Memorandum by Derek Palmer, Steer Davies
Gleave (TAB 05)
This submission is concerned primarily with
transport issues raised by the development of tall buildings.
The Sub-Committee brief does not define a "tall building".
For this submission a definition is not important since the transport
issues raised are common to all developments, but will be greater
with larger/ taller developments.
1. The primary uses of tall buildings are
either as offices or residential units. As a result the major
transport impact often arises during peak commuting times.
2. By their very nature tall buildings generate
substantial numbers of travellers, including employees, residents,
visitors etc. Considerable movement is generated in the surrounding
area, much of it at times when the existing transport infrastructure
is congested or very near to being congested.
3. Most tall buildings will be located in
city/town centres to which access may be difficult. The construction
of new tall buildings will therefore place additional pressure
on already congested and overcrowded transport services, both
highways and railways.
4. The location of tall buildings, whether
clustered or dotted, will have different impacts on transport.
Clustered tall buildings should only be permitted near major transport
termini where there is sufficient capacity to accommodate additional
passenger flows. Scattered tall buildings have a lesser transport
impact but that can still be significant upon the local community.
In the USA tall buildings are often isolated from public transport
termini. This should be resisted in the UK.
5. Althought the development of tall buildings
in town and city centres is likely to be policy compliant with
PPG13: Transport, in order to accommodate their impact each proposal
must be subject to a detailed transport assessment. The transport
assessment must be undertaken in accordance with PPG13 and based
on the forthcoming guidance, Transport Assessments: A Good Practice
Guide, being published by the DTLR.
6. Transport assessment of tall buildings
must take the maximum opportunity to ensure easy access by non-car
modes of travelwalking, cycling and public transport.
7. Where public transport services are inadequate
for the expected impact of the tall building, the developer/occupier
should be expected to fund new infrastructure and services in
order to minimise the adverse traffic impact. In some cases the
cost of such provision will be very high. Payment should be made
through a Planning Obligation or Condition as part of the planning
agreement. A Travel Plan should be required to encourage changes
in travel behaviour to a tall building. This is recommended in
the forthcoming DTLR document, Transport Assessments: A Good Practice
Guide, and should also be the subject of a Planning Agreement.
The DTLR will be publishing new guidance on Using Planning to
Secure Travel Plans in spring 2002.
8. Where the expected transport impact of
a proposal for a tall building is considered unacceptable, for
example due to the environmental or safety implications, then
the proposal should be altered to include mixed-use facilities
to reduce the transport impact. Alternatively the scale of the
building should be reduced so that the transport impact is in
line with existing and planned transport capacity. Otherwise,
if the likely transport impact is expected to be unacceptable,
planning approval should be denied.