Thames Tideway Tunnel
A Member commented that he was keen for Members to be more involved in this work given that it was the first major area of public realm that was to be created on the riverside. He noted that much of the work around designing the public realm element had been undertaken before the pandemic and a refocusing on the benefits of outdoor exercise. The Chairman suggested that a meeting be set up between him, Officers and Thames Tideway to explore the art of the possible here. Another commented that this was all under the Development Consent Order Scheme where the City had no mandate unless anything had been conditioned to suggest otherwise. Officers confirmed that this was correct although underlined that Thames Tideway were very open to negotiating and discussing the art of the possible.
A Member commented that, a number of years ago, this Committee had set about a policy of consolidation and specifically ensuring that schemes granted included consolidated deliveries. She questioned whether it might now be possible to have a report back to Committee so that they were able to track the progress of this and its effectiveness. She also questioned how many of the schemes granted since 2012 with this in mind had now been developed such as 22 Bishopsgate. Officers confirmed that they had had meetings with 22 Bishopsgate to understand their experience over the last two years. What tended to happen was that the non-consolidated delivery element of the consolidation did not seem to be supporting the food and beverage sides of these developments. Current discussions were therefore centered around refining the 106 provisions to ensure that they were adequately serviced. Officers undertook to bring a more detailed report back on this but underlined that 22 Bishopsgate was the only current experience of this in operation in the City. It was confirmed that, by and large, 22 Bishopsgate were of the view that the arrangement had been an outstanding success in terms of a reduction in the number of vehicle movements.
Harm versus benefit – planning applications
A Member referred back to the debate on the application today and talk of the trade off between any benefits and any harm. He questioned whether Officers could assist with this and perhaps create a matrix of sorts on these against compliance with relevant policies and their relative weighting for future application reports. It was felt that this might help the Committee to better visualise and draw together how certain conclusions had been reached.
The Planning and Development Director stated that it might be preferable to hold a future training session on this and also look at certain case studies including some in the City.
Another Member stated that she would not be in favour of introducing such a table, highlighting that these matters around what was within policy and what was not could not always be neatly summarised. She stated that she would also further support additional training for the Committee on these matters.
The Chairman asked Officers to consider this ask further and propose the most efficient way forward.