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Tories plan to protect heritage

The Conservative Party plans to put an end to historic buildings being blighted by nearby modern, high-rise office and tower blocks.

Shadow arts minister Ed Vaizey said the party will introduce a new planning status for “iconic buildings”, according to reports in the Sunday Telegraph, with the aim of preventing office blocks or high-rise apartments being built near them.

“Labour has dithered in putting in place robust measures to protect some of our most iconic buildings.”

Shadow arts minister Ed Vaizey

“Labour has dithered in putting in place robust measures to protect some of our most iconic buildings,” he said.

“These are buildings people treasure and are part of our identity.

“We hope that the scheme would provide a significant hurdle against intrusive developments.”

Heritage groups have criticised intrusive developments near historic buildings. Unesco has warned that the Tower of London is on the verge of being placed on the United Nation’s Heritage in Danger List, because it has become overshadowed by skyscrapers.

Historic Royal Palaces, the charity responsible for Hampton Court Palace, is currently fighting plans for a development on the opposite bank of the River Thames that it fears will spoil the views of and from the palace.

A spokesman for English Heritage said: “We would happily look at any new proposals from the future Government, whoever they may be, that benefit the historic environment and are in the public interest.”

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