High rise – no solution

The following quotes are from a letter to local Councillors from Andrew Boff, Chair of the Planning Committee at the London Assembly. This was following research and expert consultation carried out and set down in a document entitled COVID, Housing Typologies and Design in London.

“The key finding is that the Committee does not believe that tall buildings are the answer to London’s housing needs and should not be encouraged outside of a few designated and carefully managed areas.”
“The higher off the ground, the less comfortable [you are] in terms of your living environment and your happiness with your neighbourhood.”

“Tall buildings will not produce the high-quality homes and neighbourhoods that London needs…in general families are disadvantaged if they are living in tall buildings. The sociability that children are able to gain in terms of opportunities for play, for meeting others and so forth within tall buildings is often not great.”

“High density housing can be achieved by achieved by approaches that are more suitable for families, more in keeping with London’s traditional form, and are less intrusive on the skyline.”
“Serving tall buildings can be costly and this often results in high service charges to residents [and] energy use is higher in tall buildings.”

“The Committee finds there is growing evidence that tall buildings are less sustainable than…other configurations.”

“Proposals for tall buildings should be required to demonstrate that other buildings configurations, which would achieve similar densities, have been considered…up to a medium density of 56 buildings per hectare enable access to local facilities within a neighbourhood [the Committee] has called on the Mayor to distinguish between high density and ‘superdensity’ (above 350 dwellings per hectare)