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Heights / Density / Massing / Flooring

Is there a heights strategy?

Yes, as detailed below:

  • Setbacks and roof treatments must be introduced to the top floors of all proposed buildings exceeding 4-storeys except for a small building portion of Blocks J & K to accommodate for ground level topographical differences (blue coloured areas in heights parameter plan);

  • Mandatory AOD (set maximum height) for Blocks A and F and additional AOD for Blocks L & G;

  • 13 new mandatory views; 

  • Proposed buildings along Pydar Street to be read as a maximum of 4 storeys + setbacks stepping down Pydar Street to respond to context; and

  • Refer to Parameter Plan ‘AA7901-2105-E Outline Framework Plan – Proposed Heights Parameter’.

How have you addressed the concerns raised around heights, density and massing?

The Project Team have worked closely with the Planning Team and considered the concerns raised around heights, density and massing.  In response to these concerns, the design has been updated further and heights/massing reduced.  However, options are limited in terms of resolving any further height concerns due to the need to achieve a financially viable scheme.  More importantly, any further reductions will reduce the benefits of this scheme.

Is there a possibility that building heights can exceed the maximum heights (blue lines) as set out in the parameter plans?

Due to significant topographical level changes across the site, minor deviations in storey heights across elevations may be permitted so long as the building fits within the Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment (LTVIA) envelope (blue line) and in agreement with the Planning Authority during Reserved Matters Application (RMA) stage.

But it will be very rare that any minor deviations to storey heights occur due to the specific rules in the Design Code.  When the blocks are designed in detail during the next RMA stage, the Design Code will have to be applied.  This is how the Design Code will be used to control the future detailed design of the buildings, which will then be put forward for approval by the Local Planning Authority as part of the RMA.  

Each of the codes in the Design Code are mandatory and must be applied.  An example of how some of these mandatory codes are applied are set out below.

As illustrated below, once the mandatory code is applied, it further reduces the ability to build up to the maximum height of the blue line.

Link to documents which include all the Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment Before and After can be found here.

Why are fixed heights not set across the whole development?

Typically, specific detailed building height measurements or Above Ordinance Datum levels (AODs) are not included in outline applications where matters of scale are reserved for future approval, as is this application. We have committed to including AODs on some of the buildings, with the remainder to be controlled by maximum storey heights. 

The reason AODs have not been included on all buildings is to allow flexibility on future usage of the buildings, which is key for deliverability. Final heights will be a matter of approval under the RMA. The application is accompanied by the Visual Impact Assessment Views where the maximum heights are shown in three-dimensional street views and ensure that any future detailed design proposals must fit within these maximums. 

What is the existing floorspace of the development – are you trying to squeeze too much in?

The existing floorspace of the development measures at 11,086 sqm.  Given the nature of the permission being sought, there is not a definitive floorspace. The parameter plans do however demonstrate how a scheme of 320 dwellings, up to 400 student bed spaces and up to 16,500sqm non-residential floorspace to include leisure, office, hotel, community, small retail, education/ innovation and food and beverage units, could be comfortably accommodated onsite, whilst leaving 64% of the ‘red line’ area as open public space.

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