Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 140-142)



  140. Yes, but I cannot go round and pick up a photograph and say, "That's a protected view"?
  (Ms Wilkinson) We have famous views, which we protect; we do not write them on a map, we expect applicants to observe them, to understand them and to take heed of them.

  141. So, if that is good enough for Bath, why is it not good enough for Westminster?
  (Ms Wilkinson) We are on a different scale, and I think you have got to acknowledge there is quite a difference, you need the different approaches with a large-scale conurbation; ours is very much a smaller-scale City that you can see from end to end in one go.

  142. And, looking back from Buckingham Palace towards Whitehall, should a protected view, or it is not a protected view, have the London Eye poking over the top of it?
  (Mr Powell) It is an interesting question and, indeed, very topical, and I am afraid I will shy away from commenting on that, because the application is coming up for consideration by Lambeth and I think it would be entirely inappropriate to prejudge my members and express an opinion on that. But I think that there is an important distinction to make, that there are various grades of views of interest, and I think that the explanation from Bath of the significant views versus strategic views which are actually protected on a map means that the contextual analysis of individual applications needs to take into account not only whether there is a protected view on a map but what will be the impact of any development on interesting views, whether they are protected or not. And so, once again, it is the contextual sensitivity of dealing with individual applications; you cannot do planning by formula.

  Chairman: Right; well, on that note, can I thank you very much for your evidence. Thank you very much indeed.

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