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Sadiq Khan has promised to stop skyscrapers ruining views of St Paul’s Cathedral

Alexandra Sims

Skyscrapers are causing a lot of hoo-hah in London of late. A report by New London Architecture reckons there are more than 400 tall buildings in the pipeline across town, and one causing a lot of aggro is the proposed Manhattan Loft Gardens in Stratford – a 135-metre-high tower planned for 2018, which threatens the view of Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece, St Paul’s Cathedral.

The charity Friends of Richmond Park has urged Sadiq Khan to stop construction of the skyscraper, which they said violates planning guidelines that have protected the view for hundreds of years. 

The view from King Henry's Mound in Richmond Park to St Paul's is one of the ten protected views in London. The rules state the cathedral should be set against a ‘clear sky background’, but the Loft Gardens are set to dominate the skyline behind the famous dome – whoops! 

Sadiq has now responded to the call and promised to stop views of the landmark being blighted by new lofty structures.

The Mayor told the Times it is not currently obligatory for London boroughs long distances away from historic sites to hold public consultations over any new building's impact on protected views, but promised to widen the area in which these consultations should take place – hopefully saving St Paul’s from being blocked by any future towers.

‘This would currently need government agreement unless the necessary powers are delegated to the mayor, as has been sought,’ he told the paper.

Despite welcoming the announcement, Friends of Richmond Park has been forced to accept Manhattan Loft Gardens still has the green light from planning bosses. 

But their petition to halt construction (now at nearly 8,500 signatures) is not in vain. The group are now after Manhattan Loft Gardens to add cladding to keep any pesky reflections hampering views of the Cathedral, too. 

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