The promotion of a 230 hectare site in South Canterbury for a mixed use development including 4,000 residential units, 70,000 square metres of commercial use and other ancillary land uses such as two primary schools and a community hub.
The site is the largest site to be allocated within the emerging Canterbury District Local Plan (draft 2014) and provides the opportunity to deliver sustainable transport solutions for the city as a whole across the lifetime of the Local Plan and much needed transport infrastructure to address existing safety and capacity problems on the local network.
RGP were initially involved with the project as far back as 2008 during early concept stages, with workload ramping up in 2013 as the Local Plan emerged and it was necessary to demonstrate the site was viable and deliverable as part of the Local Plan Examination in Public (EiP) which commenced during the summer of 2015, following which a planning application was submitted in February 2016.
Since a new replacement junction onto the A2 Trunk Road was required as part of the development it was important for RGP to engage with Highways England (formerly Highways Agency) and its consultant representatives at an early stage during the process. RGP’s knowledge of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) suite of documents, and with respect to the local topography, allowed RGP to develop a design for the new grade separated junction which was deliverable within available land and was financially viable for the development and as such most effectively delivered the requirements of the Local Plan whilst meeting client aspirations.
In addition, early liaison with Kent County Council, Canterbury City Council and Stagecoach allowed RGP to negotiate agreement relating to the significant public transport package of measures to support the development which included fast bus infrastructure and a bus strategy which delivered frequent and reliable buses for new residents from day one through a combination of existing provision, re-appraisal of existing Park & Ride services and some new investment.
RGP’s work culminated in a Statement of Common Ground on Highway and Transport Planning matters and attendance at the relevant sessions of the EiPwhich nullified the concerns of interested third parties with regard to deliverability.