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A range of information is available regarding how the City of London uses Planning policies to manage the development of Tall Buildings, and to safeguard Protected Views.

Detailed reports and information can be found below.

Tall buildings and planning

The construction of tall buildings in the City of London is managed by planning policies in the London Plan 2011 and the City of London Local Plan.

Within the City of London, all locations are considered to be sensitive to tall buildings.

Some areas considered to be inappropriate such as conservation areas or where they would adversely affect protected views of St Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London and views from the Monument.

Proposals for tall buildings are permitted only on sites which are considered suitable having regard to the potential effect on:

  • the City skyline
  • character and amenity of their surroundings including their relationship with existing tall buildings
  • significance of heritage assets and their setting
  • effect on historic skyline features

The Tall Buildings in the City of London report is split into three parts, all available to download:

Data as at March 2018.

St Paul's Heights study

​The policy context of the St Paul's Heights is set out in the Protected Views policy of the City of London Local Plan.

St Paul's Cathedral is an internationally recognised landmark in the London skyline.

Since 1937, the City of London Corporation has operated a unique policy known as the 'St Paul’s Heights' to protect and enhance important local views of the Cathedral from the South Bank, Thames bridges and certain points to the north, west and east. The long-term consistent implementation of the Heights policy has enabled the views to be protected and enhanced for more than seventy years for the enjoyment of Londoners and those who visit London.

The St Paul's Heights Study 2015 is a technical document which looks at the context of the history of the Heights, an analysis of the form of the Heights, evaluation of infringing buildings, evaluation of existing views, and a summary of issues that arise.

The study is divided into seven parts, all available to download:

  • Part 1 (2MB) Policy context and history and form of St Paul's Heights
  • Part 2 (1.60MB) The History of the St Paul's Heights Study, Infringing Buildings of the St Paul's Heights policy and Existing Views - Introduction
  • Part 3 (2MB) The Existing Views – analysis of the views (part 1)
  • Part 4 (1.65MB) The Existing Views – analysis of the views (part 2)
  • Part 5 (1.50MB) The Existing Views – analysis of the views (part 3)
  • Part 6 (2MB) The Existing Views – analysis of the views (part 4)
  • Part 7 (1.85MB) The Existing Views – analysis of the views (part 5), Comparison Summary, Conclusion and Appendices

The locally protected views of St Paul's Cathedral known as the 'St Paul’s Heights', which take the form of a grid of maximum building heights, are available to view on the St Paul's Heights Interactive Map on the Protected views page.

Access the data

​The spatial data layers for the St Paul's Heights are available to view on the St Paul's Heights Interactive Map on the Protected views page.

Access to the spatial data is available through the data.gov.uk web tool. The relevant layers are:


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