London now has 510 tall buildings in the pipeline

19 April 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

City of London tall buildings cluster by VU.CITY (New London Architecture)

A total of 510 tall buildings are due to be built in London, 55 more than in 2016 when there were 455 in the pipeline.

That’s according to the fifth London Tall Buildings Survey conducted by New London Architecture (NLA), which attempts to capture the capital’s changing skyline.

The analysis looks at buildings over 20 storeys which are proposed, in planning, or under construction in London.

Despite signs of a slowdown, a record 115 are under construction, compared to 91 in 2016.

Since the first report in 2014, 122 tall buildings have been completed and a further 96 are expected to be complete over the next two years.

Over 90% (458) of the tall buildings in the pipeline are residential, and could deliver up to 106,000 new homes if they are all built.

The Build-to-Rent sector is also featuring more in tall buildings, with data from Estates Gazette showing that 30% of the schemes proposed in 2017 were Build-to-Rent, compared with none in 2013.

Meanwhile, the rate of applications has fallen 10% from 2016 and is down 35% on 2015, which was a bumper year due to the application of Greenwich Peninsula for over 40 tall buildings.

Almost a third of the pipeline is in outer London, in zones three, four and five.

There are only seven boroughs without any towers: Bexley, Enfield, Havering, Hillingdon, Merton, Kensington and Chelsea, and Richmond, although this is expected to change in the future.

Peter Murray, chairman of New London Architecture, said: “We continue to see a steady increase in the number of tall buildings coming forward and with London’s population continuing to increase and the demand for new homes only getting higher, our view remains that that well designed tall buildings, in the right place, are part of the solution. 

“NLA has long been calling for a 3D model of London to enable developers to place virtual images of their proposed buildings into a wider model of the capital so that developers, planners and the public can more fully understand their impact.

“We have looked at all of the available systems and are pleased to be working with VU.CITY, whose London model is the largest, most accurate digital model in the world. We urge architects and developers to upload their projects to VU.CITY – a service that is free of charge – so that it can provide London with the tool it needs for better planning and decision making.”

Stuart Baillie, of GL Hearn, which helped to compile the survey, said: “Whilst there is a notable slowdown in the volume of new tall buildings entering the pipeline compared to the high of 2016, the rate is actually increasing in the boroughs of Southwark, Newham, Hammersmith & Fulham and Croydon.

“Inner London remains the focus for the majority of tall building but Waltham Forest and Bromley feature in the pipeline for the first time.

“It is clear from the report findings that tall buildings make a substantial contribution towards realising London’s housing targets and in those boroughs where there are multiple tall buildings in the pipeline, this is a significant contribution towards borough housing need.”

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