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News / City Life

This is what London would look like if plans for 250 more skyscrapers are approved

BBC Newsnight/YouTube

You know what London's lacking? High-rise buildings - and lots of 'em. At least that's what developers seem to think, because there are currently around 250 skyscrapers either seeking planning permission or in progress. Sure, London's a big place, but 250 skyscrapers seems a bit excessive. And what would London's skyline look like with that many new additions? BBC's 'Newsnight' has come up with a handy visualisation, showing what the city could look like if all 250 skyscrapers were given the green light. Spoiler alert: it ain't pretty.

Watch the video:

Want more cool videos? See London's 40,000-year history retold in this mesmerising paper animation.

Or take a look at the designs for the Undershaft – which could soon be the tallest skyscraper in the city.



Henry S and find out about the 40 odd sites dedicated to these vast developments that are being undertaken London-wide between now and 2020. The Manhattanisation of our Metropolis is upon us.  And nobody realises it yet? Perhaps you are in denial?

Problems? Well where do we start? The demolition of vast areas social housing, the death of architectural history and important 'listed heritage sites' (e.g Norton Folgate, Shoreditch, Denmark Place, parts of Kensington, Brixton, Thames-side, Brent Cross, Chiswick, etcetera;  as well as numerous listed pubs and listed venues) and the death of independent retail, too.

And the further downside of high rise buildings? Shade creating poor light or total darkness 24/7 for people living next to these towers; no doubt creating S.A.D syndrome for many (a recognized psychological form of depression caused by 24/7 living in the shadow of darkness) as well as the creation of vast wind tunnels in their wake.

Ever walked near the so-called Walkie Takie building? Do this on any given day to feel a howling gale at any time of the year. The corridors of towers that are now planned across London are thereby pushing bad ozone at you rapidly like the tubes do at rush hour. Marvellous.

Then there is the notion of this being gentrification? It isn't!  Half of the Vauxhall and the Battersea redevelopments are buy-to-leave investments for certain Arabic states, South East Asian investors and Russian oligarchs. Am I being fanciful here? No. Check with land registry if you doubt me.  

Boris has sanctioned dozens of would be new Centre Points: buy-to-leave-empty investments for the uber rich from abroad, while our cities are socially cleansed of really decent hard working people ghettoized into poverty as London prices us all out as a result of this fake property boom (a bubble bound to burst) pushing up property values into ridiculous and untenable pricing for 90% of Brits. 

This has been waved through by local council and central government and the numerous developments are underway in almost every London Borough. It is time to wake up to the effect that this will cause to London and Londoners in particular. To say that this is for the good is just plainly naive. This is cynical short term profiteering for overseas money launderers and tax evaders to the benefit of a handful of corporate developer giants.  Pure facts here.

The 1% uber rich international multi-millionaire classes of the globe are sinking their dubious investments on our very collective doorsteps, causing  the destruction and decimation of swathes of London in its wake - especially all along the soon-to-be-in-shadow Thameside for many a mile, creating a brand new light obscuring Thames wall.

And these are the very kind of buildings deemed unfit for social housing after the 1970’s.The types of towers even Stalin rejected in totalitarian communist Russia. God help us all here in London.  Some future! “No future” in the 40th Anniversary of Punk Rock, say many …

Henry Scott-Irvine 
of and The Founder Chairman of Save Tin Pan Alley Denmark St and more here in this video

Chris B

There should be no problem with that collection of Skyscrapers on the South Bank. There isn't really a skyline as such looking from North to South.

For anyone who is looking from South to North to complain...well..from the ground looking from South to North, all I could ever see is....a few skyscrapers! So more skyscrapers South of the river ESPECIALLY at Nine Elms, isn't really a problem for South Londoners neither can it be for North Londoners. 

I just don't understand why people have a problem with Skyscrapers. London is a city after-all.

St Pauls, Tower Bridge etc - You can't see them from most parts of London in the first place! 

To keep London's skyline restricted just to preserve views of some historic structures for a tiny minority of Londoners, is insane. 

For London to remain a global city, it has to build up. 

Yes there should be more social housing, but London still needs to be built up.