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Consultation opens on advice for tall buildings

Words: Laura Edgar
Greenwich / Historic England - Chris Redgrave

Historic England has launched a consultation on its updated draft advice note to guide the planning and design of tall buildings.

Originally published in 2007, the Tall Buildings Advice Note was last published in 2015.

Although tall buildings can make a positive contribution to city life, it acknowledges, they can harm the historic character of places owing to their size and visibility.

The advice note highlights the importance of carefully considering historic context, protecting the historic environment, the need for high-quality design, and the need for sustainable development.

It has been updated in response to recent changes in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), as well as recent good practice.

The 2020 updates include:

  • Greater emphasis on the importance of a plan-led approach.
  • Updated references to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) and the National Design Guide throughout, especially regarding design, placemaking and the efficient use of land.
  • Acknowledgement of the changing technologies and tools that are available and can be used to provide evidence when considering tall building proposals.
  • The integration of case studies to make the advice clear and accessible.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive at Historic England, said: “Well-designed tall buildings can be positive additions to towns and cities when thought is given to their location, but we see many ill-considered proposals that would harm their surroundings.

“With London and major towns and cities throughout the UK receiving large numbers of applications every year, we have updated our advice on planning for tall buildings so it reflects our recent experience and restates the need for new buildings to offer a meaningful response to the history and character of our cities.”

The consultation can be found on the Historic England website.

Image credit | Historic England - Chris Redgrave