Client: Somerset House
Redevelopment of a vacant employment site to provide 58 residential units. Preparation of a supporting transport documents to accompany the planning application and subsequent Public Inquiry input.
Planning permission for the proposed redevelopment of the site for residential use was refused in 2010 for a number of reasons.
The reasons given by Royal Borough of Richmond Upon Thames cited the loss of employment land, the absence of contributions towards infrastructure, and scale, mass and the view that the proposed design was out of character.
The development proposals were subsequently appealed through the Public Inquiry procedure. Although the proposals did not include a specific highway related reason for refusal, one of the key points to demonstrate at the appeal were that the site’s location was not suitably located for continued employment/commercial use.
As part of the appeal process, it was important to challenge the policy criterion for the release of employment land for residential purposes.
This focused on demonstrating that because of the constrained vehicular access to the site, particularly for commercial vehicles due to reduced carriageway widths and the prevalence of on street parking, the continued use of the site for employment use was inappropriate.
In addition, it was successfully demonstrated that owing to the site’s location, access to public transport was relatively poor and therefore more suitable for residential use as a trip generator as opposed to a trip attractor for employment use.
Evidence was presented at the Inquiry showing the high demand for residential on street parking surrounding the application site a through the presentation HGV swept paths demonstrating the inability for HGV’s to continue to access the site as a commercial use.