The Weekly is STREAMING now. Join us at HorizonTV

London grows up: 236 tall buildings to be added to skyline in coming decade, says think tank

The vast majority of high-rise projects in the works are residential towers, which could help tackle the city's housing crisis.

March 12, 2014 |
Image credit: Copyright CPAT / Hayes Davidson / Jason Hawkes

The think tank New London Architecture (NLA) has released the results of an independent survey to uncover the number of towers planned for the capital and how this will affect the people who live and work in the city.

As part of a major NLA Insight Study into the past, present, and future of tall towers in the capital and NLA exhibition London’s Growing Up!, which opens next month, the survey by GL Hearn has found at least 236 tall buildings over 20 storys are currently proposed, approved, or under construction in London, and set to dramatically alter the capital’s skyline. Initial estimates had originally placed the figure at 200.

This new trend for tall buildings will see 33 buildings between 40 and 49 storys and 22 buildings of 50 storys or more planned for London.

About half (48%) of the 236 towers have been approved and 19% are already off the starting blocks and under construction.

High-rise living sees the biggest surge, with 80% of the towers planned as new residential blocks for the capital—a total of 189 new towers, potentially contributing to tackling London’s housing crisis.

Tower Hamlets, traditionally one of London’s less affluent boroughs, is at the heart of the building boom as the biggest area of development, with 23% of the projects being planned there alone.

Central and East London are the focus areas for the most future developments, with 77% of the total planned tall buildings. Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Greenwich, Newham, and Southwark have a combined total of 140 new towers, out of the proposed 236.

Of the remaining towers, 18 are set to be office developments, eight hotels, 13 mixed-use, and one tower is earmarked as an educational institute.

The results of GL Hearn’s building survey will inform the NLA Insight Study which investigates the past, present, and future London skyline.


Status of tall building development projects

113 (48%) of development projects approved

72 (30%) proposed applications

45 (19%) under construction

6 (3%) unknown

Primary use of tall building development projects reviewed

189 (80%) of development projects have a primary residential use

18 (8%) of development projects have an primary office use

8 (3%) of development projects have a primary hotel use

Only 13 (6%) of development projects have a primary mixed-use

Only 1 (0.4%) of development projects have a primary University/Educational Institution use

Analysis of London's five sub-regions

East: 107 projects

Central: 76

South and North: 22 each

West: 10


About NLA — London’s Centre for the Built Environment

NLA was founded in 2005 to provide an independent information resource and a forum for discussion and debate about London’s built environment for professionals, public and politicians. Since that time it has successfully established itself as a major focus for discussion about architecture, planning, development and construction in the capital with a yearround program of events, publications and exhibitions, and a core mission – bringing people and ideas together to shape a better city.

About the London’s Growing Up! exhibition

London’s Growing Up! is a free exhibition and is on show at NLA’s galleries at The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London WC1E 7BT from April 3 to June 12. Through the use of images, video, models, CGIs and visitor interaction, the exhibition will present a past, present and future view of London’s skyline as the capital’s developers focus on building upwards, rather than outwards.

Overlay Init

Your card will be charged: 0