We are regularly instructed by clients, in the form of land owners/promoters, surveyors, architects and planning consultants to assist in the development of deliverable site layout plans. This ranges from the straightforward assessment of refuse collection vehicle manoeuvres within residential schemes, through to the identification of complex parking and servicing areas for mixed employment sites.
We enjoy collaborating with other members of the design process helping clients to achieve schemes that not only look good, but are also fit for purpose.
All development schemes that generate significant changes in activity are required to be accompanied by either a Transport Assessment or a Transport Statement as part of any corresponding planning application.
The objective of these assessments is to demonstrate that the scheme could ultimately be implemented with safe and suitable access, no severe residual impact within the surrounding roads and junctions, and reasonable opportunities for sustainable travel. As might be expected, these are complex assessments that rely on detailed research set against local policy and design guidance to establish a way forward, which can range from softer measures such as travel planning techniques through to the design of major highway infrastructure improvements.
Whilst a safe and efficient highway network is paramount in the determination of applications for major new development, it is imperative that the need for new infrastructure is minimised by maximising opportunities for sustainable travel. This includes the full use of walking, cycling and public transport and also exploring ways in which essential car travel can be made more acceptable within the local environment.
The objective of the Travel Plan is to build on the principle that satisfactory levels of infrastructure already exist for each potential mode of travel to identify strategies appropriate to the end user of a scheme to minimise single occupancy peak hour car journeys. We are regularly responsible for preparing Travel Plans for all development uses, at various stages in the planning process, that serve to satisfy local authority and, most importantly in our opinion, end user requirements.
Road Safety Audits
The objective of a Road Safety Audit is to identify any aspects of a highway improvement scheme that could lead to specific road safety problems and where possible, to suggest modifications that would address these concerns.
Our skills as Road Safety Auditors also ensure that we are able to cast a further critical review of highway improvement schemes prepared as part of our own designs.
While our objective will always be to reach an agreed position with officers, from time to time it is not always possible to resolve outstanding issues of detail when a planning application is determined.
The senior team members are experienced in the preparation of detailed Statements to accompany all types of appeals. Where the refusal of planning permission is more significant a Public Inquiry may be required to undertake a more thorough and rigorous review of the technical matters in dispute. The team has considerable experience in the process of Public Inquiries and preparation of the various documents while Chris has provided evidence as an expert witness on many occasions helping Clients to secure successful planning outcomes on schemes throughout the country.
The aim of the public consultation process is to communicate scheme proposals to local stakeholders and understand any concerns that they might have for improving the application. Where this requires face to face events, we are able to communicate technical points in a clear way with preparation of supporting information, such as drawings and other graphics for display.
Highway Impact Statement
For schemes that are unlikely to generate a significant change in activity, yet require a new access layout, the Highway Impact Statement seeks to provide the Highway Authority with confidence that a safe and suitable arrangement could be provided, without the wide ranging complexities of a Transport Assessment or Transport Statement.
It presents a more focused assessment of the proposed access arrangement alongside some consideration of the internal parking and highway layout to ensure there are no ‘overspill’ issues. These assessments often provide a more cost effective solution to addressing specific highway concerns being raised over a scheme.
Scheme Design Negotiations
Good design is not only important for our clients to achieve efficient and successful planning outcomes, but is also vital for proposed highway improvements to operate safely when any scheme is fully operational. We pride ourselves on our in-depth knowledge of the detailed and varied range of technical standards throughout the team, which ensures that the right type of solutions can be delivered within the constraints of any given proposals.
We are able to offer expertise in all areas of Preliminary Layout link and junction design, and modelling, necessary to accompany most planning applications. Where more detailed input is required then we regularly work with other specialist consultants that are able to assist as necessary.
Each member of the team has a detailed understanding of the wide range of techniques and strategies for collecting the specific information that we require to identify optimum solutions. This helps us to work closely with specialist survey companies and highway authorities to identify agreed strategies for overcoming their concerns.
We have in-house expertise to undertake the following:
Manual radar & laser speed surveys / Manual classified link/turning counts / Pedestrian link counts / Parking Beat surveys / Interview & Digital Staff Questionnaire surveys / Personal Injury Accident data