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Boris wants to see more towers of London as he clashes with Prince Charles

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 29, 2014

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It would be "absolutely crazy" to rule out the construction of more high-rise flats as part of the solution to London's housing crisis, the capital's mayor, Boris Johnson, has said.

Mr Johnson's comments came in response to a call from the Prince of Wales for the capital's planners to focus on "mid-rise" buildings of the kind of size found in traditional Victorian tenements and squares.

In a speech earlier this week, the Prince warned that young people were being priced out of the city's housing market, and said that mid-rise buildings of between five and eight storeys should be "one of the key solutions to London's necessary expansion".

Mid-rise buildings are "more adaptable than high-rise, easier to build out of natural materials, are easier to repair and still work for people when the lift is broken or there is a power cut" as well as allowing smaller developers to invest in projects, said the Prince.

But launching his housing strategy for London, Mr Johnson made clear he sees tower blocks as an important part of the capital's future.

The Mayor told the Evening Standard: "Everybody in an ideal world would like to see just loads of London terraced streets and squares but it is possible on many sites to build good, sensible high-rise accommodation, beautiful homes with transport links. It would be absolutely crazy to rule out high-rise in those cases.

"You cannot simultaneously call for more homes for young people, which is what we need, and then attack really good higher developments."

He added: "The Prince has done a fantastic job in promoting traditional architecture over the years but in a city like London, growing to ten million people in 2030, we have high public transport levels around transport hubs, take Stratford for instance. It would be really mad to build homes just three or four storeys high. We can do beautiful things and there is a huge demand to fill."

Mr Johnson unveiled a plan to increase house-building to at least 42,000 new homes a year – around double what has been achieved over the last 20 years and is launching ten new 'housing zones'.

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