‘Build up not out and make homes taller’ says MP

Radical proposals for London to “grow upwards” by adding extra storeys to homes and businesses are being looked at by ministers, the Evening Standard has learned.

They include tackling the housing shortage by allowing homeowners to extend upwards and create spare bedrooms or new flats for people who prefer to live in the “buzzy” heart of London.

High streets could be reinvigorated by adding floors of flats and offices for rent, making traditional shops more viable.

The proposals were made by the former Minister for Tourism and Heritage, Tory MP John Penrose, who believes planning controls could be eased if there is protection for classic views like the dome of St Paul’s. Whitehall sources say ministers are studying his ideas closely.

One plan is to let residents build up to the height of the tallest landmark in their street, which could be a house or even a church or a treeline. “We can all think of examples where ‘tall is beautiful’,” said Mr Penrose.

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