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The Observer: "London is being transformed with 230 towers. Why the lack of consultation?" (Twenty of them are in Barnet!)

"An explosion of high-rise buildings will change London forever. Now 80 public figures, shocked at the scale of the plans, are demanding a say in the way the city is reshaped"

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"When the appearance of a great city is about to be radically transformed, it is a good idea for its citizens to be shown what is going to happen and have a say in it. It is also a good idea if the city's government has a vision, or at least an overview, of what is happening.

"Neither of these applies to the wave of towers about to hit London. There are plans for more than 230, at the last count. They range in height from 20 storeys to more than 60, in central and suburban locations. Yet it has taken a privately funded organisation, New London Architecture, to discover this number. When Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor for business, was presented with this figure, he was not only ignorant of it, but denied it could be possible. 

"... The majority of the tall buildings now proposed are residential. There is, of course, an acute shortage of homes in London, but stacks of high-rise, high-price flats are not what the city needs. In a recent Ipsos Mori poll commissioned by New London Architecture, a majority of Londoners said they would not want to live in towers. The transformation of the skyline is not driven by serving their needs, but by a bubble of overseas investment in high-end residential property. Many of these flats are likely to be left empty."

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"Campaigners fight to save London skyline from 230 more skyscrapers"

"Some of Britain's most influential figures in the arts, politics and academia have launched a campaign to save London's skyline from being dominated by more than 200 additional skyscrapers.

"In a statement in the Observer, signatories from sculptor Sir Antony Gormley to philosopher Alain de Botton, author Alan Bennett, Stirling prize-winning architect Alison Brooks, and London mayoral hopefuls Dame Tessa Jowell and MP David Lammy warn: 'The skyline of London is out of control.'

"... The mayor's spokesman said that 'virtually every one' of the towers had the support of local politicians and English Heritage, adding: 'The mayor needs to balance an array of challenges and competing interests across a rapidly growing city. He recognises the concerns around the architecture of London's skyline, but tall buildings beautifully designed in the right location and in harmony with their surroundings help to meet the challenge of a rapidly growing city.'

"The NLA says that of the buildings being planned, 189 (80%) are intended to be residential, but do not meet London's housing needs because of their price and dimensions. A further 18 are planned as office developments, eight as hotels and 13 are due for mixed use, while one tower is to be an educational institute."

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