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Dealing with wind impacts from development schemes: Update

Report of the Chief Planning Officer and Development Director.


The Committee received a report providing Members with an overview of past, present and future work undertaken to better understand and evaluate the wind microclimate in the City, especially in relation to determining development proposals.


Members received a presentation on the work undertaken to date. Officers reported that they were working alongside the Wind Industry regarding the methodology used. Members were shown a wind model that had been produced depicting all of the City’s existing developments as well as those currently in the pipeline. Comparisons had also been drawn between the City and other major Cities such as New York and Paris where the City had compared favourably in both cases.


Members were informed that international guidelines were also about to be published for the first time around wind and cycling in terms of both safety and comfort. Complex studies had also been carried out combining daylight/sunlight hours with wind studies.


Interestingly, Officers reported a correlation between high polluting highways and areas of enhanced wind conditions.


The Corporation’s Wind Effects and Tall Buildings document had now been published and it was hoped that the Microclimate Guidelines document would also be published in the near future.


A Member thanked Officers for all of their work in this area. He requested a before and after study of wind conditions around the Walkie Talkie building. He added that the organisation should also be looking to make standards tougher for developers particularly amidst moves to make the City more pedestrianised.


Some Members called for greater clarity around what targets developers in the City should currently be working to after mitigation.


Another Member stated that he would like to see the organisation taking the opportunity to share and promote its own guidance with other Local Authorities and perhaps internationally given the level of expertise it now had on this.


The Deputy Chairman suggested that future applications might look at the cumulative effect on wind conditions and also look at what positive impacts new buildings could make.


Officers confirmed that whilst there were no public guidelines around targets to date, he accepted that these might be more radical going forward. He added that the organisation was very open to sharing their research and guidance externally.



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