The Planning Officer's Report,
October 2001

3.5 Micro Climatic Assessment Specialist consultants COSA, on behalf of the applicant, have undertaken an investigation into the likely wind environment that would be experienced around the proposed development. The consultants have used computer simulation models to assist in the design of the buildings and to identify potential hot spots. The aim of the simulations is to reproduce the urban airflow regime on and surrounding the development site, and then to assess the impact of the new development on the local environment.

3.6 The non-technical summary of the computer analysis shows that although air is accelerated through areas of the site as a consequence of the new buildings, winds are likely to be well below established distress and safety criteria both on site and in the surrounding streets. A certain degree of shelter was also found to be provided by the new buildings. Altogether, the safety of pedestrians was assessed and found to be within the established safety criteria. The model developed by COSA has been used by the applicants to identify potential micro climatic issues throughout the design process.

3.7 It should be noted that the original St Paul' Eye Hospital was built on 6 storeys and would have generated wind amplification factors of similar magnitude to those of the development currently proposed. The micro climatic effects of arising from the new development are unlikely to be any more onerous than those produced by other tall buildings in the Old Hall Street area.

4. Assessment of Architecture Layout and Design

4.1 Apart from the listed cottages, the layout and design of the new buildings has undergone some revisions following discussion with the developer, Liverpool Vision, English Heritage and LCC. Liverpool Vision and LCC have considered the proposed development within the context of a wider master planning exercise for the area. Of particular concern is the relationship of the development to King Edward Street and the new developments at Princes Dock. There is a perceived need to create a more pedestrian friendly environment facing the river and to create new desire lines for pedestrian movement between the river and the City Centre.

4.2 To address these issues, the pavement width on Brook Street is to be increased to 3m to accommodate better pedestrian and vehicular circulation in anticipation of improved physical links with Princes Dock at this point. A new hard and soft landscaping regime is to b8established along King Edward Street that will improve the pedestrian environment and increase permeability through the site. It is anticipated that the Council owned car park at the junction of Brook Street and King Edward Street; although not included in the current proposals, will result in a complementary development once acquisition has been resolved. The development will also require the erection of a 33kv sub station along the King Edward Street frontage. This will be designed to complement the overall development and, subject to various technical constraints is likely to be sited adjacent to the Council owned car park.

4.3 With respect to architectural form it is expected that all new buildings in Liverpool should be of a high standard, relate well to their surroundings and make a positive contribution to the City's environment. New developments should respect, complement and contribute to the character of the area and make improvements to the area where this is required; creative, imaginative and contemporary designs that provide visual interest will be encouraged.

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