Towering monstrosities: Britain is being carpeted by vast, ugly tower blocks - many of which are bought by foreigners and left empty. Shamefully, says SIMON JENKINS, planners are doing nothing about it

Mail Online | 5/31/2018 | Simon Jenkins For The Daily Mail
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Everyone likes a good tower, but not in their back garden. I love the towers of Siena and San Gimignano. I can thrill to the skyscraper clusters of Manhattan and Dubai.

I admire the City of London's cluster of stumps, and might even like the Shard were it not casually shoved into Bermondsey.

Ugliness - Random - Banks - Thames - Squalor

But I do not love the ugliness that is now spreading at random along the banks of the Thames, or the squalor it has inflicted on London's skyline.

No one ever asked me if this is how I wanted my city to look — and never asked anyone else either. Apparently we have seen nothing yet.

News - New - London - Architecture - Body

The latest news from New London Architecture, the only body keeping a record on London's burgeoning towerscape, is sensational.

There are planned to be 511 more towers of 20 storeys or more added to the London horizon.

Turn - Century - Years - Construction

At the turn of the century, there were 30. Two years ago, 115 were planned or under construction. Now it is to be more than 500.

London will look like a field of giant stubble. It is the planning philosophy of the Wild West. I have seen no plan published for this proliferation.

None - London - Tower - Developer - Council

I suspect there is none. London must accept a tower wherever a developer happens to want one, and can bribe a local council with a few 'affordable housing units' on or near the site.

The only bizarre rule is that towers cannot get in the way of selected views of St Paul's Cathedral, as from Hampstead, the Thames or Richmond Park.

Policies - Towers - Royal - Parks - Towers

Former policies, such as no towers round royal parks, towers clustered only in one or two places and none forming a 'cliff' behind St Paul's, have all been abandoned. Nor is London alone in England.

Manchester is facing a 40-storey slab devoid of any quality beyond monstrosity, backed by...
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