Hooray for the Mayor.
He has restored the width of the protected corridors of vista on 11 classic views in the City – two of which are on our stamping ground.
Ken narrowed the vistas in 2007 – down to 70 metres in some places, so that developers could build skyscrapers in front of famous views, changing them forever. Boris has reversed Ken’s decision, saying “We are privileged to enjoy a fabulous architectural heritage and history as we go about our daily lives. We must protect those views at all costs.”
The Phantom’s General Wolfe’s famous view from Observatory Hill now has the much more generous vista of 300m through to St Paul’s, as has the lesser-known but clear winner (by a long chalk) of the Phantom’s Best View in Greenwich Poll, The Point.
Councils cannot approve a building that obstructs St Paul’s, and must not allow a development that would bring “an intrusive element in the view’s fore or middle ground.” Sadly projects already approved during Ken’s tenure are not affected.
Boris has even created two new vistas, though unfortunately that wonderful nearly-local one that peeps through the trees at Nunhead Cemetery through to St Paul’s is not one of them
I am, of course, delighted about Boris’s change in the rules. But I foresee problems in the future as this vista-thing is used as the planning development equivalent of the Hokey-Cokey every time we get a new mayor with a different agenda – or developers in their pocket…