The City of London UDP and the London Plan (policy 4C.17) both acknowledge the
importance of providing improved access to the Thames River. The site is located within the
Thames Policy Area and it is proposed to extend the Riverside Walk (which now forms part of the long distance Thames Path National Trail) between Tower Hill and the existing public walkway at Sugar Quay. The applicant has indicated that the continuation of the Riverside Walkway would be formalised through the completion of a Walkways agreement with the Corporation of London. Accordingly, the proposed development would be consistent with the London Plan and would provide the additional benefit of increasing the size of the open space immediately in front of the building enabling members of the public to better appreciate the views across the river towards the GLA building and to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge
beyond. The applicant has also commissioned a piece of art from William Pye to be publicly displayed within the development thereby further enhancing the amenity and vitality of the area. The Corporation of London has indicated that these benefits will be secured by way of conditions on the planning permission.
The applicant has submitted a wind study in support of the application. It concludes
that the wind conditions around the building will be appropriate and will not cause adverse wind turbulence effects. Overall the design quality is high and the form and massing of the proposed
building respects the local context, particularly the historic value of the Tower of London, and would not harm the character or setting of the building.
Access and inclusion
Policy 4B.5 of the London Plan expects all future development to meet the highest
standards of accessibility and inclusion. An access statement has not been submitted to demonstrate how principles of inclusive design have been integrated into the proposed
development. The access statement should be treated as more than a commitment to meet the minimum standards of Part M of the Building Regulations. The access statement should clearly demonstrate the applicant’s approach to inclusion, and show how all potential users, regardless of disability, age or gender, can enter the site, move around the site, enter the buildings and use
the facilities. It is recommended that a marked-up plan at an appropriate scale, including sections showing relevant gradients and any changes in level, be submitted with the written Access Statement. This plan should illustrate: the main step-free pedestrian routes internally and externally, showing how people move up and down as well as around the building and the spaces between the buildings; access to car parking and public transport facilities; staff and visitor entrances and other relevant facilities and features. Under policy 3A.4 of the London Plan, all new housing should be built to lifetime homes standards and 10% of units should be designed to be wheelchair accessible. The applicant should provide further information within the access statement to demonstrate that these standards have been met.
Sustainable design and energy
Policy 4B.6 of the draft London Plan indicates that applications for strategic
development should include a statement showing how sustainability principles will be met in terms of demolition, construction and long term management. The applicants have provided
limited detail in this regard and accordingly further details should be submitted explaining how
the development will meet the highest standards of sustainable design and construction, including measures to: -
Re-use land and buildings
Conserve energy, materials, water and other resources
Be bioclimatically designed
Reduce the impacts of noise, pollution, flooding and micro-climatic effects