He added that the guidance should help speed up the planning process by giving developers and architects more certainty about planning and investment decisions. 'This new guidance will help ensure that new development fits in with that built heritage and show how new buildings can enhance, rather than detract from, some of our favourite views,' continued Johnson.

The consultation procedure is open until the 4th of September.