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MPs call for national skyscraper planning rules

NATIONAL GUIDANCE on tall building planning applications is needed to prevent construction of badly designed or inappropriate skyscrapers, MPs said this week.

The cross party Commons subcommittee on urban affairs wants the government to develop uniform guidance for local authorities to ensure the recent glut of tall building applications can be properly dealt with.

Its report calls for a new section on assessment of tall building applications to be included in the soon to be revised Planning Policy Guidance 1 (PPG1) document.

Policy is confused by fighting between agencies such as English Heritage, which opposes new tall buildings but protects old 'disastrous towers', and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), which is labelled a 'defender of modernist architecture', says the report.

It rubbishes the idea that tall buildings can reduce traffic congestion by providing high density residential development around transport links. It says this idea is undermined by 'inadequacies of the public transport system' and adds that tall buildings would cripple already overcrowded services.

INFOPLUS www. parliament. uk/commons/ selcom/tlrhome. htm

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