Docstoc

Item no

Document Sample
Item no Powered By Docstoc
					                                           Cabinet Report

                                           Date: 9/7/07
CITY OF WESTMINSTER
                                           Subject: Criteria for
                                           Gating the highway

Executive Summary and Recommendations

This report sets out criteria recommended to be applied when applying a policy
approach to gating mews and other small streets. Certain elements of this policy
will then be incorporated in due course into the City Council’s Local Development
Framework.

It is suggested that the presumption of any policy approach should be against
permitting gating of the public highway. However, there may be cases where an
exception to the general policy could be allowed, and therefore, gates will only be
permitted in exceptional circumstances and after an assessment of the following
criteria:

   The Director of Transportation is satisfied as the City Council’s Traffic
    Manager that the City Council’s Network Management duty under section 16
    of the TMA 2004 is not being compromised;
   All affected Ward Councillors, residents, businesses and other occupiers are
    in agreement about the proposal, including the need to pay the City Council’s
    legal and other costs;
   The street does not provide a through route for either vehicles or
    pedestrians;
   There would be no negative impacts of the gating in planning, conservation
    or urban design terms, including impact on the public realm, freedom of
    movement and townscape, as set out in the Unitary Development Plan.
   There is clear evidence that there have been high and persistent levels of
    crime and/or anti-social behaviour and that other methods, such as CCTV,
    have been tried to address this and have failed;
   The gating of the street is unlikely to displace any crime and / or anti-social
    behaviour to nearby streets;
   There would be no loss of residents’ parking or access to all residents
    eligible to use it; and
   Satisfactory arrangements are proposed for opening and closing gates,
    maintenance etc.

Recommendation
That the Cabinet adopts the policy set out in section 3 of this report and that
specific elements of the policy are incorporated into the Local Development
Framework, as appropriate.
           Item no:

              Date:    9 July 2007

     Classification:   For General Release



    Title of Report:   Criteria for Gating the highway



         Report of:    Deputy Chief Executive (Built Environment)



   Decision maker:     Cabinet




   Wards involved:     All




    Policy context:    One City
                       Adopted Unitary Development Plan, January 2007


                       There are no financial implications arising from this
                       report except in circumstances where the CNEA
Financial summary:
                       2005 is used to gate the public highway, where the
                       City Council would retain responsibility for the
                       highway and may also have to bear the costs of
                       opening / closing and maintaining the gates. These
                       have been estimated at £3,500 p.a. per gate. The
                       report recommends that, even in exceptional
                       circumstances where gating is allowed, the costs be
                       met by the proposer.

    Report Author:     Louise Bond

        Extension:     3468
1.   Background Information

1.1 Since September 2004, the City Council has received thirteen requests from
    residents and businesses, generally as a result of concerns about traffic flows
    or perceived anti-social behaviour, to gate mews and other small streets. Nine
    of these applications are still ‘live’ and the locations of these streets are
    illustrated in the attached plan (Appendix A).

1.2 While gating keeps non-residents out it also effectively ‘privatises’ parts of the
    public realm, although certain new powers allow the City Council to place gates
    across streets whilst at the same time maintaining the streets as public
    highway. Gating also inhibits the movement of pedestrians and vehicles around
    the City, which may be seen as contrary to the City Council’s Network
    Management duty imposed on it by the Traffic Management Act 2004. The City
    Council does not currently have a corporately agreed, adopted policy approach
    to deal with these requests. Rather, service departments respond on a case-by-
    case basis through the appropriate Cabinet Member. The number of requests
    is rising and it is important for the City Council to adopt a clear policy approach
    so that applications can be considered against agreed adopted criteria and
    before areas of the City are ‘privatised’ by default.

1.3 In October 2006 Cabinet considered a report on the Clean Neighbourhoods and
    Environment Act (CNEA) 2005 and agreed that authority for making gating
    orders under section 2 of the CNEA Act 2005 be delegated to the Director of
    Transportation, in consultation with the appropriate Cabinet Members. As part
    of this discussion it was resolved that a gating policy should be developed and
    that the views of the Built Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee
    should be sought on the draft policy. A report was considered by the
    Committee on 3 April 2007, see section 7 of this report.

Existing policy
1.4 There is no policy in the City Council’s recently adopted Unitary Development
      Plan (UDP) that deals specifically with gated communities or the privatisation of
      the public realm. Rather policies are intended to reinforce and enhance the
      traditional urban and street pattern of Westminster through a series of urban
      design principles. One of these is to maintain free movement, particularly of
      pedestrians through the streets of the City (DES 1).

1.5 However, elements of other policies and supporting information could be
    construed as support for gated communities. For example, UDP policy DES 1
    states “Anti-social activity and crime can destroy amenity for residents and
    visitors. Therefore, spaces should be carefully designed and managed to limit
    visual clutter, discourage graffiti and deter anti-social activity and crime”. The
    UDP also states that obtrusive security measures and surveillance equipment
    must be sensitively designed and installed if they are not to spoil the
    townscape. However, in line with the spirit of the UDP applicants would be
    expected to demonstrate that other possibilities have been investigated and
    that, in order to combat crime and disorder, the gating of the street is a last
    resort. Relevant UDP policies are included in Appendix B.
1.6 The policy approach set out in this report will be encompassed in the Local
    Development Framework (LDF) for Westminster (the replacement for the UDP)
    that the City Council must produce over the next three years. In particular, the
    policy can be included in the Development Control Policy Development Plan
    Document (DPD), i.e. within the suite of policies that will be used to determine
    planning and listed building applications. The City Council’s strategic approach
    to the public realm will be contained in the Core Strategy DPD, in respect of
    which consultation on ‘issues and options’ is currently underway and
    consultation on ‘preferred options’ will be undertaken at the end of this calendar
    year.

Existing practice
1.7 Where surveys have suggested there is very light use of the highway and no
      adverse effects, e.g. on residents’ parking, the City Council has previously used
      section 116 of the Highways Act 1980 (“HA 1980”) to “privatise” a public road.
      Using this legislation an application to the local Magistrates' Court needs to be
      made to have it "stopped up" on the grounds that it is ‘unnecessary’. Once it is
      ‘stopped up’ it ceases to be public highway. Ultimately it would be for the
      Magistrates’ Court to determine whether a highway is unnecessary. The
      residents would then have to submit a planning application to install the gates
      themselves. This method was followed with Albion Close, W2, a cul-de-sac of
      only twelve properties. The public utilities usually object to such closures
      unless they have no need for their mains, cables and plant to remain in the
      highway. Most applicants overcome these objections by granting a wayleave to
      the utilities, which retains their equipment or allows for its diversion to other
      parts of the public highway.

1.8 Alternatively, the planning application for the gates could come first and, if
    approved, be subject to a condition that the stopping-up of the highway must be
    approved before the gates could be installed. This process may use section 116
    of the HA 1980 or section 247 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
    (TCPA 199) both of which statutory provisions enable a highway or piece of
    highway to be stopped up, i.e. cease to be public highway. The City Council has
    granted planning permission for gates to be erected at Albion Mews, W2,
    subject to the appropriate order being made and is currently using HA 1980 for
    Miles Place, NW8. Both of these applications have been made with anti-social
    behaviour being cited as the justification.

New Legislation
1.9 As of 1 April 2006, new powers under section 2 of the CNEA 2005 became
    available for councils to use. Section 2 of the CNEA inserts new sections (sub-
    section 129A to 129G) into the HA 1980, which enable local authorities to make
    gating orders for highways that are considered problematic, in that they suffer
    from high and persistent levels of crime and/or anti-social behaviour. Unlike
    orders made under Section 116 of the HA 1980 or Section 247 of the TCPA
    1990, roads which are the subject of gating orders remain public highway and
    gating orders can be rescinded if circumstances change.

1.10 In order to gate a highway using the CNEA 2005 the City Council would first
     have to:
     a) Publish on its website and in a newspaper circulating in its area a notice
        identifying the relevant highway, confirming the effect of the gating order,
        identifying alternative routes for both pedestrians and vehicles, containing a
        draft of the proposed order; and inviting written representations as to
        whether or not a gating order should be made, within the period specified in
        the notice, which has to be at least 28 days;
     b) Place on or adjacent to the potentially gated highway notices sufficient to
        draw to the attention of members of the public using that highway the effect
        of any gating order being made.

1.11 Also copies of the notice referred to in (a) above have to be given by the City
     Council to:
      all the occupiers of premises adjacent to or adjoining the relevant highway;
      every council through whose area the highway passes;
      every chief officer of police forces through whose police area the highway
         passes;
      every fire and rescue authority through whose area the highway passes;
      every NHS trust or NHS foundation trust through whose area the highway
         passes;
      any local access forum through whose area the highway passes;
      all statutory undertakers who maintain services in the locality in which the
         highway is situated;
      all providers of gas, electricity or water services in the locality in which the
         highway is situated;
      all communications providers in the locality in which the relevant highway is
         situated;
      all persons who the council reasonably considers might have an interest in
         the proposed gating order, (which would include Ward Members, residents’
         associations and amenity groups in the area where the gating is being
         proposed);
      any person who requests a copy of the notice; and
      any person who has asked to be notified of any proposed gating orders.

1.12 The City Council will also be under an obligation to consider any
     representations as to whether or not the proposed gating order should be made
     and if certain bodies prescribed by the regulations object to the gating the City
     Council would have to abandon the proposals or hold a public inquiry into them,
     should it decide that it still wished to proceed.


1.13 This new legislation potentially makes it easier and less expensive than the
     section 116 process to gate streets, and with fewer on-going responsibilities for
     residents. A Magistrates’ Court order is not required under the CNEA process.
     It is anticipated that there will be an increase in the number of requests received
     with residents trying to take advantage of the new law, claiming that their
     highway is problematic. Unlike stopping up under section 116 a gating order is
     only a temporary measure and can be reversed by the City Council.
Maintenance
1.14 Where a section of public highway has successfully been privatised (“stopped
     up”) using the HA 1980 the costs of maintaining the carriageway, footway and
     street lighting and undertaking cleansing will have been transferred to the new
     “owners” of the highway and are no longer the responsibility of the City Council.
     The City Council can still undertake refuse collection provided that an
     agreement can be entered into between the City Council and the residents and
     refuse is already collected from a number of private courts.

1.15 However, under the CNEA 2005 the City Council remains the highway
     authority, since the road remains public highway. Because of this the City
     Council would still retain the responsibility for the maintenance of the highway,
     street lighting and refuse collection within the gated area. In addition, the City
     Council would have to meet the costs of the opening and closure of the gates,
     or put in place a legal agreement for others to undertake this responsibility, and
     would also be liable for the maintenance of the gates (though it could demand
     that residents reimburse the cost). This would clearly have adverse revenue
     implications for the City Council and/or risk that the residents would fail to open
     and close the gates and therefore lead to the need for enforcement action.

Other considerations
1.16 The principal function of the public highway is to allow movement along it and
     the City Council has a Network Management duty placed upon it by section 16
     of the Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA 2004), which is reproduced in
     Appendix C. The TMA 2004 requires the City Council to take action:

     (a) securing the expeditious movement of traffic on the authority's road
          network; and
     (b) facilitating the expeditious movement of traffic on road networks for which
          another authority is the traffic authority.

     In this context the definition of "Traffic" includes pedestrians.

1.17 The Public Realm also has the key urban functions of social interaction,
     exchange and, occasionally, relaxation. Closing off the public realm either
     through gating, or other means, is contrary to these functions. The aim of the
     UDP policies is, therefore, to encourage permeability, create inclusive places
     and, where appropriate, preserve the historic character of streets and spaces.
     Gated streets, which deny public access, movement and permeability, are the
     antithesis of this approach. A balance needs to be struck between protecting
     residents from anti-social behaviour and maintaining access to historical mews.
     However, in terms of public realm management, conservation and urban design
     principles the closure of public spaces with gates is generally considered to be
     unacceptable.

1.18 Another issue to be considered relates to access to on-street parking,
     particularly residents’ parking. Some applications received to date, if approved,
     could result in a resident, with a parking permit, not being able to access some
     of the residents’ parking spaces within their zone, as some spaces would be
     located behind secure gates. Alternatively residents who legally parked their
     vehicles when the gates were open might not be able to depart when the gates
     are closed. In addition, these applications would result in the loss of valuable
     overnight parking for visitors and residents on single yellow line waiting
     restrictions outside their hours of operation.

1.19 The impact of gating on refuse collection is also an important consideration.
     Gating should not result in the displacement of either waste or people to other
     locations which then impact on that area. This applies equally to the
     displacement of anti-social behaviour.

1.20 Gating as a matter of course is therefore considered unacceptable. However, it
     must be understood that in some cases it might be the only realistic option, after
     all other options to reduce or prevent criminal acts and/or anti social behaviour
     have failed. A motivation for individuals or groups to use certain out of the way
     areas to commit criminal or anti-social behaviour is the belief that they are “out
     of sight, out of mind”. In these areas there tends to be little or no surveillance
     and that allows such activity to continue unhindered. The first step in such
     situations would be to increase the level of surveillance, where possible, so as
     to address the “out of sight, out of mind” perception.

1.21 If the above measures are not successful then the effective implementation and
     management of appropriate gating of public space can help to reduce both
     criminal and anti-social behaviour and may be the only way to allow residents
     and businesses to enjoy a peaceful, private, safe and secure life. Gating is
     unlikely to bring incidents into the open away from secluded hidden areas
     unless all of these are gated and what is most likely is that the problem will
     simply be displaced.

2.   Detail of Proposed Policy
2.1 Gating public highway is generally considered undesirable and does not fit with
    the City Council’s One City approach, which seeks to enhance community
    relations, encourage active citizens and unite neighbourhoods. Creating streets
    that are not accessible to all will not positively contribute to creating strong and
    tolerant communities.

2.2 In line with the objectives of the UDP to reinforce and enhance the traditional
    urban and street pattern of Westminster and to allow public access, movement
    and permeability at all times throughout the City, the presumption of any policy
    approach should be against permitting gating of the public highway. However,
    there may be cases where an exception to policy could be allowed. It is
    therefore recommended that gating through the three acts (HA1980, CNEA
    2005 or TCPLA 1991) will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances and
    after an assessment of the following criteria:

      The Director of Transportation is satisfied as the City Council’s Traffic
       Manager that the City Council’s Network Management duty under section16
       of the TMA 2004 is not being compromised;
      All affected Ward Councillors, residents, businesses and other occupiers are
       in agreement about the proposal, including the need to pay the City Council’s
       legal and other costs;
      The street does not provide a through route for either vehicles or
       pedestrians;
      There would be no negative impacts of the gating in planning, conservation
       and urban design terms, including impact on the public realm, freedom of
       movement and townscape;
      There is clear evidence that there have been high and persistent levels of
       crime and/or anti-social behaviour and that other methods, such as CCTV,
       have been tried to address this and have failed;
      The gating of the street is unlikely to displace any crime and / or anti-social
       behaviour to nearby streets;
      There would be no loss of residents’ parking or access to all residents
       eligible to use it;
      Satisfactory agreements are proposed for opening and closing gates,
       maintenance etc.

2.3 If all the above criteria are met, the Director of Transportation would consult
    with Ward and Cabinet Members on the proposals, and, if they agree, would
    consult more widely with key stakeholders, for example those set out in
    paragraph 1.11.

2.4 If no objections have been received after a wider consultation, then either the
    Director of Transportation will process the relevant order or apply to the Local
    Magistrates’ Court with what should be an unopposed order, using his
    delegated powers in the case of making a gating order or having obtained
    Cabinet Member approval in the case of applications for stopping up.

2.5 It is recommended that, in cases where an application has been made to the
    City Council by local residents and the erection of gates is deemed to be
    acceptable, the process that should be followed is to apply to the Local
    Magistrates Court for the highway to be ‘privatised’. This will involve collecting
    evidence to demonstrate to the Court that the highway is not ‘necessary’. If the
    application is successful planning permission could then be sought for the
    erection of the gates. This is because the stopping up process requires prior
    agreement from all of the residents and the relevant statutory undertakers to the
    scheme and procedures to be put in place for the future management of the
    highway before authorisation is sought from the Court. The stopping up
    process is a challenging and expensive procedure that can easily fail. If
    Magistrates’ Court approval is not forthcoming, a planning application is
    unnecessary. However, planning officers will be informally consulted from the
    outset of the process to avoid progressing a ‘stopping up’ order at a location
    where the erection of gates would not be acceptable in planning terms.

2.6 A gating order under the CNEA 2005 may be considered appropriate in limited
    circumstances and could be used to address a temporary problem, such as
    anti-social behaviour. Unlike the process of ‘stopping up’ the highway, a gating
    order is a temporary measure and can be reversed. Therefore a gate erected
    under the gating order process would not necessarily result in the permanent
     closure of a street. A gating order will not generally be appropriate in cases
     where the request has come from the residents because of the fact that they
     City Council will be left with responsibility for the road in question, unless
     satisfactory arrangements are agreed with the residents. However, there may
     be cases where the City Council itself wishes to gate a road, in which case a
     CNEA 2005 gating order may be appropriate.

3.   Financial Implications

3.1 There would be financial implications if a gating order were to be made under
    the CNEA 2005 as the City Council would retain responsibility for maintenance
    of the highway and be liable for the maintenance of the gates, though it could
    seek financial contributions from the residents as a condition of making the
    order. Based on a number of gates that are currently opened and closed by the
    City Council’s service provider, Transerv, the cost to the City Council is likely to
    be in the order of £3,500 per annum per gate. This cost would cover opening,
    closure and maintenance of the gates.

3.2 Should the ‘stopping up’ approach set out in section 3 (whereby the road in
    question ceases to be public highway) be adopted as the method by which the
    City Council deals with successful applications to gate public highways there
    will be some costs involved. These include processing the applications and
    attending the local Magistrates’ Court, the level of the costs are dependent
    upon the nature of the application and detailed costings will be established on a
    case by case basis. However, these would be recovered from the applicant as
    a pre-condition of proceeding with the application. In the long term there are
    potential cost savings because if a public highway is successfully privatised the
    City Council would no longer have responsibility to maintain it. Further work
    would need to be done to clearly establish the scope of any potential savings
    that may be realised, but it is anticipated that these would be minimal.

3.3 Any costs associated with progressing a stopping up or gating order would be
    recoverable from the residents or the developer making the application and the
    City Council would request a deposit prior to the application being processed.
    The broader financial implications of each gating application / stopping up order
    will be considered, on a case by case basis, in the relevant delegated authority
    reports.

4.   Legal Implications

4.1 None other than those set out elsewhere in this report.

5.   Staffing Implications

5.1 There are no staffing implications.

6.   Business Plan Implications

6.1 There are no business plan implications.
7.    Consultation

7.1 A report was considered at the Built Environment Overview and Scrutiny
    Committee on 3 April 2007. The Committee considered the paper and
    expressed the following views: (i) that the Committee strongly endorsed the
    draft policy and the criteria for exceptional circumstances; (ii) that as part of the
    consultation process local Ward Members, amenity societies and residents’
    groups should also be sent copies of the notice of the intended gating order; (iii)
    that where gating orders are requested by residents, businesses or developers
    and granted the City Council should try and ensure wherever possible that the
    costs for maintaining the gates should be met by such parties and not the
    Council; and (iv) that CityWest Homes should be approached to establish
    whether it had an equivalent policy and if not whether it would be willing to
    support a presumption against gating the public highway on estates except in
    exceptional circumstances.         The Committee’s views have been given
    consideration and appropriate references have been included within this report.

7.2 As a result of the comments made at the Built Environment Overview and
    Scrutiny Committee on 3 April 2007, CityWest Homes were approached to seek
    their views on the proposed policy and criteria for exceptional circumstances.
    The City Council received a letter on 16 May 2007 stating that “CityWest
    Homes supports the presumption that the general approach should be against
    permitting gating of the public highway as we believe that gating would be
    contrary to our objective of mixed communities”. However, CityWest Homes
    also recognise that there will be occasions where it would be necessary to use
    a gating order under the CNEA 2005 and see gating orders as part of a ‘tool kit’
    for tackling anti-social behaviour, to be considered when other options have not
    been successful. As a result of CityWest Homes’ response no changes have
    been made to the proposed policy.

7.3 It is intended that the policy approach set out in this report will be encompassed
    in the Development Control Policy Development Plan Document (DPD) – i.e.
    within the suite of policies that will be included in the Local Development
    Framework (LDF) (the replacement for the UDP). The policy approach will be
    subject to further widespread consultation as part of the LDF later this year.

8.    Crime and Disorder Act 1998

8.1    Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 promotes the practice of
      partnership working to reduce crime and disorder and places a statutory duty on
      Police and local authorities “do all that [they] reasonably can to prevent crime
      and disorder in their area”. In doing so, the responsible authorities are required
      to work in partnership with a range of other local public, private, community and
      voluntary groups and with the community itself.

8.2 Under this partnership duty, there may be cases where all other crime and
    disorder reduction options have been explored and gating represents the only
    feasible option for reducing incidents in the future.
9.   Health and Safety Issues

9.1 There are no health and safety issues resulting from this policy. A Health and
    Well-Being matrix is attached as Appendix D.

10. Human Rights Act 1998

10.1 There are 2 articles in the European Convention on Human Rights which may
     be engaged by proposals to stop up highways or to make gating orders. These
     are as follows:-

                                       ARTICLE
                                          8
                       RIGHT TO RESPECT FOR PRIVATE AND FAMILY LIFE
             1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his
           home and his correspondence.

              2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the
           exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and
           is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security,
           public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the
           prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or
           for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.


                                        PART
                                         II
                                   THE FIRST PROTOCOL
                                         ARTICLE 1
                                 PROTECTION OF PROPERTY
        Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his
        possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the
        public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the
        general principles of international law.
        The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of
        a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of
        property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment
        of taxes or other contributions or penalties.

10.2 The above Articles could be engaged if access to private property were
     impeded or rendered less convenient through the stopping up or gating of a
     highway. However, there should not be a problem provided that satisfactory
     arrangements are put in place to ensure that such effects do not arise (e.g. by
     making sure that all residents in a gated street have keys to the gates or that
     the gates will open automatically for their vehicles).
11. Reason for the Decision

11.1 To adopt a policy that includes a presumption against the gating of streets so
     that the City of Westminster remains an accessible city for all. This is in line
     with current UDP policy and associated supplementary planning guidance.

          If you have any queries about this report or wish to inspect one of the
          background papers please contact Louise Bond on 020 7641 3468, fax 020
          7641 2658, email lbond@westminster.gov.uk.

Background Papers

Adopted Unitary Development Plan, Approved January 2007;
Standard letter sent out regarding gating streets using the 1980 Highways Act;
Built Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee paper, 3 April 2007; and
Letter received from CityWest Homes dated 14 May 2007.


List of Appendices
A. Plan showing locations of current applications for gates
B. UDP Policy DES 1
C. The Network Management Duty
D. Health and Well-being Matrix
                                                                                APPENDIX B



DES 1: PRINCIPLES OF URBAN DESIGN AND CONSERVATION

Aim
10.6   To ensure the highest quality in the form and quality of new development in order to
       preserve or enhance the townscape of Westminster; to provide adequate access; to
       reduce crime and improve security.

POLICY DES 1: PRINCIPLES OF URBAN DESIGN AND CONSERVATION
(A)  Architectural quality, local distinctiveness and sustainability Development should:

       1) be of the highest standards of sustainable and inclusive urban design and
       architectural quality
       2) improve the quality of adjacent spaces around or between buildings, showing
       careful attention to definition, scale, use and surface treatment
       3) use high quality, durable and, where possible, indigenous and recycled materials
       appropriate to the building and its setting

and should respect and, where necessary, maintain:

       4) the character, urban grain, scale and hierarchy of existing buildings and
       5) the spaces between them
       6) the character, scale and pattern of historic squares, streets, lanes, mews and
       passageways
       7) the form, character and ecological value of parks, gardens and planned open
       spaces.

(B)    Amenity, accessibility and community safety

       To protect amenity, development should:

       1) adopt appropriate design measures
       2) provide for safe and convenient access for all
       3) adopt design measures to reduce the opportunity for crime and anti-social
       behaviour
       4) where proposed, incorporate appropriately designed and positioned security
       fixtures on
       buildings and street furniture so as to minimise the visual impact of these fixtures
       5) maintain a clear distinction between private and public spaces around buildings
       and ensure the informal surveillance of public space.

(C)    Applications

       Development proposals should demonstrate how they have taken into account, by
       use of detailed drawings and a written statement, the following:
       1) architectural quality, local character and distinctiveness
       2) the location and nature of existing and potential links to and through the site and to
       amenities
       beyond the site
       3) townscape features within the site and features which border the site
       4) local views through and within the site and landmark features visible in the vicinity
       of the site
       5) accessibility, inclusive design and security measures
       6) regard to the relevant urban design policies contained in this chapter
       7) regard to supplementary design guidance produced by the City Council
       8) waste storage and disposal
       9) sustainable building principles in accordance with policy ENV 1: Sustainable and
       resource-efficient buildings.

Policy application
10.7   New development is necessary to adapt the fabric of the City to present and future
       needs and to ensure the economic well-being of Central London as a whole. New
       development is encouraged in areas where it is beneficial. However, it must be
       designed to the highest standard, adopt sustainable design principles to address the
       issues of energy, water, materials, pollution, waste, amenity, environmental quality
       and biodiversity; respect the discipline imposed by the existing townscape; preserve
       or enhance the character and appearance of conservation areas; protect the
       architectural and historic interest of listed buildings; and preserve the important
       strategic and local views. Further advice can be found in the City Council’s published
       supplementary planning guidance with respect to the design of new buildings, entitled
       ‘Design Matters in Westminster’ (2001). The City Council has also published
       supplementary planning guidance which advises designers and developers how they
       can undertake developments and create buildings within Westminster which
       incorporate sustainable design principles.

10.8   Access for all, including people with disabilities is a material consideration. The City
       Council will expect suitable access to be provided for people with special needs,
       where it is practicable and reasonable to do so. It is important that applications for
       changes of use which provide a service for visiting members of the public, for
       example shops, banks, doctors’ surgeries and recreation facilities, including
       restaurants, pubs and bars, incorporate satisfactory access for people with
       disabilities.

10.9   Applicants are required to demonstrate in a design statement how they have taken
       into account qualities of local distinctiveness, principles of sustainable design and
       shown regard for the urban design policies of the UDP and relevant supplementary
       planning guidance. All relevant sections of the environmental performance statement
       in Annex 9.1 must be completed. This should be done in a manner that is appropriate
       to the nature and scale of the development proposals. For example: where
       townscape features within a site such as buildings, street furniture, public art and
       trees have an impact on local distinctiveness they should be addressed. Equally, the
       same features and others which border the site, such as, streets, pavements,
       squares, parks and open spaces may affect its character and should be addressed.
       Where relevant, the design statement must be submitted as part of the planning
       application. This requirement is in accordance with PPS 1: Delivering Sustainable
       Development, paragraphs 33 to 39, and PPG15: Planning and the Historic
       Environment.

10.10 The City Council is concerned to ensure high standards of security and crime
      prevention measures: it will consult Police crime prevention design advisors and will
      bear their comments in mind. Architects are also advised to consult crime prevention
      police officers at the early design stage. The Council will have regard to ‘Safer
      Places: the Planning System and Crime Prevention’, issued by the ODPM and the
      Home Office in 2003.
10.11 The City Council's relevant supplementary planning guidance with respect to security
       matters is set out in ‘Designing out Crime in Westminster’ (1998), ‘Public CCTV
       Systems: Guidance for Design and Privacy’ (1998), and ‘A Guide to the Siting of
       Security Cameras and other Security Equipment’ (1995).

Reasons
10.12 Westminster’s architectural inheritance is spectacular: every period of London’s history
      has left something of importance here. Westminster has some 11,000 listed buildings
      and 76% of the City is covered by conservation areas.

10.13 Through implementation of the policies set out in the Unitary Development Plan, the
       City Council seeks to manage change and safeguard the valuable environment of the
       city. This chapter sets out the strategy, which is based upon present legislation and
       guidance which requires the City Council to:
       a) preserve the special architectural and historic interest of its listed buildings
       b) preserve or enhance the character and appearance of its conservation areas
       c) promote and reinforce local distinctiveness
       d) take an integrated and inclusive urban design based approach
       e) require good design in all developments
       f) encourage outstanding contemporary architecture
       g) safeguard strategic views
       h) protect the River Thames and Westminster’s canals
       i) safeguard the public realm
       j) safeguard archaeological sites.

10.14 The dynamic evolution of the historic cityscape is achieved through striking a careful
       balance between historic conservation and contemporary intervention. Preserving
       the City’s character, whilst still allowing it to evolve and develop as a living city, is the
       Westminster challenge. The City Council’s aim is to maintain, protect and enhance
       the best of what is here already and to promote and encourage the best of what is yet
       to come.

10.15 This challenge is met through both the retention and rigorous conservation of existing
       historic buildings and the considered design of new buildings and spaces. The City’s
       architectural heritage can be a living one provided that these new buildings are not
       created in isolation. This approach ensures the creation of a vital sense of coherence
       and unity in the local scene. The City Council’s policy is not to stifle innovation and
       invention in new architecture but to ensure that where development is appropriate it is
       conceived as an integral part of its context.

10.16 A knowledge and understanding of the local context is necessary in order to achieve
       high quality urban design and successfully integrate new development into the built
       environment. This requires a thorough understanding of the City’s physical form; its
       morphological and historical development; its uses; its special character; its sense of
       place; the nature and quality of the public realm itself; the relationship of one part of
       the city with other parts; and the patterns of movement and activity which are thereby
       established. This analysis is found in the City Council’s conservation area appraisal
       documents. The policies of this plan are intended to reinforce and enhance the
       traditional urban pattern of Westminster through the following principles of urban
       design:
       a) by preserving and creating those features which contribute to local distinctiveness
          to encourage a carefully fostered continuity between new and old
       b) by maintaining free movement particularly of pedestrians through the streets of the
          City
       c) by preserving and creating features which contribute in a positive way to the urban
          environment so that it is recognised and understood, including landmarks, building
          lines, open spaces, views, and key locations of activity
       d) by ensuring visually interesting and secure streets by the provision of active
          frontages in appropriate locations, the maintenance of defensible space, and the
          provision of appropriate uses and design of ground floors to ensure informal
          surveillance of the public realm.

10.17 In Westminster the past provides the setting for much of our daily life, but new
      buildings are just as vital to the life of the City – they can improve the townscape and
      meet new needs. The highest standards of design quality are expected in all
      developments. The City Council encourages the very best of contemporary
      architecture where such development is appropriate and complies with the various
      policy objectives set out below.

10.18 The careful choice of facing materials is very important. It needs to take into account
      the quality of the materials, their method of fixing, colour, texture and profile. In all
      cases durability, water run-off and the ability to withstand weathering as well as their
      suitability in aesthetic terms must be considered. The City Council is concerned to
      ensure that developments do not deteriorate in appearance because of inadequate
      detailing and materials and will favour the use of durable natural materials wherever
      possible.

10.19 The character and interest of the townscape depends on the layout (particularly in the
       case of planned estates or street patterns) and the scale, architectural quality,
       detailing and materials of individual buildings. The pattern of streets, lanes, alleys and
       open spaces is a distinctive element in the City's townscape and many are of historic
       importance. Their routes, alignments and widths should be retained and respected
       where appropriate.

10.20 Where new developments are located within an area of historic street layout or pattern
      of estate development the City Council is concerned that this layout or pattern should
      be preserved or, where appropriate, extended to an area of new development. The
      highest standards of architectural design and detailing are necessary to create new
      areas of townscape character and interest and the City Council expects that the
      highest standards of design and detailing will be employed in extensive new
      developments.

10.21 The public realm as distinct from the private domain, refers to all the physically and
      visually accessible space around buildings which form the setting for human
      interaction. This may include features such as streets, pavements, forecourts,
      squares, parks, open spaces and building facades. The City Council expects such
      spaces to be carefully designed, using high quality materials and detailing, which
      respects and enhances the existing character of areas within the city. Clutter and
      refuse in these spaces can erode the quality of the public realm. Anti-social activity
      and crime can destroy amenity for residents and visitors. Therefore, spaces should be
      carefully designed and managed to limit visual clutter, discourage graffiti and deter
      anti-social activity and crime. Where appropriate, the Council will seek, through
      planning obligations, enhancement to, and the management of the public realm that
      forms the setting for developments. This may include use of forecourts related to
      Class A3 and A4 uses in existing buildings as well as for spaces around redeveloped
      sites.
10.22 Safety and the perception of safety are important issues when considering the design
       and layout of development. Good design can minimise the opportunities for crime to
       occur and help to reduce the fear of crime. Developments should maintain a clear
       distinction between private and public spaces around buildings in terms of their use
       and control. The informal surveillance of public space from within buildings is an
       important concept recognised by ‘secured by design’ initiatives. Surveillance is
       maximised when the street facades contain the main habitable rooms and actively
       used entrances. The more private rooms and private gardens should be placed at the
       rear of buildings. Large areas of blank walls in street facades should be avoided, as
       they reduce the potential for surveillance. Where new streets or access ways pass
       through a site they should be overlooked by development and should not pass next to
       rear gardens or courtyards. Clear sight lines and good lighting should be provided
       and recessed areas avoided.

10.23 A crime-free environment enhances the quality of life for residents, workers and
      visitors. It also reduces maintenance costs and encourages investment in the City.
      However, obtrusive security measures and surveillance equipment must be
      sensitively designed and installed if they are not to spoil the townscape.

10.24 Westminster attracts millions of visitors every year. Because many of the places they
      come to visit, such as shops, theatres and museums are unique, people with mobility
      difficulties should not be prevented from visiting them. Improving access benefits
      everyone, particularly those with disabilities, elderly people and people with children
      in buggies.

10.25 The issue of inclusivity, access and facilities for people with disabilities should always
      be considered when alterations are carried out to existing buildings and provision
      should be made where reasonable and practicable, for example when installing a new
      shopfront. If access is not provided, then applicants will be expected to demonstrate
      effectively that access provision has been considered and is neither practicable nor
      reasonable. Listed buildings and townscape considerations will often require that
      particular attention is paid to design, but it is usually possible to effect some
      improvements even where it is difficult in design terms, or impracticable, to provide
      access for wheelchair users. The City Council's relevant supplementary planning
      guidance with respect to improving access in the city is set out in ‘Access for All’
      (1995).
                                                                           APPENDIX C

The network management duty

(1)   It is the duty of a local traffic authority to manage their road network with a
      view to achieving, so far as may be reasonably practicable having regard to
      their other obligations, policies and objectives, the following objectives -
      (a) securing the expeditious movement of traffic on the authority's road
            network; and
      (b) facilitating the expeditious movement of traffic on road networks for which
            another authority is the traffic authority.

(2)   The action which the authority may take in performing that duty includes, in
      particular, any action which they consider will contribute to securing -
      (a) the more efficient use of their road network; or
      (b) the avoidance, elimination or reduction of road congestion or other
          disruption to the movement of traffic on their road network or a road
          network for which another authority is the traffic authority;

      and may involve the exercise of any power to regulate or co-ordinate the uses
      made of any road (or part of a road) in the road network (whether or not the
      power was conferred on them in their capacity as a traffic authority).

(3)   In this Part "network management duty", in relation to a local traffic authority,
      means their duty under this section.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:5
posted:5/10/2012
language:English
pages:18