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planning report PDU / 2404a / 02 15 December 2010

40-46 Weston Street, London Bridge


in the London Borough of Southwark planning application no. 10-AP-2754 Strategic planning application stage II referral (new powers)
Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended); Greater London Authority Acts 1999 and 2007; Town & Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008

The proposal
Demolition of Capital House, and erection of a 21 and 31-storey building (108.8m AOD), to provide 470 student accommodation units with ancillary bar, gym and library. Three retail / cafe units (286 sq.m.) at ground floor level. The proposal includes 261 cycle parking spaces, two accessible car parking spaces, one service bay at the basement level and associated refuse and recycling and an area of public open space.

The applicant
The applicant is Investream, and the architect is SPPARC.

Strategic issues
Strategic matters regarding student housing, urban design, inclusive design, climate change and transport have now been addressed.

The Councils decision


In this instance, Southwark Council has resolved to grant permission.

Recommendation
That Southwark Council be advised that the Mayor is content for it to determine the case itself, subject to any action that the Secretary of State may take, and does not therefore wish to direct refusal or direct that he is to be the local planning authority.

Context
1 On 30 September 2010 the Mayor of London received documents from Southwark Council notifying him of a planning application of potential strategic importance to develop the above site for the above uses. This was referred to the Mayor under Category 1C of the Schedule to the Order 2008:

Development which comprises or includes the erection of a building of one or more of the following descriptions the building is more than 30 metres high and is outside the City of London.
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2 On 4 November 2010 Simon Milton, Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff, acting under delegated authority, considered planning report PDU / 2404a / 01, and subsequently advised Southwark Council that the application did not comply with the London Plan, for the following reasons: Student housing: The proposal broadly complies with London Plan Policy if an appropriate S106 agreement clause, which restrict the use of accommodation for full time higher education students only and that the accommodation will be let at a rent no greater than rents for comparable student housing is agreed. Urban design, tall buildings and views: Whilst the external appearance of the building remains of the highest order and consistent with the LVMF, the impact of the changes to the internal layout, access to lifts for disabled people and accessible laundry facilities and general circulation space is poor and should be reconsidered before the application is referred back to the Mayor for final determination. Inclusive design: The proposal does not comply with London Plan Policies 4B.5 or 3A.5. Climate Change mitigation and adaptation: Further information is required to determine whether the application complies with London Plan Policies 4A.34A.7 The application broadly complies with London Plan climate change adaptation policy. Transport: Further information is required and a number of issues must be addressed for the proposal to comply with London Plan transport policy.

But that the following possible remedies could address these deficiencies: Student housing: An appropriate S106 agreement clause, which restrict the use of accommodation for full time higher education students only and that the accommodation will be let at a rent no greater than rents for comparable student housing should be attached to any permission. Urban design: The design team should revisit the current arrangement for disabled students regarding access to lifts and laundry facilities, and the nature of circulation space on typical floors above level 6. Inclusive design: Genuinely accessible laundry facilities should be provided on every floor with an accessible room. As discussed above, the single aspect north facing room could be lost to accommodate such facilities. Furthermore, accessible rooms should be located on floors that have access to both north and south lifts. Climate Change mitigation and adaptation: The applicant should provide the regulated carbon dioxide emissions in tonnes per annum after the cumulative effect of energy efficiency, CHP and renewable energy and the cumulative annual CO2 savings, in tonnes and percentage points, relative to a 2010 Building Regulations compliant development should also be provided. The applicant should commit to reduce water use to less than 105 litres per person per day. Transport: The applicant should provide additional transport information as set out in paragraphs 81 to 91.

4 A copy of the above-mentioned report is attached. The essentials of the case with regard to the proposal, the site, case history, strategic planning issues and relevant policies and guidance are as set out therein, unless otherwise stated in this report. Since then, the application has been
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revised in response to the Mayors concerns (see below). On 30 November 2010 Southwark Council decided that it was minded to grant planning permission and on 2 December 2010 it advised the Mayor of this decision. Under the provisions of Article 5 of the Town & Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008 the Mayor may allow the draft decision to proceed unchanged, direct Southwark Council under Article 6 to refuse the application or issue a direction to Southwark Council under Article 7 that he is to act as the Local Planning Authority for the purposes of determining the application and any connected application. The Mayor has until 15 December 2010 to notify the Council of his decision and to issue any direction. 5 The decision on this case, and the reasons will be made available on the GLAs website www.london.gov.uk.

Update
Student housing 6 At the consultation stage, the Mayor requested that an appropriate section 106 obligation be included to restrict the use of accommodation for full time higher education students only, and that the accommodation will be let at a rent no greater than rents for comparable student housing. 7 Southwark Council has incorporated a clause within the proposed section106 agreement, which will ensure that, in the first instance, the accommodation is only let to full-time students of Kings College. The obligation would, therefore, only allow other students access to accommodation if it is not taken up by students of Kings College. The section 106 clause also states that the accommodation will be let at a rent no greater than rents for comparable student housing. 8 The proposal now complies with London Plan Policy.

Urban design, tall buildings and views 9 Matters regarding the principle of a tall building on this site, the impact on strategic views defined by the London View Management Framework, views from within the Tower of London World Heritage Site and the quality of the architecture are set out in the Mayors response to the consultation stage (report reference PDU / 2404a / 01) and remain broadly supported. Concern was, however, raised regarding the impact of the changes to the internal layouts, in particular the access to lifts for disabled people, accessible laundry facilities, general circulation space and the merits of the fairly contrived unit with north facing outlook. 10 The majority of these matters relate to inclusive design, which are considered below later in this report. There remains, however, a fairly contrived single north facing student room on the typical floor plan, which ideally should be converted for other uses as suggested at the consultation stage. This has not been pursued by the design team. Whilst the overall design remains tight in many areas in terms of space, the layout for this type of land use is not subject to design or space standards criteria expected of other types of accommodation, for example that required in publicly funded housing proposals. The Council notes at paragraph 91 of the officer report that: Criterion (iv) of Policy 4.7 of the Southwark Plan requires any proposal for student accommodation to provide a satisfactory standard of accommodation, including shared facilities. There are no policy standards for size of units within the student accommodation. 11 The Council also reports at paragraph 92-96.

There are no specific amenity space standards for student accommodation so each application has to be judged on its own merits. The proposed development involves the provision of 470 self contained rooms ranging from 15sqm to 28sqm. All rooms include a bed,
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work station, storage, kitchenette, and bathroom. In terms of daylight, all rooms have floor to ceiling windows whilst those located within the sloping roof section have 300mm glazed sections between PV panels and the framing elements. Each floor offers a variety of unit sizes, including a 5% provision of wheelchair accessible rooms as well as double and twin units. The bespoke nature of the room layouts is considered to be a positive aspect of the scheme in that it moves away from the traditional standard grid layout of halls of residence and provides students with the option of different layouts that are dynamic and interesting. Throughout the building there are informal communal areas whilst on the upper levels there is also a gym, reading room, and cafe / bar. Laundry facilities are located throughout the building with all rooms being within one floor of a laundry. The proposed internal layouts provide a dynamic and interesting living environment for students that moves away from the standard grid layout whilst the communal facilities are considered acceptable in terms of quality of accommodation.
12 On balance, the approach is therefore broadly accepted in this instance.

Listed train shed 13 The impact on the listed train shed has been considered as part of the wider townscape analysis. Section 8.3 of the Heritage, Townscape and Visual Assessment considers the impact on the setting of the train shed. The setting is shown in views 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the Heritage, Townscape and Visual Assessment. Some shadowing across the face of the wall will increase. The current office building also casts a shadow across the listed building. The train shed wall is a significant and robust structure. The views of it are already in the setting of other significant structures, mainly the hospital tower and the emerging Shard. The impact of the proposals on the setting is therefore not viewed in isolation; expect perhaps in view 2 where there the wall remains a feature at the end of the view and the other large scale structures are locate to the west of the view. It is also relevant to note that planning permission exists from part demolition of the listed building. In this particular case the proposals are not considered to harm the setting of the listed building as in most instances the proposal is not seen directly against the listed building. Where it is visible in the wider setting it is in the context of other large scale and modern structures. Inclusive design 14 At the consultation stage the Mayor asked the applicant to reconsider the internal layout to ensure it meets the highest standards of accessibility and inclusiveness. In particular, the GLA officer report stated that accessible laundry facilities should be provided on every floor with an accessible room and that accessible rooms should be located on floors that have access to both lift cores. 15 The applicants architect responded by stating that it had consulted with a variety of key stakeholders, including student representatives of Kings College London and the Centre for Accessible Environments, to ensure the proposal is fully accessible. 16 The architect has confirmed that all 22 accessible / adaptable rooms will have access to an accessible laundry facility on the same floor. Furthermore, Southwark Council has attached a condition to the permission stating that all accessible / adaptable rooms must have access to both cores. 17 The outstanding access issues have now been resolved and the application broadly complies with London Plan Policies 4B.5 and 3A.5. Climate Change mitigation 18 Further information was requested in the stage I report, to determine whether the application complies with London Plan Policies 4A.3-4A.7. The applicant was also required to model, and commit to, additional measures that can be adopted to enable the development to
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exceed 2010 Building Regulations compliance through energy efficiency alone. In response to this the applicant has submitted the following information: The applicant has committed to additional energy efficiency improvements relating to air permeability, heat recovery, lighting, controls and air conditioning. These additional measures are predicted to bring the development within 3% of achieving 2010 Building Regulations compliance through energy efficiency alone. In this case, the applicant contends that the scope for further energy efficiency improvements is constrained due to other aspects of the already agreed design of the building. This is accepted. The development will emit 569 tonnes of regulated CO2 emissions per annum after energy efficiency measures. No further information is required in this regard. The energy strategy has considered how the risk of overheating will be minimised through passive design measures. The applicant has also confirmed that the residual active cooling load, for example in the gym and retail units, will be provided by electric chillers with high coefficients of performance. The applicant has provided further details regarding the location of the PV panels. A drawing showing the space for 200m2 of PV panels on the Southern facade of the development has been provided, along with estimates of the amount of electricity that will be generated. This will reduce carbon emissions by 10.5 tonnes per annum. No further information is required. The applicant estimates that after the combined effect of the different elements of the energy hierarchy, the development will emit 339 tonnes of CO2 per annum. Regulated carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 215 tonnes per annum compared to a 2010 Building Regulations compliant development, equivalent to a reduction of 39%. The applicant has confirmed that there is no appropriate fully functioning district heating systems adjacent to the site. However, the heating infrastructure can be designed and installed to include connections adjacent to the site boundary to allow future connection to suitable district heating schemes if required. The applicant has confirmed that all bedrooms will be linked to the central CHP / Boiler plant, the majority of other areas will also be linked to the central plant, including the gym.

19 All of the outstanding climate mitigation issues have now been resolved and the applicant now complies with London Plan Policies 4A.3-4A.7. Climate change adaptation 20 At the consultation stage the applicant was asked to commit to reduce water use to less than 105 litres per person per day to bring the proposal in line with London Plan Policy 4A.16. The applicant has agreed to this to this and the application now broadly complies with London Plan Policy climate change adaptation policy. Transport 21 At consultation stage, TfL highlighted a number of issues. These included the proposed pedestrian crossing along Weston Street, the need for a Pedestrian Environment Review Software (PERS) audit, a larger cycle hire docking station, a planning obligation prohibiting car ownership for residents and details of the Travel Plan. 22 Analysis of the impact of a pedestrian crossing on traffic flow along Weston Street has been provided by the applicant. Due to the on-going redevelopment of the London Bridge area and
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uncertainty regarding the final highway design TfL requested that the developers enter into a section 278 agreement for future highway works that may be needed to mitigate the impact of this development. The section 106 agreement has been appropriately drafted to secure that a section 278 agreement(s) is entered into with the relevant highway authorities. 23 A PERS audit combined with recommendations has been provided by the applicant. This identified a number of improvements within the vicinity of the site which the applicant has agreed will be secured via the section 278 agreement agreed with the relevant highway authority in advance. 24 A new Cycle Hire docking station and 115,000 contribution towards its delivery has been agreed and included within the section 106. TfL originally requested a 25 space docking station, however following further evidence provided by the applicant TfL is satisfied that a 16 space docking station is appropriate in this instance and provides the best solution in terms of maximising the public realm benefits of the scheme. TfL will therefore no longer be perusing the request for a larger docking station or an increased section 106 contribution. 25 A section 106 obligation has been secured that restricts all students from obtaining a parking permit. This is welcomed. 26 Further details regarding the servicing arrangement for the student accommodation has been provided. TfL is satisfied that the process will be well managed and will have no detrimental impact on both the TLRN and local highway networks. 27 A revised travel plan inclusive of TfLs recommendations has been provided by the applicant. The travel plan is now of a good standard and considered acceptable by TfL. The travel plan will be secured, enforced, monitored, reviewed and funded through the Section 106 agreement. 28 In summary, the application now complies with London Plan transport policy.

Response to consultation
Consultation responses from statutory and non-statutory bodies 29 CABE: CABE accept that the site is appropriate for a tall building and it finds the impact of the height proposed on the view from the inner ward of the Tower of London acceptable. It also states that student accommodation is a suitable use for the site. However, it believes that the form and detailing are overly complex and the internal planning is convoluted. It states that the scheme does not meet the standards set out in CABE / English Heritages Guidance on tall buildings and it is unable to support the application. 30 Officer response: GLA officers agree with CABE on the key strategic issues regarding the appropriate location for a tall building and the impact on the Tower of London and strategic views. The other matters reported by CABE regarding the internal functions of the building were also highlighted by the GLA at the consultation stage, however, as set out in the main report above, these are broadly accepted in this instance. The scheme is considered to meet London Plan Policy for the location and design of tall buildings as set out in the Stage 1 report. 31 English Heritage: English Heritage has stated that whilst the impact of the proposal on the setting of the Tower of London would not be significant, the impact it would have on views from within the Tower is more significant. It believes that the proposal reinforces the sense of the intrusion of the modern world upon the historic and cultural character and appearance of the Towers sanctum. It is concerned that this intrusion is likely to be multiplied by other tall building proposals that are emerging in the area, which will harm the outstanding universal value of the Tower of London and therefore it objects to the proposal.
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32 Officer response: As reported at the consultation stage, the GLA, English Heritage, HRP and the Council attended a site visit to consider the view from within the Tower and to verify the fly through provided by the applicant which considers the view in detail. It is evident as you approach the Queens House, within the Tower of London, that the proposal will disappear from the view completely once approximately half way towards the green from north of the Tower. This view is set out as View one of the Tower of London Local Setting Study (Tower of London Local Setting Study August 2010, page 80) and the proposal would not be visible in this view. In the wider view to the north of View 1, the proposals will be visible, but through the existing trees, and in the context the Shard tower. The harm to the outstanding universal value would be difficult to substantiate given the scale of the interference is minor and is not visible as you approach the Queens House. Regarding other proposals emerging in the area, these would also be required to satisfy the test regarding the impact on the setting of the listed building and on the outstanding universal value and would be considered on their own merits. 33 Historic Royal Palaces: Historic Royal Palaces acknowledge the efforts made to develop a high quality design but it is concerned that the top of the building breaks the ridgeline of the Queens House seen from in front of the Waterloo block within the Tower of London and believes that this intrusion is harmful. 34 Officer response: see officer response to English Heritage.

35 Environment Agency: No objection subject to conditions which have been attached to the consent. Representation made to the Mayor 36 Three representations were made directly to the Mayor. The first was made by the Bermondsey Village Action Group (BVAG) and the second by a local resident who is also a member of BVAG. The third also a local resident. BVAG submitted extensive material in objection to the proposal. The main points of both representations are summarised below but the full documentation, along with all other representations, will be available to the Mayor in making a decision on the case. The area between the London Bridge railway archways and Bermondsey conservation area is inappropriate for tall buildings. Local people thought the issue of high-rise building zone in the area was still in consultation and the proposal pre-empts this consultation. The proposal is at odds with the its immediate surroundings in height, materials and massing. The proposal is a paper exercise to increase the value of the site. There is a question mark over the economic and technical feasibility of the scheme. The building will establish a precedent in favour of high-rise buildings in this sensitive location. The site is owned by an off-shore company. The applicants views from Parliament Hill towards St Pauls understate the impact of the building and the proposal may obscure the secondary towers of St. Pauls. A high-rise zone will create a wind tunnel effect and overshadow the railway arches. The proposal is against CAZ policy which seeks employment and housing. The student accommodation will be expensive and there is no demand for premium student accommodation in the area. The existing office building could be reworked into good quality office space or it could be replaced with another building of comparable scale and massing. Student accommodation sidesteps the necessity to create affordable homes. The local community would like to bring forward an alternative community plan for the area in line with the forthcoming Localism Bill. Approving the proposal would sabotage this plan.

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The proposal does not account for how vehicular traffic should be handled at the beginning of term; the junction of St. Thomas Street and Weston St would become a routine bottleneck. The pavements are too narrow to accommodate the new residents; there is not enough public space or service access. The proposal ignores the London Bridge and Guys Hospital Campus Character Area Appraisal. The S106 agreement is vague, misleading and largely unenforceable. The proposal is a badly designed blight on the area which has barely been consulted on. It was pushed through the planning process in a dishonest and incompetent manner.

Officer response to material planning matters 37 The matter regarding the principle of tall buildings, strategic views and architecture is set out in report PDU / 2404a / 01, paragraph 31-49. Whilst there remains ongoing work by the Council in discussion with the GLA regarding a revised SPD, the application has to be considered on its own merits having regard to established planning policy. Should other proposals be brought forward, in this area, these would also be considered on their own merits in light of planning policy at that time. The area of sensitivity regarding tall buildings, in particular the impact on views has been tested at strategic and local level. It is considered that the proposal will contribute to what is an emerging cluster of tall buildings at London Bridge, that is identified in the London Plan and is within the Opportunity Area. The tests regarding scale of development in its context was considered at the consultation stage as referenced above, in particular the impact on the strategic views and the adjacent conservation area. There is a clear contrast in scale from some of the local views, but this is in the backdrop to other significantly tall structures, specifically the Shard and Guys Hospital Tower. Given the existing context, the harm to the character and appearance of the local conservation area is not considered to be substantiated.

View towards St Pauls Cathedral from Parliament Hill (2A.1)


38 The GLA has received an alternative view analysis provided by BVAG which challenges the views assessment provided by Miller Hare on behalf of the applicant. The GLA has considered the material provided by BVAG and the response provided by Miller Hare and is satisfied the applicants approach is accurate and in line with the methodology set out in the London View Management Framework.

Other policy matters


39 Matters regarding CAZ and loss of employment are set out in the Mayors response to the consultation stage (PDU / 2404a / 01 paragraph 15-25). Microclimate and overshadowing matters are considered by the Council (Officer report paragraph 98-107) and are accepted. TfL considers the strategic transport matters are considered acceptable. Representation made to Southwark Council 40 A consultation exercise was conducted in September 2010 with 670 letters sent to nearby occupiers and local groups which were accompanied by site and press notices. There were around 220 responses from local residents, groups and key stakeholders, of which seven were in support, one was for comment and the rest were objections. The responses are as summarised below. Design The proposal has no design integrity, coherence or longevity. Proposed building is out of context and will damage character of the conservation area. Concerns of the design of the building, particularly the spiked element of roof. No objection to height, use or loss of existing building but proposed architecture is poor; squanders opportunity to regenerate St Thomas Street.
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Scale and intensity of the proposal is excessive. High-rise buildings will menace the generally sympathetic, human scale development that has genuinely improved the area in recent decades. It is unacceptable to place a modern building that does not complement the existing London Bridge railway arches The building is not a suitable transition from the other buildings of Weston Street and St Thomas Street to the Bermondsey conservation area. The proposal is overdevelopment of the site. The architect is trying to squeeze too many ideas into too constrained a site. There are serious problems with the buildings articulation.

41 Officer response: GLA officers are satisfied with the design and the testing undertaking regarding strategic and local views. The impact in terms of scale and building height remains acceptable in the context of the existing tall buildings and will be largely be viewed from within the Conservation Area in the backdrop of the existing large-scale development in the area. It is evident on walking around the adjacent Conservation Area that the proposal will be visible from certain views, but that on the whole the special character will be preserved. As previously reported in report PDU / 2404a / 01, that character is mainly fine grain and enclosed, and those experiencing the Conservation Area will mostly view the proposal either as a glimpse or in the context of existing tall buildings. The Council addresses the matter at paragraph 83-90 of its report including consideration of the nearby listed station building and the impact on the Queens House from the view within the Tower of London. The Councils comments and analysis of the design, views and heritage impacts are broadly concurred with. Public space Inadequate public space at ground level and the pavements are not wide enough for any additional capacity.

42 Officer response: Officers are broadly satisfied that the public realm will be successful and will benefit from active uses including a potential TfL cycle hire docking station. SPD and setting precedent for tall buildings Object to BBLB SPD. The proposal will set a precedent for other tall buildings, which will harm the preservation and future character of the area The proposal is an attempt to pre-empt tall buildings policy within the draft Borough Bankside / London Bridge SPD. The proposal pre-empt an alternative vision for the Borough Proposal would act as a catalyst to future planning applications High-rise zone as set of in SPD will make it impossible to regenerate the railway arches along St. Thomas Street.

43 Officer response: The SPD is undergoing a separate consultation process led by Southwark Council. The proposals have been considered on their own merits and assessed against strategic policy in particular the strategic views as set out in the London View Management Framework, which are particularly relevant to tall buildings. In this particular case the approach is supported. Other future applications in the area will need to satisfy planning policy on their own merits as required at the time.

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Height Design should be scaled down to fit area. Too tall and will create an overbearing canyon effect on Weston Street. Concerns regarding the style and size of the proposal which is out of character with the surrounding buildings. A tall building zone of St. Thomas Street would be anathema to artistic and independent character of the area

44 Officer response: The proposed height is considered acceptable. The height and impact of the proposal on strategic views and the conservation area has been considered above and in report PDU / 2404a / 01. Southwark Council has also considered these matters at paragraph 66-90 of the officer report Feasibility Proposal is a paper exercise to increase value of site and was the applicant has no intention of building. Proposal cannot be built technically or economically. 45 Officer response: Officers have not completed a technical analysis or economic review of the scheme, but have no reason to believe it is not buildable. It has been assessed in terms of its planning merits and it is considered acceptable in these terms. Light, noise and wind Concerns regarding loss of light and the reflection of noise off the glass building back into the conservation area. Concerned about noise impact on local residents. There should be no construction during at night. It will devalue property and neighbourhood because it will block out light, it will blight the conservation area and more students will create noise disruption. Concerned about construction noise and disruption. 46 Officer comment: Construction management impacts will be dealt with by condition (Condition 10 of the draft decision notice). The other microclimate matters have been considered by Southwark Council at paragraph 98-107 and are broadly accepted. The GLA also considered the noise implications in detail as set out in report PDU / 2404a / 01 (paragraph 72-76). Traffic, parking and public realm One service parking bay and two disabled parking bays are insufficient. Insufficient provision for servicing and deliveries, which will put strain on nearby roads. The Shard will result in thousands of new worker in the area and streets must be planned in a way that will be able to cope with this and enable local business to operate and thrive. The public space at ground level is inadequate to support the volume of residents. Surrounding pavements are not wide enough for additional capacity. Disrupts street pattern and is contextualy inappropriate. High-rise buildings remove life from the spaces below them. The plans do not provide sufficient consideration of the loading and servicing needs for the scheme. Already lost one direction of traffic due to Shard, this will cause unacceptable level of disruption to the area. Concerned about traffic impact and congestions.

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47 Officer comment: TfL considers the provision of two disabled parking spaces to be in line with the relevant London Plan policies and also reflects the level of provision associated with similar student accommodation schemes in Central London. In addition, the site will be car free and residents will be exempt from applying for parking permits. The parking provision meets London Plan parking standards and therefore conforms with London Plan policy 3C.24 Parking strategy and the consultation draft replacement London Plan policy 6.13 Parking. 48 In relation to the servicing of the development, it is proposed that the site contains a single servicing bay. It is TfLs view that this level of provision is acceptable given the daily trip generation characteristics of this development (i.e. 28 service vehicle trips over a typical weekday). 49 It is also proposed by the applicant and agreed by TfL and the council that the day-to-day servicing of the building will be managed through a Servicing and Management Plan, this combined with a Service Operations Coordinator, aims to manage and minimise service vehicle conflicts by use of a booking system, minimise any disruption to general traffic movement and monitor the process and implement improvements accordingly. The applicant has also prepared a comprehensive student move in / out strategy, to ensure that even at the busiest of times (i.e. start and end of term) the servicing and the associated traffic generation will be managed and will minimise any potential detriment to the local road network. In relation to servicing of the site it is therefore TfLs view that the combination of measures proposed by the applicant and secured by the council is sufficient and will minimise the impact of the local highway network. 50 The council have secured a range of improvements to the local pedestrian environment have been through the Section 106 agreement. TfL considers that the provision of public realm is sufficient and appropriate to the number of residents on site. TfL is therefore satisfied with the proposed public realm provision and improvements secured by the council. Internal Layout The rooms are too small and the building does not have an adequate number of lifts / size of lift to service the building. The rooms are too expensive. 51 Officer comments: The Mayor raised similar concern regarding some of the contrived room layouts and access to lift facilities for disabled residents. These matters are considered in the design and inclusive access section of this report and are broadly accepted in this instance. Community and housing There is no affordable housing contribution Does not meet need for new houses International students will not benefit the local community. Will damage community and local economy

52 Officer comments: In the circumstances there is currently no requirement for affordable housing. The principle of student accommodation with some minor retail provision is supported as set out in the consultation response report PDU / 2404a / 01 paragraph 15-30. Consultation Consultees have been falsely notified that their opportunity to comment will have past prior to the expiry of their legal right to do so. 53 Officer comment: This is a matter for Southwark Council. The Council identifies the scale of consultation in Appendix 1 of its report.

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Views Disagrees with the developers view from Parliament Hill and believes the development will obscure the view of St. Pauls. 54 Officer response: This matter is considered at paragraph 37 above.

Kings College relationship to the development. The client is misrepresented as Kings College. Kings College have been misrepresented by the applicant as committing to leasing the building. The ownership of the site lies with a company in Jersey. 55 Officer response: The relationship of Kings College to the site is considered in paragraph seven of this report and in paragraph 47 to 51 of the Southwark officers report. Sustainability and biodiversity Not ambitious enough regarding sustainability and biodiversity. The development should include grey water system. 56 Officer response: a summary of the energy strategy is set out above in this report. The nature of the design proposes limited opportunity for green and brown roofs. The applicant has confirmed that the use of grey water recycling is not feasible. London Plan policy 4A.16 seeks proposals to maximise rainwater harvesting opportunities. Whilst the rainwater harvesting has been rejected, the applicant has committed to meeting the maximum water use targets of 105 litres per person per day. Indigo planning on behalf of Threadneedle Investments (owners of Beckett House) Misrepresentation in applicants Statement of Community Involvement of conversations between Indigo Planning and Drivers Jonas Deloitte and misrepresentation of Threadneedle Investments view of the scheme. Will prejudice the redevelopment of the Beckett House site. The proposal does not assess the combined impact of the proposal and Beckett House. Proposed scheme should be set back from the boundary. Cumulative impacts of the two developments including daylight impacts. Too much weight attributed to the BBLB SPD. The ability to implement is questionable in respect of building regulations and party wall agreements. Lack of EIA.

57 Officer response: the relationship to the adjacent site is a matter considered in report PDU / 2404a / 01 (paragraph 36). Whilst a joint approach to the site is preferable officers consider that reasonable consideration has been given to allow development of the adjacent site. Team London Bridge Generally supportive; please to see pavement widths have been widened; pleased to see retail space and active frontages- would welcome comparison retail as opposed to coffee shop chains; Concern regarding overshadowing of railway arches would like to see arches restored; concern over wind tunnelling; area is currently poorly lit- thought should be given to amount and quality of lighting.

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Request that developers liaise with the Council about linking green spaces; developer should commit to legible London signage strategy; development should provide for community facilities; stress the importance of the new station entrance proposed onto St. Thomas Street.

In support Local residents The design is outstanding and will complement the Shard; will be another iconic building. Student accommodation will hopefully lend much needed support to the local economy. Positive to see development in the recession when the construction industry is suffering; High quality design which is better than the original which will work well with surroundings Good site for students of Kings college and will bring young people with spending power to the area.

Guys and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust The trust registers its broad support; welcomes the regeneration of the site and considers proposed high quality student accommodation will enhance the area; they are working with the developer regarding the impact of the development during the demolition and construction phase; Investream has accepted a S106 clause to address the Trusts concerns.

President of Connaught Halls Residents Committee 2008-2009 It is refreshing to see a new approach to student accommodation Avoids common problem of student accommodation lack of proximity to colleges. Internal layout, communal areas and choice of room type praised. Provide safe and secure environment. Creation of new external public space is welcomed. External appearance should be praised for its architectural excellence.

Sellar developments: Proposal is in accordance with aspirations for mixed-use regeneration for this part of London. Design and form will compliment the mixed-use nature around London Bridge. Support the use, as it will provide student accommodation on the existing campus Kings College The College currently lease the building from Investeam; it has an urgent and pressing need for student accommodation to support the Colleges Strategic Plan and this application will assist in delivering this. Kings College will continue to work with Investream as the scheme comes forward. We have not stated that the proposal will never be built as alleged by BVAG.

Summary of representations
58 The representations received by Southwark Council and the Mayor do not raise any material planning issues of strategic importance that have not been considered by the Mayor at the consultation stage and / or in this report. Some of the objections raised in relation to procedural matters concern issues that are beyond the Mayor's statutory planning remit and are best considered by the appropriate statutory bodies.

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Article 7: Direction that the Mayor is to be the local planning authority


59 Under Article 7 of the Order the Mayor could take over this application provided the policy tests set out in that Article are met. In this instance the Council has resolved to grant permission with conditions and a planning obligation, which satisfactorily addresses the matters raised at stage I, therefore there is no sound planning reason for the Mayor to take over this application.

Legal considerations
60 Under the arrangements set out in Article 5 of the Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008 the Mayor has the power under Article 6 to direct the local planning authority to refuse permission for a planning application referred to him under Article 4 of the Order. He also has the power to issue a direction under Article 7 that he is to act as the local planning authority for the purpose of determining the application and any connected application. The Mayor may also leave the decision to the local authority. In directing refusal the Mayor must have regard to the matters set out in Article 6(2) of the Order, including the principal purposes of the Greater London Authority, the effect on health and sustainable development, national policies and international obligations, regional planning guidance, and the use of the River Thames. The Mayor may direct refusal if he considers that to grant permission would be contrary to good strategic planning in Greater London. If he decides to direct refusal, the Mayor must set out his reasons, and the local planning authority must issue these with the refusal notice. If the Mayor decides to direct that he is to be the local planning authority, he must have regard to the matters set out in Article 7(3) and set out his reasons in the direction. The Mayor must also have regard to the guidance set out in GOL circular 1 / 2008 when deciding whether or not to issue a direction under Articles 6 or 7.

Financial considerations
61 Should the Mayor direct refusal, he would be the principal party at any subsequent appeal hearing or public inquiry. Government guidance in Circular 03 / 2009 (Costs Awards in Appeals and Other Planning Proceedings) emphasises that parties usually pay their own expenses arising from an appeal. 62 Following an inquiry caused by a direction to refuse, costs may be awarded against the Mayor if he has either directed refusal unreasonably; handled a referral from a planning authority unreasonably; or behaved unreasonably during the appeal. A major factor in deciding whether the Mayor has acted unreasonably will be the extent to which he has taken account of established planning policy. 63 Should the Mayor take over the application he would be responsible for holding a representation hearing and negotiating any planning obligation. He would also be responsible for determining any reserved matters applications (unless he directs the council to do so) and determining any approval of details (unless the council agrees to do so).

Conclusion
64 The application will provide welcome provision of student accommodation as part of the Kings College campus in a highly accessible area. The proposal is broadly consistent with the London Plan.

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for further information, contact Planning Decisions Unit: Colin Wilson, Senior Manager Planning Decisions 020 7983 4783 email colin.wilson@london.gov.uk Justin Carr, Strategic Planning Manager (Development Decisions) 020 7983 4895 email justin.carr@london.gov.uk Gemma Kendall, Case Officer 020 7983 6592 email gemma.kendall@london.gov.uk

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planning report PDU / 2404a / 01 4 November 2010

40-46 Weston Street, London Bridge


in the London Borough of Southwark Planning application no. 10-AP-2754 Strategic planning application stage 1 referral (new powers)
Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended); Greater London Authority Acts 1999 and 2007; Town & Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008

The proposal
Demolition of Capital House, and erection of a 21 and 31-storey building (108.8m AOD), to provide 470 student accommodation units with ancillary bar, gym and library. Three retail / cafe units (286 sq.m.) at ground floor level. The proposal includes 261 cycle parking spaces, two accessible car parking spaces, one service bay at the basement level and associated refuse and recycling and an area of public open space.

The applicant
The applicant is Investream, and the architect is SPPARC.

Strategic issues
The main issue is whether the principle of the development to provide a student housing-led mixed-use development is acceptable in strategic planning policy terms given that is will result in a loss of B1a office space in an area where such loss should be resisted. The design is broadly consistent with the London Plan design policies regarding strategic views but not with policy regarding inclusive design. Further information is required regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation and transport.

Recommendation
That Southwark Council be advised that the application does not comply with the London Plan, for the reasons set out in paragraph 91 of this report; but that the possible remedies set out in paragraph 92 of this report could address these deficiencies.

Context
1 On 30 September 2010 the Mayor of London received documents from Southwark Council notifying him of a planning application of potential strategic importance to develop the above site for the above uses. Under the provisions of The Town & Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008 the Mayor has until 10 November 2010 to provide the Council with a statement setting out whether he considers that the application complies with the London Plan,
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and his reasons for taking that view. The Mayor may also provide other comments. This report sets out information for the Mayors use in deciding what decision to make. 2 The application is referable under Category 1C of the Schedule to the Order 2008: Development which comprises or includes the erection of a building of one or more of the following descriptions the building is more than 30 metres high and is outside the City of London. 3 Once Southwark Council has resolved to determine the application, it is required to refer it back to the Mayor for his decision as to whether to direct refusal; take it over for his own determination; or allow the Council to determine it itself. 4 The Mayor of Londons statement on this case will be made available on the GLA website www.london.gov.uk.

Site description
5 The 0.0912 hectare rectangular site is located opposite London Bridge Station. It is within the London Bridge and Bankside Opportunity Area, as identified in the London Plan, and the Central Activities Zone (CAZ). It is bound to the north by St Thomas Street, to the west by Weston Street and to the south by Melior Street. There is a mix of medium and high-rise buildings in the area, of particular reference is the 34-storey Guys Hospital tower and the emerging Shard of Glass, currently under construction. 6 St. Thomas Street is part of the Transport for London road network. The site has a public transport accessibility level (PTAL) of 6 on a scale of 1 to 6, where 6 is most accessible. London Bridge mainline rail and underground station, served by the Jubilee and Northern lines, is located within 100 metres of the site. The nearest bus stop, adjacent to the development, is served by two bus services. London Bridge station is also served by a number of bus services. 7 The site comprises of Capital House, a 1960s 10-storey building with a total floorspace of 4,079 sq.m., and a small area of public space. The building is occupied by Kings College London and houses its educational support offices which provide assistance in conjunction with the main educational activities which take place across the different campuses belonging to the university. 219 people are employed within the building.

Details of the proposal


8 Full planning permission is sought for the demolition of Capital House and the construction of a 21 and 31-storey building with 14,738 sq.m. of floorspace, to provide 470 student accommodation units with an ancillary gym, bar and library. At ground floor level there will be 286 sq.m. of retail / cafe space split into three separate units. The entrance lobby and reception for the student accommodation will also be located on the ground floor. 9 At basement level there will be 261 cycle spaces, two blue badge parking spaces and a service bay to be accessed via Melior Street using a car lift or from the main lift core to the north of the building. The proposed scheme also includes the creation a new public open space fronting Weston Street.

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Case history
10 On 27 March 2009 a pre-application meeting was held with GLA officers to discuss the redevelopment of the site. A follow-up meeting was held on 30 July 2009 to discuss design, access and transport issues in more depth. 11 On 22 February 2010 the Mayor considered a stage I report on an application for a similar proposal: the demolition of Capital House, and the erection of a 31-storey building (114.15m) to provide 525 student accommodation units with ancillary bar, gym, library and 371 sq.m. of commercial space at ground level. The report broadly supported the principle of the development and the design. The previous scheme has been withdrawn and this application is essentially revision of that previous scheme.

Strategic planning issues and relevant policies and guidance


12 The relevant issues and corresponding policies are as follows:

Mix of uses Housing Urban design Tall buildings / views Inclusive design Climate Change Ambient noise Transport

London Plan London Plan; PPS3; Housing SPG; Providing for Children and Young Peoples Play and Informal Recreation SPG, Housing Strategy; revised interim Housing SP; Housing SPD EIP draft London Plan; PPS1 London Plan; RPG3A, Revised View Management Framework SPG London Plan; PPS1; Accessible London: achieving an inclusive environment SPG; Planning and Access for Disabled People: a good practice guide (ODPM) London Plan; PPS1, PPS3; PPG13; PPS22; the Mayors Energy Strategy; Sustainable Design and Construction SPG London Plan; the Mayors Ambient Noise Strategy; PPG24 London Plan; the Mayors Transport Strategy; draft replacement Transport Strategy; PPG13;

13 For the purposes of Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, the development plan in force for the area is the Southwark Unitary Development Plan (2007), and the London Plan (consolidated with alterations since 2004). 14 The Mayors consultation draft replacement London Plan (October 2009, theSouthwark Core Strategy Preferred Options document and the Draft Bankside, Borough and London Bridge Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) are also material considerations.

Mix of uses
15 As stated above the Mayor considered an application for a very similar, albeit slightly larger, development on the same site in February 2010 and he was generally supportive of the proposed mix of uses proposed for the site. The rationale for supporting the proposed mixed remains largely the same and is set out below. 16 The site is located within the London Bridge and Bankside Opportunity Area as identified in the London Plan. London Plan Policy 5D.2 indicates that developments in opportunity areas in Southeast London should maximise residential and non-residential densities and contain mixed uses. Similarly, the draft replacement London Plan states that there is scope to develop the strengths of the area for strategic office provision as well as housing.
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17 Southwark Council consulted on the draft Bankside, Borough and London Bridge SPD in February 2010 and has just finished re-consulting on this document. It is, however, the Councils intention to revisit the SPD in collaboration with the GLA and produce a joint document which the Mayor can endorse as a opportunity area planning framework for Bankside, Borough and London Bridge. Therefore, the planning framework for this area may change but this is subject to various stages of consultation with key stakeholders. 18 The draft SPG sets out specific guidance regarding the redevelopment principles of Capital House and the neighbouring Beckett House. It states that redevelopment of the sites must reprovide and preferable increase the B class floor space. Additional floor space could be offices, retail (A class), leisure education and community (D class) uses or residential accommodation. This reflects policy 1.3 of the Southwark Plan. 19 Previously, the applicant stated that the site is currently used for ancillary education support facilities. Kings College London has used Capital House for administrative purposes for over ten years, but the GLA argued that as Capital House was built as commercial office space and could be let as such, it should be classed as B1a office space. The applicant does not intend to reprovide office (B1 class) floorspace and plans to relocate the existing facilities to other buildings belonging to King's College London that are currently underused and have vacant space. The proposal would therefore result in a loss of 4079 sq.m of B1a employment space, which is contrary to guidance in the draft Bankside, Borough and London Bridge SPD. It would not however, result in a net loss of employment. 20 The site is located within the CAZ. London Plan Policy 3B.2 Office demand and supply states that boroughs should promote the provision of additional space and the rejuvenation of existing office space in the CAZ. London Plan Policy 5G.3 recognises that the CAZ is the countrys most important strategic office location and seeks to ensure adequate capacity to meet future demand. The London Plan highlights the need for a tailored approach in the unique circumstances of the CAZ, including the need for local flexibility in implementing mixed-use policy in the complex CAZ land market. 21 The applicant has sought to justify the loss of B1a office space by arguing that there is a substantial amount of office floorspace coming forward in the area currently and that the proposal will significantly benefit Southwark, which has a shortage of student housing. Furthermore, the strong link between the site and the surrounding university and Guys and St. Thomas hospital buildings make it a suitable site for student accommodation. 22 The applicant stated that whilst there is high demand for office space in Southwark as indicated in the Southwark Core Strategy, there is currently large amounts of office space coming forward in the Borough and there is no urgent need for a new office development on this site. Southwarks Core Strategy issues and options background evidence base paper states that at the end of 2006 the amount of office floorspace coming forward (both planning permissions and planning applications) was 385,452sq.m. Notable schemes close to the site include the Shard (53,585 sq.m.), New London Bridge House (41,000 sq.m.) and More London (195,000 sq.m.). Paragraph 5.108 of the London Plan also states that the riverside between London Bridge station and Tower Bridge is already accommodating a significant increase in office stock. 23 London Plan policy 3A.25 higher and further education states that the Mayor will and boroughs should work with the London Development Agency and the higher and further education sectors to ensure that the needs of the education sectors are addressed in Development Plan Documents, and that this will include supporting the provision of student accommodation. Kings College London has expressed that whilst they currently provide 2,714 student accommodation spaces, they require 2,000 further spaces over the next ten years to meet demand. The applicant
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suggests that the location of the site near Guys Campus, makes it the best site for student accommodation and it is likely to reduce pressure on private housing market in the area. 24 Paragraph 5.109 of the London plan explains that there are opportunities for the expansion of cultural and medical activities in the London Bridge / Bankside opportunity area. Kings College London collaborates with King College Hospital, Guys and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trusts through the Kings Health Partners, which was created to pool the clinic, research and teaching skills of the partners and improve healthcare in London. Kings College London and its students are a vital resource in improving healthcare in London. Student accommodation close to Guys campus is required to maintain this resource. 25 The site specific guidance detailed in the draft Bankside, Borough and London Bridge SPD seeks to protect existing office provision consistent with the aspirations for the CAZ in the London Plan. Whilst this is the case in land use terms, the applicant has presented the argument to support the proposed use for student accommodation and demonstrated clear links with the adjacent hospital. As stated in the previous stage I report, given the strengths of office stock increase as recognised in the London Plan in this area, under the specific circumstances of this case, the loss of the B1a office space on the site and the provision of student housing is acceptable in principle, given the strategic need for such facilities in the local area. The proposal complies with London Plan Policy 3A.25

Student housing
26 Paragraph 3.39 of the London Plan recognises that the provision of purpose-built student housing adds to the overall supply of housing and may reduce pressure on the existing supply of market and affordable housing. Paragraph 3.53 states that where a proposal for development relates solely to student housing, it will not normally be appropriate to apply a planning obligation for an element of social rent or intermediate housing. Paragraph 3.69 of the Plan states that shared accommodation or houses in multiple occupation often provide housing for people unable to gain access to social rented housing or to afford market home ownership or rents, and where such accommodation is of a reasonable standard, its provision helps contribute to meeting housing demand and should be encouraged. 27 Draft Replacement London Plan Policy 3.8G Housing choice states that strategic and local requirements for student housing meeting a demonstrable need are to be addressed by working closely with higher and further education agencies and without compromising capacity for conventional homes. 28 At a strategic level there has been a notable increase in applications for student accommodation in recent times. This raises concern that the impact of an increased amount of student accommodation being built in London is not being considered in a holistic way. The draft revised London Plan changes the emphasis of strategic policy on student accommodation to an approach that more carefully considers both supply and demand, together with a more dispersed distribution and different forms of provision. Whilst it is acknowledged that there is capacity for upwards of 17,000 student places, addressing these demands should not compromise capacity to meet the need for conventional dwellings, especially affordable family homes, or undermine policy to secure mixed and balanced communities. The draft replacement London Plan states there is a requirement that unless student accommodation is secured through a planning agreement for occupation by members of specified educational institutions for the predominant part of the year, it will normally be subject to the requirements of affordable housing policy. 29 The applicant has indicated that it is willing to accept a S106 agreement clause which restricts the use of accommodation for full time higher education students only and that the
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accommodation will be let at a rent no greater than rents for comparable student housing. It has also stated that the proposed accommodation will be let to Kings College students in the first instance and only be offered to other local education institutions if rooms are not taken up. 30 Whilst the applicants commitment to supply the accommodation in the first instance to Kings College students and then only offer it is other local institutions if rooms are not taken up does not entirely meet the requirement set out in the draft replacement London Plan, the proposed S106 agreement clauses, which will restrict the accommodation to full time higher education students only, is sufficient to ensure that the proposal will not compromise capacity to meet the need for conventional dwellings. The proposal broadly complies with London Plan Policy if the appropriate conditions, discussed above, are attached to the permission.

Design
31 Good design is central to all objectives of the London Plan and is specifically promoted by the policies contained within Chapter 4B which address both general design principles and specific design issues. London Plan Policy 4B.1 sets out a series of overarching design principles for development in London. Other design polices in this chapter and elsewhere in the London Plan include specific design requirements relating to maximising the potential of sites, tall and largescale buildings, built heritage and views. The consultation draft replacement plan includes further detailed design policy in Chapter 7. Principle of tall building 32 London Plan policy 4B.9 supports tall buildings where they create attractive landmarks enhancing Londons character, help to provide a coherent location for economic clusters of related activities and or act as a catalyst for regeneration and where they are also acceptable in terms of design and impact on their surroundings. The policy goes on to steer boroughs to identifying suitable locations for tall buildings and that these may include parts of the CAZ and some Opportunity Areas. Policy 4B.10 sets out the detailed design aspects of tall buildings. 33 Policy 7.7B & C of the draft replacement London Plan moves away from active encouragement to careful management and covers various tests for the location and design of tall and large-scale buildings. 34 Borough, Bankside and London Bridge is within the CAZ and part of the London Bridge / Bankside Opportunity Area (15) as set out in Map 2A.1 of the London Plan and Map 2A of the draft replacement London Plan. Key to the test for the appropriateness of tall buildings is the policy designation as set out above, which support this form of development in broad terms subject to other detailed policy tests, including the impact on heritage and strategic views, considered below. 35 There is an existing cluster of tall buildings at London Bridge, comprising the Guys Hospital tower and the Shard, which is currently under construction. Other large-scale buildings have recently been demolished, including Southwark Towers (PWC offices), to facilitate construction of the Shard. 36 Work to underpin the OAPF designation is ongoing and Southwark Council is in the process of collating responses to the draft SPD for the area (Borough Bankside and London Bridge SPD). Section 3.2 considers the London Bridge Station area, adjacent to the proposal site, and promotes intensification and high quality design, including possible opportunities for tall buildings. Capital House is also identified in section 5.6 along with the neighbouring site (outside the applicants redline) Beckett House. The potential opportunity for a tall building is considered suitable, subject
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to detailed tests set out elsewhere in the document. The document implies a joined up approach to both sites given the footprint would be far more efficient if comprehensive development could be realised. Ownership issues would appear, however, to preclude such a joint solution from emerging at this time, and therefore in such cases the proposals should not undermine development potential of the adjacent site, in particular, in terms of overlooking. The architect has attempted to reconcile this position by angled louvers on the lower levels of the external facade of the eastern elevation, and by angling the structure at higher level, thus seeking to maintain levels of privacy when looking out, but also when looking in from Beckett House. 37 Having regard to London Plan policy and emerging policy from Southwark Council and the physical context of the site, the principle of a tall building on this site is supported, subject to detailed tests of impact on townscape, heritage (including the World Heritage Site) and strategic views, which are considered in further detail below. Views and built heritage 38 London Plan policies 4B.11 to 4B.15 set out the strategic approach to the protection and enhancement of Londons rich built heritage. London Plan Policy 4B.14 states that the Mayor will work with other stakeholders to prepare site management plans for Londons World Heritage Sites and such a plan has now been published for the Tower of London World Heritage Site by Historic Royal Palaces. The proposed building is some distance from the Tower of London and its immediate setting, as defined in this plan, and whilst it would not affect views to it from the south there is minor impact from views within the Tower. This is assessed below, but also forms part of the wider assessment of tall buildings being proposed for the London Bridge area as part of the Borough Bankside and London Bridge SPD. A planned approach is being sought for emerging sites. At this stage the application will be considered on its own merits, however it is recognised that the proposals do form part of the wider master planning exercise. 39 The impact of the proposal on conservation areas and listed buildings in the vicinity is assessed as part of the applicants Heritage, Townscape and Visual Assessment. The methodology is described in section 3 of the above and is assessed in section 7 and 8. The site is not within the Conservation Area, but is next to it and will therefore have a bearing on the setting. The greatest impact will be on the nearest Conservation Area, Bermondsey Street. The views analysis indicates the scale of the impact from a number of points from within and around the conservation areas. It is evident that in isolation and in the cumulative view of existing and emerging buildings the proposal will be clearly visible from various points. The character of the Bermondsey Street Conservation Area is largely fine grain, generally low scale development with a range of movement options for those circulating around it. As such there are areas where you would experience a glimpse of the proposals and areas where it will be fully visible in the setting. The building is designed in an elegant form that is modern and includes a steeply sloping roof that slopes away from the Conservation Area, the lowest point abutting the northern end. In those parts where glimpse of the building is present this would still preserve the experience of the special character that justifies its designation, indeed this situation is one that already exists with glimpse of other large scale buildings. In terms of the wider views affecting the setting, the building forms part of the cumulative view, in the setting of other large scale buildings. Harm in this instance is therefore difficult to substantiate as it forms part of an existing impact on the setting where the presence of such buildings is a common relationship in this case but also across London. In this instance the proposals will preserve the setting of the Conservation Area and preserve character and appearance of the Conservation Area. 40 London Plan policies 4B.16 to 4B.18 set out the strategic approach to the management of strategically important views. The townscape, conservation and visual impact assessment identifies that the building would be visible in the backdrop assessment area of the London View
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Management Framework (LVMF) Protected Vista within the London Panoramas from Parliament Hill and Kenwood (assessment points 2A.1 and 3A.1) towards St. Pauls Cathedral. 41 The development also falls into the River Prospect view of Southwark Cathedral from Southwark Bridge, downstream pavement (12B.1). It is also visible in the North Bastion, Tower Bridge (10A.1). 42 The views from both Assessment Points 2A.1 and 3A.1 are managed by Qualitative Visual Assessment (QVA) and also managed by Geometric Definition and is subject to a direction issued by the Secretary of State. The London View Management Framework describes the approaches to the management of Designated Views. 43 In accordance with London Plan Policy 4B.18 a development proposal in the backdrop of this Designated View will only be acceptable when it can be demonstrated that it preserves or enhances the ability to recognise and appreciate the landmark building. This test applies to each of the two Assessment Points 2A.1 and 3A.1. 44 The Heritage, Townscape and Visual Assessment considers the impact of the proposed development based on wire line only accurate visual representations of the building from both Assessment Points 2A.1 and 3A.1 and adequate, but not expansive, descriptions of the existing and proposed views. The Townscape Assessment concludes that there is already a substantial backdrop to these views and that the scale of development is such that it would not realistically be visible in those views. This approach is justified on the basis of the evidence presented and therefore the impact of the proposal from these two assessment points would not undermine the ability to recognise and appreciate the landmark building. 45 The assessment of the River Prospect views from Southwark Bridge and Tower Bridge, North Bastion are also managed by QVA. The LVMF indicates that for the view from Southwark Bridge (12B.1), the down stream pavement, that applicants should be encouraged to improve the setting of Southwark Cathedral in this view through appropriate design and that maintaining a skyline from the Cathedral between the developing cluster of tall buildings at London Bridge is important. The assessment (also wire line) shows that the construction of the Shard will obscure the significant majority of the impact of the proposed development. The Shard is currently under construction and is therefore a material consideration in the assessment of this view. A small element of the new proposal will be visible in the backdrop of the cathedral, however the impact is slight, with the main silhouette of the cathedral maintaining significant skyline from this view. 46 The view from the North Bastion, Tower Bridge (10A.1) covers both the north and south banks. Visual management guidance in the LVMF highlights key landmarks. In assessing this view the key test is against the landmarks on the Southbank including City Hall, Tate Modern, HMS Belfast and Guys Hospital tower. The impact of the proposal is slight as the proposal appears in the backdrop of More London to the east of the Guys tower and the west of City Hall. The proposal is therefore in the less sensitive part of the view (the more sensitive being the north bank) and consists of large scale modern buildings within the backdrop of the Guys tower. The impact in this instance does not detract from the overall composition of the river prospect view and is acceptable having regard to the guidance in the LVMF and the London Plan regarding the protection of landmark buildings. 47 The townscape, conservation and visual impact assessment assesses the impact of the proposed development on two views from within the World Heritage Site, at Tower Green and the White Tower. In both cases the full accurate visual representation is shown and the impact is in the context of other existing and emerging modern buildings, in particular the view from the Green where the proposal is secondary to that of the Shard in the cumulative view. GLA officers
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attended a site visit to walk this particular view and it is evident that the impact will be slight and that the proposal would no longer be visible once one approaches the green and appreciates the Queens House. The design rationale and methodology to support this analysis is broadly understood. The setting of the World Heritage Site is preserved in this instance. 48 The assessment highlights that from key strategic views and from views from within the World Heritage Site, the impact is slight, and has been managed in accordance with the visual management guidance in the LVMF and the London Plan. On this basis the assessment of views supports the approach adopted by the design team to preserve the conservation interests and strategic views that are affected in this instance. Form / architectural appearance 49 London Plan policy 4B.1 and 4B.2 underpin the Mayors aspiration to create world class architecture that inspires, excites and delights. The building remains striking in terms of the form and architectural appearance. Notwithstanding the implications to the layout, the introduction of a cut within the massing at level 8 upwards and creations of bridge links provides further interest into the form of the building which breaks the mass of the previous design when viewed from the eastern elevation in particular. The materials, a mix of steel and glass, extrude from the pinnacle tailing off to form the architects design rationale of the lacework of the quill which is contrasted with the much more robust grid structure formation of the lower parts of the elevation. The result is a building with a unique composition, with a striking roof form and an architectural appearance of the highest order, consistent with the aspirations of the London Plan.
Figure 1: View from Melior Place within the Bermondsey Street Conservation Area of previous and new proposal

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Figure 2: View looking north-west on St Thomas Street at night of the previous and new proposal

Figure 3: View looking north from Weston Street of previous and new proposal

(Source: SPPARC Architecture design and access statement)

Layouts 50 The layout of the building remains bespoke but has significantly changed and consolidated due to the introduction of a break in the form from the original proposals that cuts from level 8 upwards. The building is linked at level 12, 16 and 20 by an enclosed bridge link, which whilst striking architecturally, results in a significant reduction in floorspace and potentially compromises the functions of the building in terms of its efficiency and function. 51 In particular there are now two cores served by one passenger lift in each case and a much tighter arrangement of rooms with the introduction of a single aspect north facing, very contrived room, (referenced as room 7, 8, 9, 11, 26 and 27 on the floor plans) located in the north block. The circulation of the building was previously reasonably well considered given the form adopted, however, the layout is now compromised. The limited lift access means that when one lift is being maintained or has broken down, students, in particular disabled students may have to negotiate three floors to circulate the building. Disabled rooms should be located on floors that have access to both north and south blocks, and consolidated to ensure this scenario is avoided. Furthermore the laundry space is inaccessible for disabled users on the majority of floors above level 6. The
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single aspect north facing flat could be lost to accommodate more generous and accessible laundry space and should be considered. 52 Notwithstanding the above, the groundfloor is more successful having been previously contrived at the northeast corner with a small student entrance area. This has been relocated to face onto Weston Street and is set back from the edge of the highway thereby creating a more generous circulation area externally and internally leading to a first floor gather area, improving capacity and safety at night. The concentration of retail to the south block is now evident and will help legibility for visitors to the student accommodation. 53 The car lift at ground level leads to basement level 1, which serves two disabled parking spaces and the main loading bay. This is unchanged and remains linked to the cycle storage and plant space. The stair access to this level is to the eastern corner and now includes a bike lift, which overcomes the constrained route from ground floor to the storage area on the previous plans. 54 Whilst the external appearance of the building remains of the highest order and consistent with the LVMF, the impact of the changes to the internal layout, access to lifts for disabled people and accessible laundry facilities and general circulation space is poor and should be reconsidered before the application is referred back to the Mayor for final determination.

Inclusive design
55 London Plan Policy 4B.5 creating an inclusive environment expects all future development to meet the highest standard of accessibility and inclusion. This, together with the Supplementary Planning Guidance Accessible London: achieving an inclusive environment underpins the principles of inclusive design and the aim to achieve an accessible and inclusive environment consistently across London. Inclusive design principles if embedded into the development and design process from the outset help to ensure that all of us, including older people, disabled and deaf people, children and young people, can use the places and spaces proposed comfortably, safely and with dignity. The aim of Policy 4B.5 is to ensure that proposals achieve the highest standards of accessibility and inclusion, not just the minimum. Draft replacement London Plan Policy 7.2 An inclusive environment similarly requires all future development to meet the highest standard of accessibility and inclusion. 56 Educational establishments have a duty under the Disabilities Discrimination Act 2005 to ensure that their facilities and services are accessible for disabled students. There is currently a huge shortage of wheelchair accessible homes in London, and one of the biggest barriers to disabled students being able to live and study in London is access to suitable accommodation. London Plan Policy 3A.5 state that, as a form of residential development, all student accommodation should meet Lifetime Home standards in terms of unit size and ten per cent should be wheelchair accessible. 57 The provision of wheelchair accessible student rooms, adaptable rooms and linked rooms, passing areas and refuge areas is welcomed. In the previous stage I report, the GLA officers raised concern regarding the potential conflict regarding the desire line travelling north from Western Street through the courtyard at the pinch point where the external cycle parking has been positioned leaving a limited space between the cycle parking and the western elevation of the building. The redesign of the ground floor and entrance as part of this application, as discussed above, provides a much more successful and inclusive entrance from Weston Street.

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58 However, the significant redesign of the internal layout on the upper floors has raised a number of new access issues. As set out in more depth in paragraphs 51 to 54 of this report, the new core arrangement will require disabled students to negotiate three floors to circulate the building when lifts are broken or require maintenance. Furthermore, accessible laundry facilities are only provided on floors two to six of the building and all the designated accessible laundry facilities are too small to be considered realistically accessible. The floorspace is limited to the minimum space required for wheelchair users to turn, which would mean that wheelchair users would be unable to use the facilities if other students were using the laundry or left belongings on the floor. The current design is neither genuinely accessible nor inclusive. 59 The proposal does not comply with London Plan Policies 4B.5 or 3A.5 Genuinely accessible laundry facilities should be provided on every floor with an accessible room. As discussed above, the single aspect north facing room could be lost to accommodate such facilities. Furthermore, accessible rooms should be located on floors that have access to both north and south lifts.

Climate Change
Climate change mitigation Energy efficiency standards 60 A range of passive design features and demand reduction measures are proposed to reduce the carbon emissions of the proposed development. Heat loss parameters will be improved beyond minimum requirements. Other features include energy efficient lighting, heat recovery and use of natural ventilation where appropriate. 61 The development is estimated to emit 705 tonnes of CO2 per annum after the application of energy efficiency measures. Based on the information provided, it does not appear that the proposed development will achieve any carbon savings from energy efficiency alone compared to a 2010 Building Regulations compliant development. 62 Using 2010 Building Regulations compliance software, the applicant should model, and commit to, additional measures that can be adopted to enable the development to exceed 2010 Building Regulations compliance through energy efficiency alone. 63 The annual tonnes of regulated carbon dioxide emissions after all energy efficiency measures are applied, and at the other stages of the energy hierarchy, should be provided. The savings relative to a 2010 Building Regulations compliant development from energy efficiency alone should also be provided. District heating 64 The applicant should investigate whether there are any existing or planned district heating networks within the vicinity of the development. Where such a network is identified connection should be prioritised. The applicant has confirmed that provision will be made within the design to allow future connection to external district heating networks. 65 The applicant should provide further details of the space heating and domestic hot water systems proposed for the building. It should also be confirmed that all bedrooms and other building uses will be connected to the sites heat network infrastructure. Combined Heat and Power 66 The applicant is proposing the installation of a 110kWe CHP unit meeting approximately 70% of the thermal load of the site. This is projected to reduce CO2 emissions by 208 tonnes per
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annum, to 497 tonnes of CO2 per annum. This equates to a reduction of 30%. The installation of CHP should be secured by condition. Cooling 67 The applicant should provide further details of the passive measures planned to reduce the need for active cooling in the development, and how the residual active cooling load will be met. Renewable energy technologies 68 The applicant has investigated the applicability of various renewable technologies and is proposing the installation of 200 sq.m. of photovoltaic panels. The applicant should provide further details regarding the location of the panels, the electricity output and carbon savings. The minimum amount of PV panel area should be secured by condition. 69 Further information is required to determine whether the application complies with London Plan Policies 4A.3-4A.7. The applicant should provide the regulated carbon dioxide emissions in tonnes per annum after the cumulative effect of energy efficiency, CHP and renewable energy and the cumulative annual CO2 savings, in tonnes and percentage points, relative to a 2010 Building Regulations compliant development should also be provided.

Climate change adaptation 70 The London Plan promotes five principles in policy 4A.9 to promote and support the most effective adaptation to climate change. These are to minimise overheating and contribution to heat island effects, minimise solar gain in summer, contribute to flood risk reductions, including applying sustainable drainage principles, minimise water use and protect and enhance green infrastructure. Specific policies cover overheating, living roofs and walls and water. Chapter 5 of the draft replacement London Plan considers climate change adaptation, specifically policies 5.9 through to policy 5.15. 71 The previous stage I acknowledged that due the use of photovoltaic panels and design of the roof, it was not possible to include green roofs in the development. Furthermore, the applicant was asked to put water efficient fittings into the development to limit the maximum water use to 105 litres per person per day. Due to the redesign of the proposal, the applicant has now been able to include a small green roof between the two elements of the building. Furthermore, the applicant has now committed to reduce water use to less than 110 litres per person per day. The application broadly complies with London Plan Policy 4A.9 but the applicant should commit to reduce water use to less than 105 litres per person per day to bring the proposal in line with London Plan Policy 4A.16.

Ambient noise
72 London Plan Policy 4A.20, the Mayors ambient noise strategy and PPG24 Planning and noise provide policy guidance that seeks to minimise noise and it impacts. In particular, Policy 4A.20 requires that noise impacts on of from developments should be minimised and that noise sensitive development should be separated from major sources of noise whenever practicable. Separation can include locating habitable rooms on quieter facades, with non-habitable places on the facades adjacent to the major source.
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73 The applicant commissioned a noise survey which was undertaken over four days from one location on the roof of the existing building. The results suggest that the noise levels fall within noise exposure category B as set out in PPG24 both during the day and during the night. PPG24 states that when noise falls into noise exposure category B noise should be taken into account when determining planning applications and, where appropriate, conditions imposed to ensure an adequate level of protection against noise.
74 The northern facade of the proposed building will be most vulnerable to road traffic noise from St. Thomas Street and railway noise from London Bridge Station. In the previous proposal the applicant sought to arrange the internal layout in a manner that mitigated the impact by locating the lift core at northern end of the building and designing most of the habitable rooms to face south, east and west, with only one habitable unit per floor located on the northeast corner of the development. These rooms were to be mechanically ventilated so the inhabitants would not need to open the windows. 75 In this application the internal layout has been revised and the core has been split between the two elements of the building. As a result of this three habitable rooms are now located on the northern elevation on the majority of the floors. The rooms on the northeast and the northwest corners are dual aspect and will be mechanically ventilated. This is considered sufficient to mitigate the impact of the noise from St Thomas Street and London Bridge Station. However, whilst the central rooms will also be mechanically ventilated, they are single aspect north facing and the surrounding noise will have a much greater impact on these rooms. Due to this issue, combined with the awkward design of these rooms discussed above, it is requested that the applicant remove or relocate these rooms. 76 The proposed development largely complies with London Plan Policy 4A.20 but the applicant should applicant remove or relocate the central rooms on the north facade.

Transport
77 The proposals include a signalised pedestrian crossing across Weston Street. To ensure the proposal complies with draft replacement London Plan Policy 6.11 Smoothing traffic flow and tackling congestion the applicant is required to provide analysis to demonstrate that there would not be adverse impact on traffic flows along Weston Street in line with the Mayors objective of smoothing traffic flow. This is required by TfL to assess whether the proposed crossing is appropriate. If the crossing is considered to be appropriate a Section 278 agreement would be required to deliver the works. 78 The applicant should undertake an audit of the pedestrian environment in the vicinity of the site, focussing on routes to public transport access points. This should identify any improvements that need to be made in order to encourage journeys on foot to and from the site. Furthermore, the applicant should provide an appropriate financial contribution to the Legible London scheme if it is expanded into the London Bridge locality. A pedestrian audit together with submission of traffic flow analysis on Weston Street and a contribution towards Legible London is required to ensure the application complies with London Plan policies 3C.21 Improving conditions for walking , 3C.22 Improving conditions for cycling and draft replacement London Plan policies 6.9 Cycling and 6.10 Walking. 79 A total of 261 cycle parking spaces are proposed on site, 246 within the basement for students, ten for visitors of both the student accommodation and retail unit provided on the ground floor, and five for student accommodation staff again located within the basement. These will be provided and managed independently of each other. This is in line with TfLs cycle parking standards and the standards found within Table 6.2 of the draft replacement London Plan. The
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proposed basement cycle parking should be well lit and covered by CCTV, it should also not compromise inclusive access. The proposal to review the amount of cycle parking as part of the travel plan is supported, however, clarification is required as to whether there is adequate space available for any future provision of cycle parking. 80 The safeguarding of land on the application site to accommodate a 16-bicycle docking station is welcomed. However, given the rising demands for the cycle hire scheme across central London, TfL request that a larger docking station with a capacity of 25 bicycles is more suitable. A contribution of 132,000 towards establishing a cycle hire facility to serve this site is required. 81 The safeguarding of this land and associated contribution, in conjunction with the basement cycle parking security measures would ensure the proposal complies with London Plan policy 3C.22 Improving conditions for cycling and draft replacement London Plan policy 6.9 Cycling. 82 The car-free nature of the development, with the exception of two disabled parking spaces, is in line with London Plan policy 3C.24 Parking strategy and the consultation draft replacement London Plan policy 6.13 Parking. The decision to prohibit car ownership as part of the student tenancy agreement is supported. This should be secured through an appropriate planning obligation. 83 The applicants commitment to produce a construction logistics plan in order to mitigate any adverse impacts of additional construction traffic on the Transport for London road network or local highway network is welcomed. TfL must approve all construction access routes and access details prior to the commencement of any works. The submission of a servicing management plan as part of this application is also welcomed. 84 The provision of a student move / move out strategy is supported. However, the applicant is requested to clarify whether contingency plans are in place should arriving students arrive on site later or earlier than their allotted time due to unforeseen circumstances. There is concern as to the feasibility of the students belongings being fully unloaded and for the associated vehicle to have left the site within the allowed 20 minutes. Furthermore, whilst the use local car parks to move as a measure to move students / parents on is welcomed, clarification on whether there will be incentives / discount parking for those parents who need a longer time period than their allocated slot is required. The use of monetary incentives can encourage people to move away from the development more quickly. It is recommended that these incentives are included within the service management plan. 85 To ensure the development complies with London Plan policies 3C.17 Tackling congestion and reducing traffic and 3C.25 Freight strategy and the consultation draft replacement London Plan policy 6.14 Freight , the construction and logistic plan and service management plan must be secured by planning condition in consultation with TfL. 86 The applicant is required to make a number of changes to the submitted Travel Plan. An assessment, which identifies required improvements, will be forwarded to the applicant separately. The travel plan must be secured, enforced, monitored, reviewed and funded through the Section 106 agreement. 87 Further information is required and a number of issues must be addressed for the proposal to comply with London Plan transport policy.

Local planning authoritys position


88 As yet unknown.
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Legal considerations
89 Under the arrangements set out in Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008 the Mayor is required to provide the local planning authority with a statement setting out whether he considers that the application complies with the London Plan, and his reasons for taking that view. Unless notified otherwise by the Mayor, the Council must consult the Mayor again under Article 5 of the Order if it subsequently resolves to make a draft decision on the application, in order that the Mayor may decide whether to allow the draft decision to proceed unchanged, or direct the Council under Article 6 of the Order to refuse the application, or issue a direction under Article 7 of the Order that he is to act as the local planning authority for the purpose of determining the application and any connected application. There is no obligation at this present stage for the Mayor to indicate his intentions regarding a possible direction, and no such decision should be inferred from the Mayors statement and comments.

Financial considerations
90 There are no financial considerations at this stage.

Conclusion
91 London Plan policies on are student housing, urban design, tall buildings, views, access, climate change mitigation and adaptation, ambient noise, and transport are relevant to this application. The applicant complies with some of these policies but not with others, for the following reasons: Principle of development: In this instance, the applicant has adequately justified the loss of the B1a office space on the site and the provision of student housing is acceptable in principle, given the strategic need for such facilities in the local area. The proposal complies with London Plan Policy 3A.25. Student housing: The proposal broadly complies with London Plan Policy if an appropriate S106 agreement clause, which restrict the use of accommodation for full time higher education students only and that the accommodation will be let at a rent no greater than rents for comparable student housing. Urban design, tall buildings and views: Whilst the external appearance of the building remains of the highest order and consistent with the LVMF, the impact of the changes to the internal layout, access to lifts for disabled people and accessible laundry facilities and general circulation space is poor and should be reconsidered before the application is referred back to the Mayor for final determination. Inclusive design: The proposal does not comply with London Plan Policies 4B.5 or 3A.5 Climate Change mitigation and adaptation: Further information is required to determine whether the application complies with London Plan Policies 4A.3-4A.7 The application broadly complies with London Plan climate change adaptation policy. Ambient Noise: The proposal broadly complies with London Plan Policy 4A.20. Transport: Further information is required and a number of issues must be addressed for the proposal to comply with London Plan transport policy.

92 On balance, the application does not comply with the London Plan Policy. The following changes might, however, remedy the above-mentioned deficiencies, and could possibly lead to the application becoming compliant with the London Plan:
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Student housing: An appropriate S106 agreement clause, which restrict the use of accommodation for full time higher education students only and that the accommodation will be let at a rent no greater than rents for comparable student housing should be attached to any permission. Urban design: The design team should revisit the current arrangement for disabled students regarding access to lifts and laundry facilities, and the nature of circulation space on typical floors above level 6. Inclusive design: Genuinely accessible laundry facilities should be provided on every floor with an accessible room. As discussed above, the single aspect north facing room could be lost to accommodate such facilities. Furthermore, accessible rooms should be located on floors that have access to both north and south lifts. Climate Change mitigation and adaptation: The applicant should provide the regulated carbon dioxide emissions in tonnes per annum after the cumulative effect of energy efficiency, CHP and renewable energy and the cumulative annual CO2 savings, in tonnes and percentage points, relative to a 2010 Building Regulations compliant development should also be provided. The applicant should commit to reduce water use to less than 105 litres per person per day. Transport: The applicant should provide additional transport information as set out in paragraphs 81 to 91.

for further information, contact Planning Decisions Unit: Colin Wilson, Senior Manager - Planning Decisions 020 7983 4783 email colin.wilson@london.gov.uk Justin Carr, Strategic Planning Manager (Development Decisions) 020 7983 4895 email justin.carr@london.gov.uk Gemma Kendall, Case Officer 020 7983 6592 email gemma.kendall@london.gov.uk

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