Building taller is the way forward

In response to Historic England’s revised guidance on the impact of tall buildings in the UK, property development specialist Richard Carr believes building taller is the only way the country will meet the current property demand.

Surge in applications

Richard Carr says build taller

Richard Carr believes building taller is the way forward

Historic England’s warning comes amid a surge in applications for new skyscrapers, specifically in London. Historic England, which acts as the Government’s statutory advisor on heritage issues, explained that they believes tall buildings could make a positive contribution to city life, but countered by saying they could also seriously harm places.

Richard Carr believes that property developers should focus on building taller rather than across plots of land, thus saving space and an increased GDV. This in turn would reduce land values and as a result would increase payments for social housing as there would be higher excess profit.

Furthermore, it will also help ease the current supply problem that the government is suffering from.


Historic England’s reshaped guidance, which was last published nine years ago, stressed the need for local councils to dictate planning in their areas for tall buildings.

“Tall buildings should reflect a positive, managed approach to development, rather than being the result of speculative applications for development,” explained the new guidance.

“The advantages of including tall buildings policies in local plans include identifying the role and areas appropriate for tall buildings as part of an overall vision for a place and protecting the historic places that make an area special.”


Richard Carr believes the UK’s historic environment is one of its greatest assets and obviously very important in terms of tourism and culture. Therefore finding the right balance between keeping historic values whilst also meeting the current demand, which is only set to increase, is very important.

The advice from Historic England explained further: “A successful urban design framework identifies the roles and characters of different areas, including their historic interest such as scale and height, landmark buildings and their settings, including important local views and panoramas.”

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