north westminster community school report by ee3kYaGM

VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 18

									                                                         planning report PDU/1717/01
                                                                            19 January 2011

 Former North Westminster Community School
                                                               in the City of Westminster
                                         planning application no. 10/10215/COFUL


Strategic planning application stage 1 referral (new powers)
Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended); Greater London Authority Acts 1999 and
2007; Town & Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008.

The proposal
The demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment comprising five buildings of between
11 and 16 storeys containing 434 residential units, offices, community space, affordable
business units and retail units together with landscaping and highway works.

The applicant
The applicant is Westminster City Council, and the architect is Farrells.

Strategic issues
The principle of development, affordable housing provision and play space is acceptable.
The design is good in many respects but requires improvement in key areas to be consistent
with the London Plan design policies. The inclusive access provision is acceptable. There
are unresolved issues in relation to climate change adaptation and mitigation, ambient
noise and air quality, and transport.

Recommendation
That Westminster Council be advised that the application does not comply with the London
Plan, for the reasons set out in paragraph 93 of this report; but that the possible remedies set
out in paragraph 95 of this report could address these deficiencies.


Context
1      On 9 December 2010, the Mayor of London received documents from Westminster
Council notifying him of a planning application of potential strategic importance to develop the
above site for the above uses. Under the provisions of The Town & Country Planning (Mayor
of London) Order 2008 the Mayor has until 19 January 2011 to provide the Council with a
statement setting out whether he considers that the application complies with the London Plan,
and his reasons for taking that view. The Mayor may also provide other comments. This
report sets out information for the Mayor’s use in deciding what decision to make.

2     The application is referable under Categories 1A, 1B and 1C of the Schedule of the
Order 2008:


                                                                                          page 1
       1A “Development which comprises or includes the provision of more than 150 houses, flats, or
        houses and flats”.

       1B “Development (other than development which only comprises the provision of houses, flats, or
        houses and flats) which comprises or includes the erection of a building or buildings…outside
        Central London and with a total floorspace of more than 15,000 square metres”.

       1C ”Development which comprises or includes the erection of a building of one or more of the
        following descriptions…the building is more than 30 metres high and is outside the City of
        London”.

3        Once Westminster Council has resolved to determine the application, it is required to
refer it back to the Mayor for his decision as to whether to direct refusal; take it over for his
own determination; or allow the Council to determine it itself.

4       The environmental information for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning
(Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 has been taken
into account in the consideration of this case.

5      The Mayor of London’s statement on this case will be made available on the GLA
website www.london.gov.uk.

Site description
6       The 1.48 hectare rectangular site is bounded by North Wharf Road to the south and
east, Harrow Road and the Westway (A40) to the north and Hermitage Street to the west. The
Westway (A40) forms part of the Transport for London Route Network and Harrow Road
forms part of the Strategic Road Network. The site lies to the north of Paddington Basin and
is one of a number being brought forward for redevelopment as part of the ongoing
regeneration of the Paddington Basin area. It is currently owned by Westminster City Council
and was formerly used as a school.

Figure 1: The site in context. Source: Farrells Design & Access Statement (November 2010)


7       The site has a PTAL level of 6b (where 1a is very low and 6b is the highest, most
accessible). The site is close to Paddington and Edgware Road London Underground stations
where Bakerloo, Hammersmith and City, and District and Circle Lines can be accessed.
Paddington Rail Station is served by First Great Western train services to the west of London,
Heathrow airport, Reading, and the west of England. Fourteen bus routes run within 640m of
the site, including along Harrow Road to the north of the site, Edgware Road to the east and
Paddington station. There is also a taxi rank at Paddington station.

Details of the proposal
8       Full planning permission is sought for the demolition of existing buildings and
redevelopment comprising five buildings of between 11 and 16 storeys in height. These would
contain: 434 residential units (Class C3), of which 289 would be private and 145 affordable;
offices (Class B1); affordable business units; flexible community space; and ground floor retail
uses (Class A1-A4). It would also include landscaping of the surrounding area and the creation
of central public open space, highway works, a basement providing 276 car parking spaces and
1,045 cycle parking spaces, an energy centre and ancillary servicing space.


                                                                                                page 2
Case history
9       The applicant has sought pre-application advice from GLA officers with meetings
having been held on 10 November 2009 and 5 August 2010. The applicant also met with TfL
officers in October 2009. Following the most recent of these meetings the applicant was
advised that the principle of residential-led mixed-use development on the site was accepted,
subject to it no longer being required for educational use. The proposed design was generally
supported but the design of the elevations to the Westway (A40) required further
improvement. The principles of the approach to access and inclusion, climate change, noise, air
quality and transport were discussed and advice was provided on compliance with strategic
planning policy.

Strategic planning issues and relevant policies and guidance
10       The relevant issues and corresponding policies are as follows:

 Land use                        London Plan
 Education                       London Plan; Ministerial statement July 2010
 Playing fields                  London Plan; PPG17, draft PPS Planning for a Natural and
                                  Healthy Environment
    Economic development         London Plan; the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy
    Housing                      London Plan; PPS3; Housing SPG; Interim Housing SPG;
                                  Housing Strategy; Housing SPG EiP draft; Providing for
                                  Children and Young People’s Play and Informal Recreation SPG
    Affordable housing           London Plan; PPS3; Housing SPG; Interim Housing SPG;
                                  Housing Strategy; Housing SPG EiP draft
    Urban design                 London Plan; PPS1
    Tall buildings & views       London Plan; RPG3A; View Management Framework SPG
    Access                       London Plan; PPS1; Accessible London: achieving an inclusive
                                  environment SPG; Planning and Access for Disabled People: a
                                  good practice guide (ODPM)
    Equal opportunities          London Plan; Planning for Equality and Diversity in Meeting the
                                  spatial needs of London’s diverse communities SPG; Diversity and
                                  Equality in Planning: A good practice guide (ODPM)
    Climate change               London Plan; PPS1, Planning and Climate Change Supplement to
                                  PPS1; PPS3; PPG13; PPS22; the Mayor’s Energy Strategy;
                                  Sustainable Design and Construction SPG
    Ambient noise                London Plan; the Mayor’s Ambient Noise Strategy; PPG24
    Air quality                  London Plan; the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy; draft replacement
                                  Air Quality Strategy; PPS23
    Transport, Crossrail & parking London Plan; the Mayor’s Transport Strategy; PPG13;
                                  London Plan Alteration; Crossrail SPG

11     For the purposes of Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004,
the development plan in force for the area is the saved policies of the Westminster Unitary
Development Plan (UDP) (January 2007) and the London Plan (Consolidated with Alterations
since 2004). The draft replacement London Plan (October 2009) has undergone Examination
in Public and is a material consideration. The Inspector’s report on the emerging Westminster
Core Strategy was issued on the 10 November 2010 and the adoption of this document is now
imminent, giving it significant weight as a material consideration. The Council has also

                                                                                          page 3
prepared a planning brief for the site, which has been adopted as an SPD and is a material
consideration.

Principle of development
12     Paddington Basin lies in the Central Activities Zone (Policy 2A.4, Policies 5G.1-5), the
North sub-region (Policies 5B.1-2) and is identified as an Opportunity Area (2A.5) in the
London Plan. Table 5B.1 of the London Plan identifies that the Paddington Opportunity Area
has an indicative employment capacity of 23,200 jobs and the potential to deliver a minimum of
3,000 homes in the plan period - both these of figures assume commensurate investment in
transport capacity enhancements.

13     In the draft replacement London Plan Paddington Basin lies in the Central sub-region
(Policy 2.5), in the Central Activities Zone (Policy 2.10-2.11) and is identified as an
Opportunity Area (Policy 2.13). Table A1.1 of the draft replacement London Plan identifies
that the Paddington Opportunity Area has an indicative employment capacity of 5,000 jobs and
the potential to deliver a minimum of 1,000 homes over the plan period.

14      The proposed mix of uses is consistent with the strategic policies cited above. The
proposal would result in an uplift in office and retail floorspace on the site but provide a greater
quantum of residential floorspace. This addresses the requirements of London Plan Policy 3B.3
that a mix of uses, including an equivalent quantum of residential floorspace be provided. It
also addresses local policy requirements for the provision of residential floorspace on the site.
The requirement for a contribution to the funding of Crossrail associated with the uplift in
office and retail floorspace is addressed in the transport section below.

15      Though the site falls in the Paddington Opportunity Area as identified in the London
Plan it lies outside the Paddington Special Policy Area in the Westminster UDP. It was
omitted because the site was expected to remain in educational use at the time the latter was
drafted. The Council has addressed this in the emerging Core Strategy and the site falls within
the Paddington Opportunity Area designation, which will supersede the Paddington Special
Policy Area, in the emerging Core Strategy. This position is reflected in the Council’s SPD for
the site.

16      The site was formally used as a school but is now surplus to the Council’s requirements
following the Secondary Schools Review, which resulted in a decision to build three new
schools in the Borough on the Academy model. The then Department for Education and Skills
authorised, in letters dated 1 July 2004 and 21 July 2004, the disposal of the site, including the
2,400 sq.m. of playing fields. The Council confirms that the site continues to be surplus to
educational requirements both now and in the future. The SPD reflects this position and seeks
the provision of open space on the site to replace the playing fields and address open space
deficiencies in the wider area. In respect of all these matters the proposed approach is
consistent with London Plan policies 3A.24 and 3D.11 and policies 3.19 and 7.18 of the draft
replacement London Plan.

17      In summary the proposal would be consistent with London Plan policies 2A.4, 2A.5,
5B.1-2, 5G.1-5, 3B.3, 3A.24 and 3D.11 and draft replacement London Plan policies 2.5, 2.10,
2.11, 2.13, 4.3, 3.19 and 7.18.

Housing



                                                                                           page 4
18      London Plan Policy 3A.10 requires borough councils to seek the maximum reasonable
amount of affordable housing when negotiating on individual private residential and mixed-use
schemes. In doing so, each council should have regard to its own overall target for the amount
of affordable housing provision. Policy 3A.9 states that such targets should be based on an
assessment of regional and local housing need and a realistic assessment of supply, and should
take account of the London Plan strategic target that 35% of housing should be social and 15%
intermediate provision, and of the promotion of mixed and balanced communities. In addition,
Policy 3A.10 encourages councils to have regard to the need to encourage rather than restrain
residential development, and to the individual circumstances of the site. Targets should be
applied flexibly, taking account of individual site costs, the availability of public subsidy and
other scheme requirements.

19      Policy 3A.10 is supported by paragraph 3.52, which urges borough councils to take
account of economic viability when estimating the appropriate amount of affordable provision.
The ‘Three Dragons’ housing viability toolkit is recommended for this purpose. The results of
a toolkit appraisal might need to be independently verified.

20     Polices 3.12 and 3.13 of the draft replacement London Plan maintain this approach but
with a requirement that 60% of affordable housing provision should be social and 40% of
affordable housing provision should be intermediate.

21      Policy STRA14 and H4 of the Westminster UDP (2007) reflect the London Plan
policies above. Policy H4 stipulates that within the Paddington Special Policy Area affordable
housing provision should be 30%. As noted above, the site lies outside the Paddington Special
Policy Area in the Westminster UDP having been omitted because the site was expected to
remain in educational use when the latter was drafted. The Council has addressed this in the
emerging Core Strategy where the site falls within the Paddington Opportunity Area
designation, which will supersede the Paddington Special Policy Area, in the emerging Core
Strategy. The emerging Core strategy, which can be accorded significant material weight,
maintains the requirement that 30% of the housing provision should be affordable and further
requires that this be calculated on a floorspace basis. This position is reflected in the Council’s
SPD for the site.

Housing tenure

22     The proposal includes a total of 434 residential units (47,695 sq.m. GIA), comprising
289 private and 145 affordable units (14,785 sq.m.). The affordable provision represents 33.4%
on a unit basis and 30.9% on a floorspace basis and is therefore consistent with the existing and
emerging local policy on affordable housing quantum. The 145 affordable units would be
comprised of units for 91 social rent and 54 intermediate units. This represents an affordable
housing split of 63% social rent and 37% intermediate units. This lies between the existing and
emerging London Plan policy requirement, being closer to the emerging requirement, and is
acceptable.

23      The applicant has submitted a housing viability appraisal for the scheme together with
supporting information. This suggests that the scheme would be viable but would generate a
residual value that is below the stated existing use value of the site. The model assumes the
use of housing grant and were this unavailable at the level assumed the viability of the scheme
would further deteriorate. The applicant has submitted a further housing viability appraisal
illustrating this and also a housing viability appraisal using an alternative viability model.
These further support this position. The proposal would offer the maximum reasonable
amount of affordable housing on the basis of the current scheme economics.

                                                                                            page 5
24    The proposals are currently consistent with London Plan polices 3A.9 and 3A.10 and
would be consistent with policies 3.12 and 3.13 of the draft replacement London Plan.

Housing choice

25      London Plan Policy 3A.5 (Housing choice) and the Housing Supplementary Planning
Guidance (SPG) (2005) seeks a balanced mix of unit sizes in new developments with an overall
London wide target of 32% one-bed, 38% two & three-bed and 30% four bed or larger units.
This may be subject to justified local variation owing to identified local housing needs. Policy
3.8 of the draft replacement London Plan also promotes housing choice in proposed
developments.

26     The Council’s SPD identifies that it will require a full range of unit sizes and that
around a third of new residential units should be family sized (four or more habitable rooms
providing three or more bedrooms) of which 5% should be five or more habitable rooms. It
further identifies that a third of new affordable homes should be three or more bedrooms of
which 5% should have four or more bedrooms.

27      The application proposes a unit mix of 28% one-bed, 41% two-bed, 24% three-bed units
and 7% four and five-bed units. This mix would be broadly consistent with that sought by the
Council’s SPD for the site. The skew towards two and three-bed units over larger units, is
reasonable given the nature of the location. The provision of over 30% of units as three-bed or
larger is welcomed.

28      The applicant has demonstrated that all residential units will be designed to comply
with Lifetime Homes standards and at least ten percent of residential units are designed to be
wheelchair accessible units. The Council should enforce this by planning condition. The
application is consistent with London Plan Policy 3A.5 and would be consistent with Policy 3.8
of the draft replacement London Plan.

Housing quality

29      London Plan Policy 3A.6 promotes quality in new housing provision. Policy 3.5 of the
draft replacement London Plan promotes design quality in housing developments. The draft
policy states that housing developments should be of the highest quality internally, externally
and in relation to the wider environment. It also states that new dwellings should meet the
dwelling space standards set out in Table 3.3, have adequately sized rooms and convenient and
efficient room layouts.

30       The Mayor will produce a new draft Housing SPG on the implementation of Policy 3.5
for all housing tenures, drawing on his design guide for affordable housing. London Plan
paragraph 3.33 highlights what the proposed SPG will cover, in terms of requirements for
individual dwellings, and a draft of the relevant section is contained in the Draft Housing SPG
(EIP version).

31     The material submitted indicates that the proposed residential units would broadly meet
the Mayor’s emerging residential design standards. The internal configuration of the
residential accommodation is well resolved and only the fourteen studio units, of the 434 units
proposed, would fall short of the required space standards. The proposal would be consistent
with the existing and emerging policy.

Housing density


                                                                                         page 6
32      London Plan Policy 3A.3 requires development proposals to achieve the maximum
intensity of use compatible with the local context, the design principles of Policy 4B.1 and with
public transport capacity. Table 3A.2 provides density guidelines in support of this. Policy 3.4
of the draft replacement London Plan seeks to optimise housing potential and Table 3.2
provides density guidelines in support of this which are the same as those in Table 3A.2.

33       The proposed 1,328 habitable rooms (434 units) on the 1.48 hectare site would give a
density of 897 habitable rooms per hectare, not accounting for the non-residential floorspace on
site. If allowance is made for the non-residential floorspace, which accounts for around 22% of
the total floorspace proposed, the figure is around 1,243 habitable rooms per hectare. If a plot
ratio approach is taken the overall floorspace proposed would be just over 4.5:1.

34      Taking account of the non-residential floorspace, the density is slightly beyond the
upper end of the density guidelines in Table 3A.2 which specifies a range of 650-1100 habitable
rooms per hectare for highly accessible locations such as this. The plot ration of 4.5:1 would be
within the guidance on plot ratio at paragraph 4.105 of the London Plan which states that plot
ratios of up to 5:1 can be achieved in accessible central London locations and some opportunity
areas. Given this, and noting the generally high quality design and excellent public transport
capacity, the proposal would be consistent with London Plan Policy 3A.3 and Policy 3.4 of the
draft replacement London Plan.

Children’s play space
35      Policy 3D.13 of the London Plan sets out that: “the Mayor will and the boroughs should
ensure developments that include housing make provision for play and informal recreation, based on the
expected child population generated by the scheme and an assessment of future needs.” Policy 3.6 of the
draft replacement London Plan supports this.

36      Using the methodology within the Mayor’s supplementary planning guidance
‘Providing for Children and Young People’s Play and Informal Recreation’ it is anticipated that
there will be approximately 185 children in the development. This figure is expected to divide
as follows: 0-4 years – 75 children; 5-10 years – 67 children; and 11-15 years – 43 child.

37     The guidance sets a benchmark of ten square metres of useable child play space to be
provided per child, with under-5 child play space provided on-site. Accordingly the
development should make provision for 1,850 square metres of play space to be divided as
follows: 0-4 years, 750 square metres; 5-10 years 670 square metres; and 11-15 years 430
square metres.

38     In recognition of this, the existing open space provision on the site of 0.2ha and the
position of the site in an area of open space deficiency the proposal includes a central open space
of 0.5ha. This would be predominantly green with paths reflecting pedestrian desire lines
across the space and would provide dedicated play space for all age groups, as well as informal
recreation space for residents, workers and those in the wider area. The intention is that the
space would be fully publicly accessible during daylight hours but closed at night. The Council
should secure the provision of the dedicated play space by condition and ensure that the
landscaping is of the high standard indicated. The application is consistent with London Plan
Policy 3D.13 and Policy 3.6 of the draft replacement London Plan.

Urban design and views



                                                                                                page 7
39      Good design is central to all objectives of the London Plan and is specifically promoted
by the policies contained within Chapter 4B which address both general design principles and
specific design issues. London Plan Policy 4B.1 sets out a series of overarching design
principles for development in London. Other design polices in this chapter and elsewhere in
the London Plan include specific design requirements relating to specific issues. London Plan
policies 4B.9 and 4B.10, which set out specific design requirements for tall and large-scale
buildings, are applicable to the proposal. Chapter 7 of the draft replacement Plan sets out
design related policies.

40      The proposed perimeter block layout with a central open space is a sensible approach to
developing the site. The detailed design of each building forming the block has been carefully
tailored to respond to the particular circumstances of each, taking account of the key
constraints and opportunities. The contextual approach to scale and massing of all blocks
would provide an appropriate level of enclosure to the each of the surrounding streets and
central open space whilst allowing good daylight and sunlight throughout the day.

Figure 2: The site layout. Source: Farrells Design & Access Statement (November 2010)
41     A key constraint is the environmental conditions alongside the Westway (A40). This
has also informed the positioning of uses within each building, the shape of the gaps between
them that allow access to the open space and the detailed design of each building.

42      The decision to place residential accommodation alongside the Westway (A40) and
office accommodation in the south of the site was discussed during pre-application meetings,
since on initial appraisal this appeared to be counter-intuitive given the respective contexts.
The submission articulates the design rationale for this in terms of privacy and overlooking in
relation to the Waterside office building to the south, daylight and sunlight for both units and
the central amenity space and the planning policy expectation for the quantum of residential
development on the site. It further demonstrates that a satisfactory level of residential amenity
can be achieved in the residential block adjacent to the Westway (A40). The latter has been
achieved through introducing non-residential uses at the lower levels and configuring all
residential units with a facade to the main road as dual aspect units with their living spaces
facing south onto the communal amenity space. The design would also employ detailed
measures such as acoustic glazing and whole house ventilation where necessary.

Figure 3: View of the west building on Hermitage Street. Figure 4: View west along North Wharf Road of the
office building, access to the open space and retained trees. Source: Farrells Design & Access Statement
(November 2010).
43     The individual architectural approach to each of the buildings is appropriate and these
are on the whole well resolved, especially the west building. The northern facades of the
northern buildings alongside the Harrow Road / Westway (A40) are not, however, as
successful and would benefit from revision. The decision to break this block with a glazed
pavilion to allow views through to the cupola of St Mary’s Church (listed grade II*) on the
northern side of the Harrow Road / Westway (A40) is welcomed and should be maintained.
Similarly, the internal planning is well considered and should remain as proposed.

Figure 5: View of north buildings looking east along the Westway (A40). Source: Farrells Design & Access
Statement (November 2010).
44     This building would be prominent on this important approach to central London and
this demands a high quality design. It would also experience the harsh environmental
conditions this route presents and the architect, in trying to reconcile the design, has given
much thought to the choice of materials and detailing. The overall appearance, as illustrated in

                                                                                                      page 8
the visualisations submitted, is unsuccessful and lacks the design quality demanded by both the
London Plan and the prominent location on this approach to London. The architect should
revise this facade, in consultation with Council planning officers, to improve its appearance to a
standard befitting of the location and consistent with the London Plan.

Figure 6: View of north buildings looking south across the Westway (A40). Source: Farrells Design & Access
Statement (November 2010).
45     The landscape scheme for the central open space is well resolved and would cater for
the various functions of the space, including amenity and play space for residents and visitors.
The proposed landscaping for the surrounding streets, including the retention of the existing
mature trees on North Wharf Road and the introduction of planting along Harrow Road, is
supported.

Figure 7: View of open space looking southeast. Source: Farrells Design & Access Statement (November 2010).
46     In summary the proposal is broadly consistent with the design polices of the London
Plan but the design concerns regarding the building fronting the Westway (A40) should be
addressed to ensure the proposal would attain the level of design quality sought by policies
4B.1, 4B.9, and 4B.10.

Inclusive access
47      Policy 4B.5 of the London Plan expects all future development to meet the highest
standard of accessibility and inclusion. This, together with the Mayor’s Supplementary
Planning Guidance ‘Accessible London: achieving an inclusive environment’, underpins the
principles of inclusive design and aims to achieve an accessible and inclusive environment
across London. Policy 3A.5 of the London Plan requires all new housing to be built to
‘Lifetime Homes’ standards and 10% of all new housing to be designed to be wheelchair
accessible or easily adaptable for such use in order to meet the full range of housing needs.
These policies are respectively supported by policies 7.2 and 3.8 of the draft replacement
London Plan.

48     The design and access statement demonstrates that all parts of the proposal will comply
with the relevant standards and that the principles of inclusive access have been considered in
developing the design. The proposal would be consistent with London Plan Policy 4B.5.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation
49     The London Plan climate change policies as set out in chapter 4A collectively require
developments to make the fullest contribution to the mitigation of and adaptation to climate
change and to minimise carbon dioxide emissions (Policy 4A.1). Chapter 5 of the draft
replacement London Plan sets out the approach to climate change and requires developments
to make the fullest contribution to minimising carbon dioxide emissions.

Climate change mitigation

50      The applicant has followed the energy hierarchy in Policy 4A.1. Sufficient information
has been provided to understand the proposals as a whole but further information is required to
verify carbon dioxide savings.

Be lean



                                                                                                     page 9
51     A range of passive design features and demand reduction measures are proposed to
reduce the carbon emissions of the proposed development. Both air permeability and heat loss
parameters will be improved beyond the minimum backstop values required by building
regulations. Other features include mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, low energy
lighting and low e-glazing.

52     The proposal would achieve a reduction in regulated carbon dioxide emissions of 19.8%
over the 2006 building regulations baseline. The energy strategy does not include information
on the scheme in relation to savings from energy efficiency alone compared to a 2010 Building
Regulations compliant development. Using 2010 Building Regulations compliance software,
the applicant should model, and commit to, additional measures that can be adopted to enable
the development to exceed 2010 Building Regulations compliance through energy efficiency
alone. The applicant should address this point to demonstrate that the proposal would comply
with London Plan policies 4A.1 and 4A.4.

Be clean

53      The applicant has identified that there are no existing or planned district heating
schemes within the vicinity of the proposed development at present but that there may be scope
for connection to neighbouring sites, namely the adjacent Merchant Square development. The
use of the site itself to host a district energy centre serving the Paddington Basin area has been
ruled out as impractical in design and viability terms.

54     A communal heat network serving all dwellings and non-residential uses is proposed.
This would be served from a central energy centre located over the southeast corner of the
upper and lower basement levels. This location would readily allow for future connection to
the Merchant Square development or any district energy network developed in the area. The
energy statement outlines the provisions necessarily to deliver a connection to Merchant
Square that would allow for greater efficiencies in energy supply for both sites in the summer
months. These provisions should be secured by condition and the applicant obliged to connect
unless this can be demonstrated as being unfeasible.

55      The communal heat network would be supplied by a gas-fired combined heat and power
(CHP) unit, with additional top-up from high efficiency boilers. The applicant has considered
the potential for overheating and cooling requirements in the residential elements and set out a
passive cooling strategy. The applicant has stated that there is likely to be a cooling
requirement for the non-residential accommodation, which is to be supplied by absorption
chillers as part of a tri-generation system, with electric chillers for additional top-up. It has
not, however, set out a passive cooling strategy for the non-residential accommodation and this
should be provided to ensure that the demand for active cooling has been minimised.

56      Overall, the proposed approach to communal energy would achieve a reduction in
regulated carbon dioxide emissions of 27%. To ensure that the proposal would be consistent
with London Plan policies 4A.5 and 4A.6 the applicant should provide the outstanding
information on the passive cooling of the non-residential elements and the Council should
attach the necessary conditions in relation to the connection with Merchant Square.

Be green

57      The proposals include 367 sq.m. of roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels in suitable
areas, taking account of other potential uses and over-shading issues. This would achieve a
further reduction in regulated carbon dioxide emissions of 2.5%. The proposal would be
consistent with London Plan Policy 4A.7.

                                                                                         page 10
Climate change adaptation

58      The application is supported by a sustainability statement that demonstrates compliance
with the relevant London Plan policies, including Policy 4A.3. The building has been designed
to control solar gain and promote passive cooling in the residential units. It would also create
a significant area of green open space and incorporate living roofs where appropriate. The
living roofs together with other measures would attenuate surface water from the site to the
same rate as at present.

59      The applicant has provided details of measures to manage and make efficient use of
water and committed to consumption of 80 litres per person per day or less which exceeds the
current target. The proposal would include sufficient space for household and commercial
waste and recycling storage. In summary the proposal would be consistent with London Plan
policies 4A.3 and 4A.9 and the associated policies. The Council should secure the proposed
measures by condition.




Ambient noise and air quality
60      London Plan policy on air quality and ambient noise is set out in policies 4A.19 and
4A.20 respectively. The applicant has submitted supporting studies on each of these matters
and the design information indicates their findings have been reflected in the proposal. The
site conditions, especially the proximity of the Westway (A40), present significant challenges
for compliance with these policies. It is noted that parts of the site would fall in PPG24 Noise
Exposure Categories C and D. There are a range of active and passive measures proposed to
ensure a satisfactory level of residential amenity, including the configuration of the residential
units in affected blocks, which would be dual aspect where required, and the use of mechanical
ventilation and acoustic shielding where necessary. The landscaping plan also reflects the need
for mitigation with extensive street tree planting on the perimeter of the block which would, as
a result of the recessed building line, have sufficient space to reach maturity.

61      The approach appears consistent with the above policies but the Council should review
the supporting studies and proposed mitigation measures and ensure that the proposal would
be fully compliant.

Transport
62   Transport for London (TfL) has reviewed the application and provided the following
comments.

Crossrail

63      London Plan Policy 3C.12A and the associated supplementary planning guidance (SPG)
‘Use of planning obligations in the funding of Crossrail’ (July 2010) set out the mechanism for
contributions towards Crossrail. The SPG states that contributions should be sought in
respect of proposals for uplifts in floorspace for office (B1), hotel and retail uses, where there is
a cumulative uplift in such floorspace of more than 500 sq.m. This requirement is reflected in
the draft heads of terms for the unilateral undertaking submitted with the application.



                                                                                            page 11
64     The site is within the Central London charging area and the proposals result in a net
increase of office and retail floorspace as shown in Table 1 below.

 Land Use        Existing             Net change Crossrail
                                 Proposed                                         Crossrail
                 (sqm)           (sqm)(sqm)      charge per                       charge (£)
                                                 sqm (£)
 B1 Office    0            13,571     +13,571    137                              1,859,227
 Retail       0            2,029      +2,029     88                               178,552
 Total Crossrail Charge due upon commencement                                     2,037,779
Table 1: Crossrail contribution calculation

65     Therefore the total Crossrail charge payable to TfL upon commencement of the
development is £2,037,779.

Access

66      The developer is proposing to re-instate the access at the north of the site for servicing
and delivery vehicles. In order to prevent vehicles from the A40 cutting across the Harrow
Road to access the site, the developer is proposing extending the exiting traffic island. This
was discussed at pre-application stage and TfL has no objection in principle to this proposal,
subject to TfL, the Council and the applicant agreeing the detailed design, a safety audit and
traffic management approval.

Car parking

67      Residential car parking is proposed at a level of 0.6 spaces per unit. This represents an
excessive level of car parking for this highly accessible central London location close to
Paddington station and the applicant was advised of this at the pre-application stage. London
Plan policy clearly states that on-site car parking at new developments should be the minimum
necessary and that there should be no-overprovision that could undermine use of more
sustainable non-car modes. Given the excellent PTAL, the development should have very low
onsite car parking provision, complemented by car clubs and other robust and committed
travel planning measures.

68     The need to reduce the level of car parking is further reinforced by the modelling work
undertaken which shows that the proposed development flows can be accommodated on the
surrounding highway network, but that the Harrow Road gyratory and Edgware
Road/Harrow junction are operating very close to capacity. The car parking provision should
be reduced in order to minimise the traffic impact of the development, encourage use of more
sustainable modes and reflect air quality objectives.

69      The 20% accessible parking provision for the residential accommodation is welcomed.
The nine car parking spaces, including two for disabled users, are proposed for the commercial
element of the development. In a highly accessible Central London location such as this,
commercial car parking should be limited to disabled bays only. The applicant was advised of
this at the pre-application stage. One fully accessible car parking space will be provided for the
retail element and three for the social, community and affordable business uses, which is
satisfactory.

70     TfL welcomes proposals to provide two car club spaces within the basement and one
on-street. TfL would prefer all car spaces to be located on-street to increase visibility to non-
residents. In light of the above comments regarding excessive residential car parking levels,

                                                                                          page 12
TfL recommends that the number of car club spaces is increased and the number of private
spaces reduced.

71     The provision of electric vehicle charging points for 20% of car parking spaces with the
remainder being adaptable for further provision is welcome. This is consistent with emerging
best practice and draft replacement London Plan Policy 6.13. This provision should be
conditioned and the proportion should reflect the final level of parking agreed.

London Underground

72     The proposed development will create a considerable number of extra trips on the
London Underground (LU) network, particularly at Paddington station, where these trips will
coincide with additional passengers interchanging following the implementation of Crossrail.
A contribution towards LU improvements at Paddington Station should be calculated and
secured on the same basis as those for other developments in the Paddington Area Transport
Study IV (PATS). The historical cumulative impact assessment work and masterplanning of
the Paddington area has helped ensure that the effects of all planned developments have been
taken into account and transport solutions devised accordingly.

73     TfL requests that further dialogue is undertaken between the Council, TfL and the
applicant to agree a transport contribution. PATS provides the framework for establishing the
appropriate level of contributions from developers to fund public transport improvements.
This will ensure compliance with London Plan Policy 3C.13 and draft replacement London
Plan Policy 6.5.

Bus network

74     TfL requests that further detail is provided on the impact of the development on the bus
network to allow it to assess whether mitigation is required. A directional split should be
provided to include a percentage split of trips by corridor for each of the peak periods using
journey to work data from the Census. This should then be assigned to the various routes.
The development may impact some corridors and routes more than others and / or routes
further from the site. The results may necessitate a contribution towards bus network
enhancements.

Bus infrastructure

75     In order to encourage the use of buses to and from the site, and to promote inclusive
accessibility to all users of the proposed development, TfL considers that the developer should
make a contribution of £30,000 towards general improvements to bus facilities surrounding
the development, including but not limited to the following: installation of countdown facilities
and bus shelters and adjustment of kerb heights to ensure full accessibility where required.
This will ensure consistency with London Plan Policy 3C.20.

76      A bus stand for route 159 is currently located on North Wharf Road to the south west
of the site. The developer is proposing to move the bus stand to the west and provide
improved facilities which would be located to the south east of the site. TfL does not object in
principle to moving the bus stand and welcomes any improvements to facilities. TfL is,
however, concerned about the presence of kerb build out at both the approach and departure
ends on the drawing submitted as this reduces the useable length of the cage. TfL suggests
further dialogue with the applicant in relation to the detailed design of bus standing space prior
to determination and all final designs will need to be agreed by TfL. All costs relating to
moving the bus stand and the re-instatement of the footway must be covered by the developer

                                                                                         page 13
and infrastructure must be designed in accordance with TfL bus stop accessibility guidance
2006:
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/businessandpartners/accessibile_bus_stop_design_g
uidance.pdf.

77     It is imperative that there is no impact on bus standing or operations during the
construction period. Therefore TfL requests that the safeguarding of bus standing space and
operations throughout the construction period is secured by legal agreement.

78      TfL welcomes the provision of a bus driver facility adjacent to the re-located stand as
part of this development and the inclusion of this in the draft heads of terms for the unilateral
undertaking. The detailed design of and access arrangements to the facility must be agreed
with TfL and allow continuous 24 hour access. The precise nature and wording of the
agreement, including maintenance and leasing of the facility, depends on whether the facility is
dedicated or shared and will require further discussion with TfL.

79      In summary, TfL supports the applicant’s proposals for bus infrastructure surrounding
the site in principle but TfL, the Council and the applicant need to agreed the detailed design of
proposed infrastructure and the appropriate legal agreements. Contributions towards
improving bus infrastructure and potentially bus capacity are also required. Further work is
required to ensure this application complies with London Plan Policy 3C.20 and draft
replacement London Plan Policy 6.7.

Cycling

80     TfL supports the proposal to provide a contra-flow cycle lane along Hermitage Street,
creating a new cycle link between North Wharf Road and the planned Harrow Road at grade
crossing. Cyclists will be able to exit the development onto Hermitage Street, which will
provide a more direct route when travelling west.

81     A total of 805 cycle parking spaces are proposed for the residential units. This exceeds
TfL standards and is supported. Cycle parking for the office space will be provided at a ratio of
1 space per 125 sq.m. which is also above TfL standards and welcomed.

82     TfL welcomes the commitment to provide land and a financial contribution of £115,000
for implementation of a Cycle Hire Docking station on the site. This combined with the above
provision of cycle parking, the implementation of a contra-flow cycle lane adjacent to the site
ensures that the application complies with London Plan Policy 3C.22 and draft replacement
London Plan Policy 6.9.

Pedestrians

83      The proposal to widen the footway on Hermitage Street by bringing the building line
back is supported as it will generally improve permeability and the public realm. The applicant
is proposing to implement Legible London on site, and this will complement future Legible
London implementation at the adjacent Merchant Square site and Paddington Station. The
applicant is currently proposing a contribution of £10,000 towards Legible London way
finding but given the size of the site, a larger contribution is likely to be required and this will
need to be discussed and agreed with TfL and the Council prior to determination of the
application. Overall, TfL welcomes the proposals for the pedestrian environment and the
combination of measures would ensure compliance with London Plan Policy 3C.21 and draft
replacement London Plan policy 6.10.


                                                                                           page 14
Travel planning

84      A full residential travel plan has been submitted in support of this application. This has
failed the ATTrBuTE assessment and some further work is required. The issues of concern
are outlined below:

    The travel plan lacks clear objectives for this, and subsequent travel plans; and should
     consider outside factors such as health benefits.

    The travel plan does not include details of the means by which the travel plan will be
     secured

    There is no funding identified for the production of travel plans, the travel plan Co-
     ordinator and monitoring programmes.

85     A commercial travel plan statement has been produced setting out a range of high level
objectives and measures. This will provide the basis for a full travel plan to be formed when
individual occupiers are known. This approach is satisfactory to TfL subject to both full travel
plans being secured, monitored, enforced, reviewed and funded through the unilateral
undertaking. This will ensure compliance with the relevant elements of London Plan Policy
3C.2 and draft replacement London Plan Policy 6.3.

Freight

86     TfL welcomes the submission of a servicing and waste strategy in support of this
application. A construction logistics plan should also be prepared, which should seek to
minimise highway and traffic impact to the highway network during the course of construction.
These plans should be agreed by the Council. The construction logistics plan should also make
reference to how the bus standing space and operations on North Wharf Road will be
maintained throughout construction. The construction logistics plan should include: booking
systems; consolidated or re-timed trips; secure, off-street loading and drop-off facilities; and
using operators committed to best practice, demonstrated by membership of TfL’s Freight
Operator Recognition Scheme, or similar.

87    It is satisfactory for the construction logistics plan to be secured by planning condition.
This will ensure compliance with London Plan Policy 3C.25 and draft replacement London
Plan Policy 6.14.



Traffic Management Act

88     Should this application be granted planning permission, the applicant and its
representatives are reminded that this does not discharge the requirements under the Traffic
Management Act 2004. Formal notifications and approval may be needed for both the
permanent highway scheme and any temporary highway works required during the
construction phase of the development.

Summary

89    In summary, the application does not currently comply with the London Plan. A
Crossrail contribution of £2,037,779 is required in line with London Plan Policy 3C.12A. The
Council should secure appropriate legal agreements ensuring continuity of bus standing and

                                                                                          page 15
operations alongside detailed design of the permanent bus stand. The Council should also
secure the contributions sought towards bus infrastructure, the London Cycle Hire scheme,
Legible London, and the travel plans. The scheme does not currently comply with London
Plan Policy 3C.2. Contributions towards London Underground and bus capacity
improvements may also be required to ensure compliance with London Plan polices 3C.13 and
3C.20. The provision of electric vehicle charging points and a construction logistic plan, as
required by London Plan Policy 3C.25, should be secured by condition.

Local planning authority’s position
90       This is unknown at the current time.

Legal considerations
91      Under the arrangements set out in Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (Mayor
of London) Order 2008 the Mayor is required to provide the local planning authority with a
statement setting out whether he considers that the application complies with the London Plan,
and his reasons for taking that view. Unless notified otherwise by the Mayor, the Council must
consult the Mayor again under Article 5 of the Order if it subsequently resolves to make a draft
decision on the application, in order that the Mayor may decide whether to allow the draft
decision to proceed unchanged, or direct the Council under Article 6 of the Order to refuse the
application, or issue a direction under Article 7 of the Order that he is to act as the local
planning authority for the purpose of determining the application and any connected
application. There is no obligation at this present stage for the Mayor to indicate his
intentions regarding a possible direction, and no such decision should be inferred from the
Mayor’s statement and comments.

Financial considerations
92       There are no financial considerations at this stage.

Conclusion
93      London Plan policies on the principle of development, housing, children’s play space,
urban design, inclusive access, climate change mitigation and adaptation, ambient noise and air
quality, and transport are relevant to this application. The application complies with some of
these policies but not with others, for the following reasons:

        Principle of development: the proposal is consistent with London Plan policies 2A.4,
         2A.5, 5B.1-2, 5G.1-5, 3B.3, 3A.24 and 3D.11 and draft replacement London Plan policies
         2.5, 2.10, 2.11, 2.13, 4.3, 3.19 and 7.18.
        Housing: the proposal is consistent with London Plan Policy 3A.3 3A.5, 3A.9 and
         3A.10.
        Children’s play space: the proposal is consistent with London Plan Policy 3D.13.
        Urban design and views: the proposal is inconsistent with the design requirements of
         4B.1, 4B.9, and 4B.10.
        Inclusive access: the proposal is consistent with London Plan Policy 3A.5 and 4B.6




                                                                                       page 16
        Climate change mitigation and adaptation: the application is consistent with London
         Plan policies 4A.3, 4A.7 and 4A.9 (and associated policies). The application is
         inconsistent with London Plan policies 4A.4, 4A.5 and 4A.6 and consequently 4A.1.
        Ambient noise and air quality: the application is potentially consistent with London
         Plan policies 4A.19 and 4A.20 but the Council should confirm this.
        Transport: The application is consistent with London Plan Policy 3C.22. The
         application is inconsistent with London Plan policies 3C.2, 3C.12A, 3C.13, 3C.20, 3C.17
         and 3C.25. It would also be inconsistent with policies 6.3, 6.5, 6.7, 6.10 and 6.14 of the
         draft replacement London Plan.
94       On balance, the application does not comply with the London Plan.

95     The following changes might, however, remedy the above-mentioned deficiencies, and
could possibly lead to the application becoming compliant with the London Plan:

        Urban design and views: the applicant should, in consultation with Council planning
         officers, address the design concerns regarding the building fronting the Westway
         (A40) to ensure the proposal would attain the level of design quality sought by policies
         4B.1, 4B.9, and 4B.10.
        Climate change mitigation and adaptation: the applicant should demonstrate that the
         proposal would be consistent with London Plan policies 4A.1, 4A.4, 4A.5 and 4A.6 by
         modelling it using 2010 Building Regulations compliance software and demonstrating
         savings beyond these through energy efficiency alone, and providing a passive cooling
         strategy for the non-residential elements.
        Ambient noise and air quality: the applicant should demonstrate to the Council’s
         satisfaction that the proposal would comply with London Plan policies 4A.19 and 4A.20.
      Transport: The Council should secure the provision of the Crossrail contribution and
       the contributions towards bus infrastructure, the London Cycle Hire scheme, Legible
       London, and travel planning. Contributions towards London Underground and bus
       capacity improvements may also be required and the applicant should confirm this. The
       Council should secure appropriate legal agreements ensuring continuity of bus standing
       and operations alongside detailed design of the permanent bus stand. The provision of
       electric vehicle charging points and a construction logistics plan should be secured by
       condition.




                                                                                          page 17
for further information, contact Planning Decisions Unit:
Colin Wilson, Senior Strategic Planning Manager
020 7983 4783 email colin.wilson@london.gov.uk
Justin Carr, Strategic Planning Manager (Development Decisions)
020 7983 4895 email justin.carr@london.gov.uk
David Watkinson, Case Officer
020 7983 4493 email david.watkinson@london.gov.uk




                                                                  page 18

								
To top