Towers on the rise in the capital

Greater London has 70 towers under construction with a further 193 proposed, in the planning system or with planning consent. That is one of the findings of the annual London Tall Buildings Survey published by New London Architecture (NLA) and GL Hearn.

The new data finds 263 tall buildings over 20-storeys proposed, approved or under construction within Greater London. Compared to last year’s data, there has been a significant increase in the number of towers under construction, up 36% from the 45 projects contained in the 2014 survey. It shows only a small increase of 3% in the number of proposed towers (up from 72), and a 6% decrease in the number of towers with planning approval but not yet on site (down from 113).

In the last 12 months 72 towers over 20 storeys have been submitted for planning approval, 64 of which are residential. Of these, 27 (37%) have been granted planning permission, four (6%) have been refused, and 41 (57%) remain undecided.

The survey finds 62 of the 70 towers under construction are residential and could provide approximately 14,800 new homes for the capital. It also notes that 80% of all 263 towers in the pipeline have a primary residential use.

Other findings include:

  • East, central and south London will see the biggest rise in tall buildings, with 93% of all towers under construction and 96% of this year’s planning applications, in line with the Greater London Authority’s opportunity areas for large-scale development
  • Tower Hamlets was at the heart of the tower boom last year and continues to see the most activity, with 18 tall buildings under construction, 27 with planning approval and 14 in planning
  • Other boroughs with a high concentration of towers under construction are Lambeth (11), Southwark (7) and Newham (7). The areas that have seen the most planning applications over the last 12 months, after Tower Hamlets, are Wandsworth (11), Greenwich (8) and Lambeth (10).

Shaun Andrews, head of London strategy at GL Hearn said: “The number of schemes to have actively progressed through the planning system in the past 12 months is relatively small and construction activity will need to step up if London is to capitalise on the potential to increase housing stock.”

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