London Plan policy D9 includes three elements: Part A defines ‘tall buildings’; Part B addresses the location of tall buildings; and Part C deals with the impacts of tall buildings; including visual impacts, legibility, architectural quality, internal and external design, servicing and micro-climatic conditions.
The London Plan emphasises the importance of a local plan-led approach to the location of tall buildings, but this cannot mean the default rejection of applications for residential towers in areas which aren’t specifically included as suitable for tall buildings in borough local plans. The policy and its application to schemes is - and must be - a matter of planning judgement.
Decisions must be made in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise – this means the development plan considered as a whole. It is fairly common for a scheme to comply with certain aspects of a policy or particular policies and to conflict with others. Conflicts between development plan policies must be considered in the light of all material considerations. Despite non-compliance with Policy D9B it may be a legitimate judgment - taking account of all elements of policy conflict and compliance and other material considerations - to conclude overall that a planning application should be approved.