According to research from property consultancy Knight Frank and New London Architecture (NLA), permissions granted for tall buildings above 20-storeys in London hit record levels last year.

In their annual edition of the London Tall Buildings Survey, they report that 98 full planning permissions were granted in 2021. That’s 26% more than 2020, and the highest number of tall building planning permissions on record in London.

Tall building approvals across London hit record levels

The numbers in context

While this is the biggest number of permissions granted, these applications themselves were filed as far as back as 2018 and 2019. A slowdown in applications during the pandemic, and a reduction in work starting on existing projects, has squeezed the pipeline of new tall buildings projects in London by about 1%.

While acknowledging the reduction in the pipeline, Knight Frank remain bullish about the immediate future of tall building construction, and the future of tall buildings in the capital.

“The future pipeline may have contracted slightly, but it remains significant,” said Stuart Baillie, Head of Planning at Knight Frank. “In total, there are 583 tall buildings which are proposed or approved with 109 of those currently under construction, 28% and 19% higher than back in 2016 respectively.”


What LABC Warranty are seeing

Knight Frank’s position is also reflected in the experiences of LABC Warranty’s Business Development team speaking to developers in the capital.

 “The buoyancy and positivity shown by Knight Frank is backed up by the daily conversations we’re having with developers in the London & South East region,” said Craig Ewles, Business Development Manager at LABC Warranty.

“While it’s true that increasing costs, regulatory uncertainty, and planning issues have caused some project delays, particularly in the social housing market, LABC Warranty are still having many early engagement planning conversations about constructing major projects in London, and the pipeline looks healthy from our perspective as well.

“Early engagement, where we get involved in a project as early as RIBA stage 2, is one of the most valuable services that LABC Warranty offers tall building clients. Part of our Major Projects Service, LABC Warranty works alongside developers and building control to make sure they can deliver the high-quality, attractive buildings and on time. Clients can be confident in our ability to help manage the build and inspections at various stages of the project with regards to design, construction, and completion.”


Talk to LABC Warranty about your next tall building

If you’re planning a tall building, in London or anywhere else in England, get in touch with LABC Warranty and enjoy the benefits of the Major Projects Service. The earlier you incorporate LABC Warranty’s expertise into your plans, the more confidence all parties can have when work commences.

Read the full Knight Frank and New London Architecture research here:


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Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.

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