London Mayor Ken Livingstone has asked English Heritage for interim guidance on tall buildings in London.
The request, which will force EH to be more explicit about the types of development it will oppose, was received by its chairman Sir Neil Cossons last week.

Livingstone told Building that he had asked that the guidance be given by the end of the month.

This would be in advance of the publication in June of a national policy on tall buildings, to be drawn up by EH and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

Livingstone also revealed that the Greater London Authority, EH and CABE would conduct a joint review of protected views along the Thames from Richmond to Hornsey by the summer "to see which of them are still valid".

He said: "You'd have to have the eyesight of a hawk to see St Paul's from Richmond, for example." Livingstone was speaking at Monday's launch of the consultation document on his strategic development plan, which he said was intended to meet the shortage of office space resulting from economic expansion and rapid unplanned population growth.

The capital's population has risen from 6.8 million in 1983 to 7.4 million in 2001.

Livingstone added: "Rather than impose public sector forces over the private sector, it calls on developers to build with more imagination, greater density, and, dare I say it, greater height in certain parts of London." Deputy mayor Nicky Gavron said the strategy was a chance to put government policy on the urban renaissance into practice.

Gavron said the strategy identified 10 development sites associated with proposed improvements to London's orbital rail network, which include Crossrail, Thameslink 2000 and Hackney South-west line projects, as well as neglected town centre sites across London.