|| Skip Navigation|

Gloucestershire County Council
http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=48

||

Meeting documents

Development Control Sub-Committee
Tuesday 8th July, 1997

Date of meeting: 8 July 1997
Document type: Report
Committee: Development Control Sub-Committee
Title: Redevelopment of of the St.James site, Cheltenham

Abstract (plain text version of the report)
DEVELOPMENT CONTROL
SUB-COMMITTEE
DATE 8 JULY 1997
AGENDA ITEM:


REDEVELOPMENT OF THE ST. JAMES SITE, CHELTENHAM
REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENT


1. PURPOSE OF REPORT

To advise members of redevelopment proposals for the St James site in Cheltenham with their implications for traffic and transportation in the town and on the former Honeybourne railway line.

2. RECOMMENDATION

To note the actions being persued by the Department of Environment that the content of this report be drawn to the attention of the Government Office for the South West.

3. PRIORITY OBJECTIVES/KEY TASK IMPLICATIONS

Priority Objective No.10 proposes improvements to public passenger transport services.

4. RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS

If the Secretary of State decides to call in these applications and require them to be subjected to a public inquiry, there will be a considerable requirement for officer time in preparatory work and attendance at the inquiry, with supporting reports by our consultants.

5. ENVIRONMENTAL LOSS OR BENEFIT

Traffic issues and the loss of a potential public transport corridor are at the heart of this report.

6. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES IMPLICATIONS

Pedestrian access is a key element of concern expressed in the report.

7. ANTI-POVERTY IMPLICATIONS

Re-use of the St James site with employment generating land uses will provide local job opportunities.

8. DEPARTMENTAL CONTACT

Ken Kemp, Transport Strategy Manager.

9. REPORT

It is important that I take this opportunity to draw members attention to the current situation with this issue.

9.1 At Environment Committee in June 1996, members considered two reports concerning proposed development of the St James site in Cheltenham. Agenda item 12A dealt with the Borough Council’s draft regeneration strategy. Committee’s resolutions are appended.

9.2 The second report was in response to a motion by Councillor Rawson, dealing more directly with the transportation aspects of the development. The resolutions of Committee are also appended.

9.3 Members will note the emphasis that Committee laid on the need for traffic limitation measures associated with the development, and the requirement to retain the former Honeybourne line railway embankment for the purposes of passenger transport, cycling and walking.

9.4 Earlier this year, copies of outline planning applications concerning redevelopment of the St James site and removal of the Honeybourne embarkment were passed to me for comment on highway matters. Copies of letters of response from my Projects and Traffic Manager are appended. Members will note the concerns expressed, in particular regarding the proposed removal of the former railway embankment and many aspects of the Traffic Impact Assessment, e.g. the levels of traffic attracted to the site, the amount of car parking, the impact on key town centre junctions, the failure to consider adequately the traffic impact of the proposed closure of “Boots Corner”, and the failure to deal adequately with public transport, cycling and walking.

9.5 The Cheltenham Borough Planning Committee considered the application on 26th June. Officers recommended approval subject to a large number of conditions, and at the Committee meeting a further condition was added by members with the intention of preserving the railway embankment.

9.6 While the additional condition is very valuable in setting out Borough Council Members’ concerns for the future of the former Honeybourne line embankment, and to be welcomed, it is my view that as a condition it is not specific enough to prevent a substantial loss of embankment. In addition, I am concerned that insufficient regard has been paid to the traffic and transportation aspects of the development. I am confident that a fresh approach by the developers in consultation with my staff could result in a satisfactory resolution to these concerns.

9.7 I intend to persue with the Borough Council the relationship between the planning conditions and the outline Heads of Terms and would further intend to view the Cheltenham Joint Member Transport Liaison Group as a suitable forum for progressing this issue. I recommend that the content of this report be transmitted without delay to the Government Office for the South West so that the Secretary of State may take into account the views of this Authority.

BACKGROUND PAPERS

Planning applications CB 2184/00, CBC 311/00
Agenda Items 12A and 12B Environment Committee 24th June 1996
Letters dated 27th May and 20th June from Projects and Traffic Manager
(copies attached).


Richard Wigginton
Director of Environment

DCJY9701/GF
ECHED/WW



ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE 24th JUNE 1996


AGENDA ITEM 12

CHELTENHAM REGENERATION

(b) HESPONSETO MOTION NO.406 BY COUNCILLOR RAWSON

The Committee considered the above report attached to the Agenda and

RESOLVED

That Committee:

1. Notes progress on studies and discussions concerning transport in the centre of Cheltenham, principally related to the development of the St.James Station Site.

2. Reaffirms its opposition to any proposals which would affect the integrity of the Honeybourne railway line route for passenger transport purposes.

3. Agrees that the current scheme for the Extended Inner Ring Road should be withdrawn, and that a revised Joint County Council Borough Council transport strategy be brought to this Committee for approval at the earliest opportunity.

The strategy must provide:-

(a) comprehensive measures to bring about traffic reduction with properly thought out pedestrianisation, bus and cycle access to the town centre and better and more direct cross town routes for buses and cycles.

(b) a commitment to the future of a bus station centrally located so as to promote effective modal transport integration and tackle the dereliction in this key central area (e.g. the current site).

(c) a commitment to making best use of the road network already present, with only minimal road building.



ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
24th JUNE 1996

AGENDA ITEM 12A
CHELTENHAM REGENERATION

(a) LAND PLANNING ISSUES- CHELTENHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL’S ‘DRAFT STRATEGY FOR REGENERATION"

The Committee considered the above report attached to the Agenda and

RESOLVED

That Committee:

Notes the Draft Strategy’s broad consistency with the provisions of th Gloucestershire Structure Plan First Alteration (1992) and the emergin. Cheltentham Borough Local Plan.
Supports in principle the Draft Strategy providing that, in relation to vacant site development and area redevelopment initiatives, th Borough Council has full regard to the following considerations:

(i) The importance of consistently addressing the challenges and aims of the Draft Strategjr relating to affordable housing provision within the core of the town and job creation throughout the Borough.

(ii) The importance of not prejudicing the emerging strategy for the Borough contained within the Draft Gloucestershire Structure Plan Second Review; namely, optimising the use of vacant and jj redeveloped sites within the Borough for housing and employment development and containing the expansion of the built-up area, in particular due to Green Belt considerations.

(iii) The importance of not undermining the implementation of the County Council’s Transport Plan for Gloucestershire by limiting the amount of traffic generated by the development of these sites, in the interests of protecting Cheltenham’s built, historic and green environment and .in the light of wider environmental considerations.



CONDITIONS

Reason; to prevent pollution of the water environment.

BB 21841/00

1. The reserved matters submission(s) shall make provision for the replacement of the school playing fields in the ownership of St Gregory’s School (located between Millbrook Street and Market Street) in accordance with the School Premises Regulations (1996), in all respects to the satisfaction of the LPA.

Reason: to ensure that appropriate provision of playing field space is made for all school users.

No works shall be commenced prior to the securing of the replacement playing fields referred to in the preceding condition either by permanent alternative facilities or by temporary arrangements coupled with binding contracts to secure permanent facilities, to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority.

Reason; to ensure that appmpri ate provision of playing field space is made for the school.

3. No development of any description shall take place on the site prior to the diversion of, or other appropriate alteration to, the public sewers which cross the site.

Reason: to avoid damage to the existing infrastructure.

4. No development for retail, leisure or commercial purposes shall take place prior to the construction of the new link road between Gloucester Road and St George’s Road to a standard suitable for use by construction vehicles.

Reason: to provide adequate means of access for construction vehicles.

S. The resened matters submission(s) shall include precise details of the methods proposed to ameliorate the effects of contamination of the sub-soil within the development site. Such details should identify construction techniques and/or areas and depths of soil.

Reason: to ensure that the existing contamination is satisfactorily dealt with.

6. No discharge of foul or contaminated drainage shall be made from the site into either round waters or surface waters, whether direct or via soakaways

7. There shall be no construction of buildings or other structures within S m either side of the open channel of the River Chelt (measured from the bank top) or within 3 m of either side of the river where it flows in culvert. Accessways to the maintenance strips so formed shall be of a minimum width of 5 m.

Reason: to provide for access to the watercourse for maintenance at any time.

The reserved matters submission(s) shall include details of the proposed attentions to the River Chelt.

Reason: to ensure that the flow regime of the river is not adversely affected and is upgraded to pmvide for a 1 in 100 year return period flood.

The John Lewis/Waitrose retail element shall comprise no more than 50% food sales and 50% ‘comparison goods’ measured as retail floorspace. Comparison goods sales shall be restricted to light household goods such as kitchenware, lighting accessories, radios, toasters, bed linen, towels and similar products used in the furnishing of the home.

Reason: The application has been assessed on the basis of the figures submitted and a variation in the allocation of retail floorspace will require further assessment to test its effect the vitality and viability of the town centre.

The reserved matters submission shall provide for residential development fronting the undeveloped length of Market Street on its south west side between Gloucester Road and the Honeybourne cycle/footpath.

Reason: to maintain and enhance the residential character of Market Street.

No development of any description shall take place on site prior to the carrying out of an archaeological field evaluation of the site.

Reason: to ensure that the archaeological potential of the site is fully explored.

12. Subject to the findings of the archaeological field evaluation referred to in the preceding conditions, any artefacts or below-ground evidence revealed shall be preserved and/or

recorded either in-situ or elsewhere in accordance with the requirements of the Gloucestershire County Archaeological Officer. The reserved matters submissions shall comply with those requirements.

Reason: to ensure the proper recording of items of archaeological interest.

The developer shall afford access at all reasonable tftnes to any archaeologist nominated by the LPA, and shall allow him to observe the excavations and record items of interest and finds..

Reason: to assist in compiling the archaeological record of the site.

The reserved matters submissions(s) shall provide for the reservation of a route through the site suitable for the provision of a rapid passenger transport system running along the route of the Honeybourne Line cycle/footpath.

Reason: to comply with Policy TP101 of the CBLP.

The reserved matters submission(s) shall provide for the continuation of links segregated from motor traffic for pedestrians and cyclists between the north and south sections of the Honeybourne Line cycle/footpath and the Chelt Walk.

Reason: to ensure the continuation of these existing segregated mutes.

16. The reserved matters submission(s) shall provide for a convenient and signed pedestrian and cycle route along the line of the River Chelt (including that part of the river which runs in culvert).

Reason: in furtherance of Council Action RCA101 of the Cheltenhan, Borough

Local Plan (Working Draft 1996) (CBLP).

17. The reserved matters submission(s) shall include provision for access into the site by the "Mover” public transport system, conventional buses, pedestrians and cyclists.

Reason: to provide convenient public access to the site.

18. The reserved matters submission(s) shall make provision for secure cycle parking within the site.

Reason: to encourage the use of bicycles for access to the site.

19. No parts of the development shall be occupied prior to their respective car parking and servicing provision being made available for use.

Reason: to ensure that adequate off-street parking is available, in the interests of highway safety.

20. A survey to establish a base level for noise within the site at certain specified points agreed by the Local Planning Authority shall be carried out to the satisfaction of the LPA before details of any of the matters reserved are submitted. The layout, orientation and design of the buildings shall be such as to provide sound insulation/attenuation against generated noise including external Public Address System within certain spedfled tolerances of those levels identified in the base level noise survey to the satisfaction of the Borough Council’s Environmental Health Officer.

Reason: to avoid noise disturbance to residents in the locality.

21. The reserved matters submission(s) shall include measures for the mitigation of additional traffic noise as measured at geographical points on the boundaries of existing residential properties and to levels to be agreed by the LPA.

Reason: to avoid noise disturbance to residents in the locality.

22. The reserved matters submission(s) shall, where appropriate, include details of proposed hours of operation for the respective uses, which shall be restricted to the approved hours.

Reason: to avoid noise disturbance to residents in the locality.

23. No deliveries or collections shall be made to or from the retail, leisure and petrol sales buildings erected in pursuance of this permission between the hours of 1930 and 0700 hours on Mondays to Saturdays and there shall be no deliveries/collections at any time on Sundays or Bank Holidays.

Reason: to preserve the amenities of local residents.

24. The reserved matters submission(s) shall include schemes for the effective control of cooking smells and suppression of any noise producing equipment shall be submitted to and approved by the LPA and the schemes shall be implemented before the development hereby permitted is brought into use.

Reason: to safeguard the amenities of occupiers of adjoining buildings.

25. The reserved matters submission(s) shall include schemes for the storage and disposal of refuse and the facilities approved shall be made available, prior to the commencement of use of the individual buildings to which they relate.

Reason: to ensure a satisfactory form of development.

26. There shall be no open storage of materials within the site.

Reason: in the interests of the amenities of the area and to protect the amenities of occupiers of adjoining residential properties.

27. The reserved matters submission(s) shall include provision of lavatories available for public use.

Reason: for the convenience of members of the public in the locality.

28. That part of the site identified in the reserved matters submission as a petrol filling station shall only be used for the sale of motor vehicle fuels and ancillary goods and not for the sale display or repair of motor vehicles.

Reason: Use of the site for car sales and repairs would be inappropriate in view of the likely location of the petrol filling station in a prominent position alongside the new ring road.

29. All surface water drainage shall be passed through an oil interceptor designed and constructed in accordance with BS8301: 1985 and of a capacity compatible with the site being drained prior to being discharged into any watercourse surface water sewer or soakaway system. Roof water should not be passed through the interceptor.

Reason: to minimise the risk of pollution to rivers and watercourses.

30. No development shall take place until full details of both hard and soft landscape works have been submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA and these works shall be Carried out as approved. These details shall include proposed finished levels or contours, means of enclosure, car parking layouts, other vehicle and pedestrian access and circulation areas, hard surfacing materials, minor artefacts and structures (e.g. furniture, play equipment, refuse or other storage units, signs, lighting, etc.), proposed and existing functional services above and below ground (e.g. drainage power, communications cables, Pipelines, etc. indicating lines, manholes, supports etc.) and retained historic landscape features and proposals for restoration, where relevant.

Reason: in order to provide a satisfactory setting for the development.

31. Soft landscape works shall include planting plans, written specifications (including cultivation and other operations associated with plant and grass establishment), scheduled of plants, noting species, plant sizes and proposed numbers/densities where appropriate and an implementation programme.

Reason: in order to provide a satisfactory setting for the development.

32. All hard and soft landscape works shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details. The works shall be carried out prior to the occupation of any part of the development or in accordance with the programme agreed with the LPA.

Reason: in order to provide a satisfactory setting for the development.

33. A landscape management plan, including long term design objectives, management responsibilities and maintenance schedules for all landscape areas, other than small, privately owned, domestic gardens, shall be submitted to and approved by the LPA prior to the occupation of the development or any phase of the development, whichever is the sooner, for its permitted use. The landscape management plan shall be carried out as approved.

Reason: to secure the future maintenance of the landscape proposals.

34. No development shall take place until a schedule of landscape maintenance for a minimum4 period of 7 years from the date of first occupation of the building(s) has been submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA. The schedule shall include details of the arrangements for its implementation. Development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved schedule.

Reason: to secure the future maintenance of the landscape proposals.

35. The reserved matters submission(s) shall include specifications for the retention of and protection of existing trees on the site, where appropriate. No trees on the site shall be felled prior to the approval of the reserved matters, including such specifications.

Reason: co ensure the retention of trees on site which make a contribution to the appearance of the area.

36. The reserved matters submission(s) shall include a landmark structure” to provide visual stop to the extended Jessop Avenue vista.

Reason: Such a structure is required to complete the concept initiated by the Jessop Avenue “boulevard”.

37. The retail building shall be designed and constructed such as to provide an attractive frontage on each side, subject to its location within the site.

Reason: to ensure a satisfactory relationship with its surroundings and to the access routes into the site.

38. Notwithstanding the proposal to remove the former railway embankment where it crosses we site and to replace it with a new elevated pedestrian and cycle link, the embankment shall be retained in its entirety except where works are required to allow for the construction of the new road. The works shall be designed such as to minimise intervention into the existing earthworks.

Reason: to preserve the integrity of the embankment, which is regarded as a valuable wildlife, amenity, recreational and transport resource.

Note:

1. The Council will require a high standard of design for all street furniture to be incorporated into the scheme, including signs and advertisements.
2. The Council regards the provision of substantial water features as desirable landscape elements, to provide visual interest and natural habitat.
3. The applicant’s attention is drawn to the likelihood that bats are using the site. All bat species are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and advice should be obtained from English Nature (tel. 01531 638500).

4. The reserved matters submission(s) should provide for substantial separation between the car park adjacent to the retail store and the existing houses in Great Western Road, to avoid nuisance to the occupiers of those properties.

S106 OBLIGATIONS: HEADS OF TERMS

1. Provision of an element of Public Art, in pursuance of Council Action GPA104.
2. Management of the car park to provide for use both by Waitrose/John Lewis customers and the general public.
3. Allocation of construction vehicle access routes.
4. Provision of or contributions towards off-site highway works

- consequential road closures
- traffic management measures, including traffic calming
- making-up of Jessop Avenue carriageway
- junction improvements at Tewkesbury Road/High Street and other affected pails of the highway network
- residents’ parking schemes
- traffic calming and pedestrian crossing facilities in St George’s Place and New Street
- improvements to Royal Well Place
- direction signs
- pedestrian crossing facilities in St Georges Road
- alterations to existing signals at Gloucester Road/St George’s Road junction and St -George’s Road/Bayshill Road junction

5. Provision of payments for maintenance of public open spaces.
6. Contributions towards repair of the Honeybourne Line embankment.

Note:

At least two S106 obligations will be required because the County Council will be party to the highway matters.



Cheltenham Borough Council Environment Directorate
Municipal Offices
PO Box 12
CHELTENHAM
GL50 1PP

for the attention of Ian Crohill
Mr D C I Jones 5616
DCIJIGF 27th May 1997

Dear Ian

Planning Application CB21841/00 Redevelopment of St James Station Site Conservation Area sent CBC 311/00 Removal of Honeybourne Embankment

I write in response to the above and understand that these applications are to determine only the and -use principles for the St James station site. However, the supporting documents include details of a new road with a retail store etc., together with a traffic impact assessment prepared by Ove Arup and I felt that it would be appropriate and helpful to you if I also commented upon the transportation implications arising from the indicative proposals. This r, therefore, reprises the main issues discussed between Richard Wigginton and Clifford's comments made in earlier meetings and correspondence, associated with access by public transport to the parking, the impact on the Honeybourne line and the opportunities to use the site as "brown field” housing.

Ove Arup assessment describes the traffic impact of a food/non-food retail use and I will comment on that report and will provide a more detailed response in due course. My principal reaction is that the TIA should have included a detailed appraisal of modal split for journeys to Site and an indication of how these would be accommodated on the highway, public transport and cycle/pedestrian networks.

I have also briefly considered the site layout plans and whilst recognising that these were submitted for illustrative purposes I would comment that I am concerned by the lack of attention to public transport, cycling and walking access to and within the site.

Land Use

You will recall the County Council’s concerns about large-scale retail development. At its meeting on the 24 June 1996 the Environment Committee resolutions included -the importance of incorporating a significantly higher proportion of housing development and the need to consider an element of employment land provision; the importance of optimising the use of vacant and redeveloped sites within the borough for housing and employment.

I believe you are pursuing the question of housing provision with the developer (and I note that the traffic impact assessment includes a small number in its assumptions). Mr Ride’s letter of the 21 April 1997 indicated that a three-way land swap might be possible and I would be grateful for an update on the position.

Public Transport access to the site

Clearly, the need to plan for good public transport links to the site is essential, whatever the final land use. The Arup report confirms that the adjacent roads already carry a number of frequent bus services and no doubt detailed proposals will include the specific arrangements for bus and passenger accessibility. lam also grateful for Mr Ride’s assurance that the People Mover will be ready to service the development on the latter’s completion. This provision should be secure within the planning process. 1

Parking

The application includes the construction of 957 parking spaces. This raises questions not only regarding charging regimes and who might benefit from concessions but also sustainability issues. Ove Arup’s analysis of parking demand demonstrates that the Saturday peak is short lived and there is an opportunity to reduce substantially the number of spaces. A commuted sum should be secured to support other modes of transport (i.e. conventional public transport the People Mover and the provision of cycle tracks.)
Redevelopment of the Honeybourne line

Now, the Honeybourne line already forms part of the local cycle network and other lengths North of Cheltenham may be converted to become a section of a national route between Bristol and Stratford. Richard Wigginton has also written to Mr Ride to confirm that the Environment Committee has resolved that development of the St. James station site must not the integrity of the Honeybourne railway line route for passenger transport purposes. The current application seeks to remove the embankment, replacing it with a narrower, elevated away presumably intended to share with a single-track light rail system on a new alignment. tare options available that wake the diversion unnecessary and I consider it essential that Mouchel report is made available and that long-sections are provided of the route between Market Street and St George’s Road and over the link road to clarify how a LRT route would he established.

Ove Arup traffic impact assessment

The preliminary assessment undertaken for the John Lewis Partnership highlights a number of matters that require further investigation. I have asked Halcrow to provide advice on the local possible traffic generations, to comment on Arup’s traffic distribution assumptions, to identify junctions and routes not specifically included in the assessment that might become significantly busier. Their initial reaction is that the forecasts lie towards the bottom end of the projected traffic generation. Halcrow’s full response will be with me during next week.

I was disappointed to note that the work took a narrow view of the impact area of the development and did not test the affects of traffic redistribution on the ring road at Boots
Corner. Ove Arup has produced a supplementary “working paper” that investigates the flow changes on the proposed link road following the closure of Royal Well Place. The traffic generated by the development should reflect the addition of the petrol filling station and the bed retail floor area described in the planning application.

I will write again with detailed observations on the assessment when the Halcrow report is to

The Successful application will require a comprehensive development agreement. The Highway authority will seek contributions to off-site works to include a contribution to the NRR appropriate measures to encourage public transport, pedestrian and cycle travel. Problems concerning the People Mover should also be included.
Whilst the new Highways Agency Agreement describes the responsibilities for drafting1 implementation I suggest that a tripartite agreement would be the most satisfactory
forward for all parties in this instance and that the Heads of such an agreement should be available to your committee before outline consent is granted. If you feel that an early meeting with developers would be helpful we will of course be pleased to attend.

I understand that Neville has written separately about joint Member involvement in advance of committee consideration.


Yours sincerely

D C I Jones
Projects & traffic Manager

cc M G Smith (Cheltenham Borough Council)
R Wigginton
DRoberts
K Kemp

P.S. I understand that the Department of the Environment have ‘called-in’ the application - How will this affect your timescale?



Cheltenham Borough Council
Environment Directorate
Municipal Offices
Box 12
Cheltenham
GL50 1PP

For the Attention of Ian Crohill
Mr. D.C. I. Jones 5616
DCIJ/JP/L1240 20 June 1997

Dear Ian,

Planning Application CB 2184/00 Redevelopment of St. James Station Site Conservation Area Consent CRC 3t1/00 Removal of Honeybourne Embankment

Further to my letter of 27 May 1997 I would like to comment in more detail on the transportation implications of the above proposals. As noted in earlier correspondence, the County Council is particularly concerned that redevelopment of the St. James Station site is undertaken in a sustainable manner and we at the County are not convinced that the proposed mix of land-use supports that principle. However, you have mentioned that the Borough Council is in negotiation with others regarding housing provision, perhaps through a land-swap agreement and I would be grateful for an update on progress on this as requested earlier.

Protection of the Honeybourne Line

Thank you for forwarding the Mouchel report. My reading of it is that their proposed Solution for a future LRT route is to bring it down to ground level (or a metre above the existing proposed ground level to improve gradients) with removal of the embankment between St: George’s Road and St. Paul’s Road. This would, as the report makes clear, require five signal-controlled road crossings through which of necessity the Light Rail Vehicle would require priority. This would, in my view, create considerable congestion on these roads, and I am particularly concerned by the close proximity of the LRT route with the High Street/ Gloucester Road junction. I am not convinced that such an arrangement could be made to work satisfactorily.

A further option outlined in the report is to bring the LRT down to ground level to meet the proposed new road and then back up to high level again. The report makes dear that this would preclude any stopping point except adjacent to St. George’s Road. The report supports my view that an at grade crossing of the new road immediately adjacent to the proposed roundabout is unsatisfactory, and the only possibility for an at grade crossing would be to integrate it into a signal-controlled T-junction arrangement for the road a The report confirms that to remove the embankment and replace it with a high level structure would be extremely expensive, particularly for a skewed structure on the route as the proposed cycleway. I would expect the site developer to contribute substantially to that cost A structure on the existing line of the embankment would be practical (albeit with the high cost implication) but would require a signal-controlled Tjunction, and a modified route for the access road from St. George’s Road.

In order to keep options open for use of the Floneybourne line route, my preference is the developers to consider a solution which leaves the embankment in situ, acknowled that any new bridge would have a lower than standard headroom (not a significant problem in my view). As a result, the access road from St. George’s Road needs to be relocated slightly.

I note that the ifiustrative plans submitted with the planning application do not provide a spur into the development and beyond to the town centre, which would be a desirable
element of a strategic LRT proposal. Whilst the Mouchel report described an alternative route via Market Street, that arrangement would only be possible from low level.

I note the report’s comments about the structural condition of the embankment. No slippage has occurred in the five years since the previous inspection and that monitoring only is required while it remains a cycleway. Should LRT be introduced the report clear that stabilisation techniques would be used, w hich would not necessarily be high C and would be at the expense of the promoter of the public transport system.

Finally, any structure necessary in a revised layout must accommodate both LRT and a cycle track.

The Ove Arup Traffic Impact Assessment

Further to my letter of 27 May, I repeat my concern that the TIA does not address the• of modal split for journeys to the site, or recognise the increasing importance of placing more focus on this aspect in line with emerging policy requirements.

The restriction of traffic at Boots Corner has been a key element of Cheltenham’s trans policy for many years. Testing of this proposal on the traffic model revealed a substan switch of traffic to alternative routes such as Gloucester Road, Ambrose Street and He Road, under congested conditions, such that a significant shift in journeys from car to public transport, cycling and walking needs to be considered as a part of the strategy.

It was disappointing, therefore, that the proposed restrictions at Boots Corner were only treated as an afterthought in the Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) and not as part of the assumption. This aspect should be revisited as a matter of urgency.

As you know, the TIA did not include the petrol filling station or the larger retail store proposed in the planning application and it is my view that the development could generate more than the 760 vph estimated by Ove Amp. The store’s location also suggests that there could be a smaller proportion of pass-by journeys. This could translate to a
figure at the low end of the range of 800 vph (CF Arup’s 530 vph). There are also possible variations of traffic distribution which could indicate a more significant impact on junctions not identified in the TIA, for example on the NRR, as far afield as Hewlett Road. Also the Stone Lane and Arle Road junctions, with Gloucester Road should receive specific attention. In this context I should point out that the County Council sees itself under no obligation to improve junction capacity at Tewkesbury Road/High Street or elsewhere in order to facilitate the St. James development, which is alluded to in the Arup report. Urban traffic control operation of these signals is giving a satisfactory performance under current conditions.

Given the possibilities that, on a traditional car-born basis, the traffic generation could be r higher than the Arup forecast, and that the development should aim to offer sustainable travel for the future, firm proposals for improving access to public transport are essential. Car usage should also be discouraged by decreasing the available parking spaces, which are currently aimed at providing for the maximum peak flow. It is strongly recommended that the parking allocation is reduced to a level which would accommodate a more “normal” demand and therefore better utilisation, and encourage a real increase in the use of alternative means of access to the site.

I would like to see an indicative layout which shows how buses and the People Mover will penetrate the site. There are opportunities to divert services and the developer should be encouraged to reach an agreement with the bus operators. Explicit cycle and pedestrian links to the existing networks are also required.

I understand that when developments of this size and location are proposed they are Usually supported by an Environmental Assessment. Has such a report been prepared or IS it intended that one should be prepared?

I have not had a response to my request for a meeting with the developers and yourselves, but believe that this is an essential step on the path to a negotiated agreement on highway and transport matters.

I View of my concerns (expressed in my letter of 27 May and above) which have been the Subject of consultation with relevant members, I believe that if your Council is minded to grant consent to this outline application, it should be with a clear condition which makes that consent subject to agreement between the highway authority and the developing highway and transport requirements and funding, which should aim at a significant the mode of travel and should inter-alia allow for:

- provision of on site roads/junctions minimising impact on the existing line of the Honeybourne Line;
- a reduced parking provision;
- penetration/access into the site for public transport modes (including People Mover);
- provision of strong cycle/pedestrian routes to and within the site;
- contributions to off site highway/traffic management works.

Please would you place both this letter and that of 27 May before your Planning COIDIIdt when it considers this application.


Yours sincerely,

D.C.I. Jones
Projects & Traffic Manager

 

© 2009 Gloucestershire County Council, Shire Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester GL1 2TG.
Telephone: +44 (0)1452 425000