What are the benefits of an Outline Planning Application?
Sets the principles of a sustainable long-term development;
Provides flexibility to respond to changing demands regarding uses – future proofs the development as it comes forward in phases;
Enables compliance with changing Building Regulations, policies, and Council needs to ensure a future proofed development;
Opportunity to attach mandatory conditions to ensure maximum heights and volumes are not exceeded;
Accompanied by a Design Code that provides clear mandatory guidance to ensure high quality design; and
Offers future opportunities for engagement and consultation with members, the public and other stakeholders to develop the detailed design that will be submitted as Reserved Matters Applications (RMAs). This is a collaborative process.
How do we know that the proposed design quality doesn’t change in the future phases?
It is essential that good design is delivered in all future phases of the scheme. As such, the application is accompanied by a Design Code, several parameter plans and planning conditions, produced in collaboration with all consultees to demonstrate how a development of this scale could be delivered. The Design Code is a long list of restrictive rules that the detailed design of the scheme must adhere to. It controls design elements such as the roof form, public realm and materials, ensuring the highest of design quality at the detailed design stage.
What’s included in the Design Code?
A thorough Design Code has been produced to address all consultees comments by including almost 700 mandatory design rules about vital placemaking aspects, like preserving and enhancing views of Truro Cathedral and the Viaduct, how massing will need to be informed by daylight and sunlight and how materiality must reflect the local character of Truro. It sets best practice principles to ensure the delivery of quality - fully accessible, safe and active public spaces and private amenity for every home.
The project acknowledges the concerns and developed a Design Code that protects key strategic views towards the Cathedral and the heights responds to the sloping topography with setbacks and buildings perceived as stepping down across the site.
In preparation for the determination of the Outline Planning application, the Project Team undertook a full update of the Design Code and other documents in response to comments received by the Planning Team and internal Council consultees. The Design Code was updated to extend the mandatory elements to ensure that the development sites are developed to high quality standards, without impact to surrounding areas and within the maximum development parcels.
A checklist of the mandatory codes has been prepared as part of the Design Code document and must be submitted alongside future Reserved Matters applications.
You can find a link to the Design Code here.
What are parameter plans?
The aim of the Parameter plans (or Maximum Development Plans) is to set principles for the minimum and maximum development opportunities across the site. They prescribe clear rules that will regulate any future detail design proposals, while allowing the required flexibility to accommodate for potential updates in policy, standards and changing local needs as each phase is being delivered. They are informed by community and consultee feedback and a variety of technical studies that support the delivery of a sustainable neighbourhood that feels and is part of Truro.
Links to Parameter Plans and all plans can be found here.
What does the Environmental Statement include?
Due to the scale and complexity of the site and the proposals, the Outline Application is also supported by an Environmental Impact Assessment, including extensive technical studies about Air and Noise, Traffic and Transport, Health and Climate Change, Biodiversity, Social-Economics and other areas. A heritage specialist team worked closely with the consultees and Historic England, who raised no objection to the scheme proposals. The Environmental Statement findings support the Outline proposals and state that the development is considered to be overall acceptable and contribute to improving the existing site condition.
Links to Environmental Statement – Non-Technical Summary can be read here.
Why was the previous application refused?
The Strategic Planning Committee determined the Outline Planning application on the 4th February 2021 and voted to refuse the application on the following grounds:
The scale and mass of the parameters of the development were too large and intrusive on the local streetscape and out of character to the city of Truro, including the setting of the Conservation Area and Listed Buildings; and
The adverse impact of the loss of parking spaces on visitors and residents of Truro.
What has changed in the revised application?
The Project Team revised the Outline Planning application to address the concerns raised around heights, massing and parking which resulted in the following changes to the scheme:
Decreased the volume of the building area by 10,500 sq. m – similar to the size of two Lemon Quays;
Reduced heights by 1-2 storeys along Pydar Street and St Clements;
Reduced overall heights to compliment the surrounding neighbourhood;
Increased setbacks along Pydar Street to better improve views of the Cathedral;
Total non-residential area has been reduced by 4,500 sq. m;
Introduced new courtyards and lower building heights to reduce volume;
Reduced heights along the Viaduct; and
In response to concerns around parking capacity, the Moresk/Oak Way Car Park will not be developed for a period of up to 3 years, whilst we allow for the loss of parking and the new development to ‘bed in.’
You can find the Outline Application Summary & Updates here.
Is the proposed scheme compliant with the NPPF Clause 130?
NPPF Clause 130 states that policies and decisions should ensure that developments:
Will function well and add to the overall quality of the area, not just for the short term but over the lifetime of the development. Pydar: Flexibility built into the Outline Application to respond to future demand;
Are visually attractive as a result of good architecture, layout and appropriate and effective landscaping. Pydar: The Design Code includes close to 700 mandatory design rules to ensure high quality building and landscape design;
Are sympathetic to local character and history, including the surrounding built environment and landscape setting, while not preventing or discouraging appropriate innovation or change (such as densities). Pydar: Variety of new streets that reflect the character of Truro. 13 mandatory views that celebrate Truro Cathedral, the Viaduct and the River Allen. Reduced storey heights along Pydar Street and St Clement Street to match existing buildings;
Establish or maintain a strong sense of place, using the arrangement of streets, spaces, building types and materials to create attractive, welcoming and distinctive places to live, work and visit. Pydar: Permeable street network with new streets that reflect the character of Truro. Distinctive new public spaces. Designed to be a place for living, learning, working and playing;
Optimise the potential of the site to accommodate and sustain an appropriate amount and mix or development (including green and other public space) and support local facilities and transport networks. Pydar: Mixed use development with up to 320 homes, 400 student bedspaces and 16,500sq m non-residential space and over 3.5 acres of high-quality public space. Sustainable transport tying in with Truro Transport Strategy;
Create places that are safe, inclusive and accessible and which promote health and well-being, with a high standard of amenity for existing and future users; and where crime and disorder, and the fear of crime, do not undermine the quality of life or community cohesion and resilience. Pydar: Safe, accessible routes and public spaces that are well overlooked. Inclusive environment. Significant area of high-quality public space for locals, new residents and visitors. Secure by design principles. 24/7 on-site security.
You can read the key documents here.
Planning process next phase -
Reserved Matters Application
What is a Reserved Matters Application?
The Reserved Matters application is the next formal planning process once the Outline planning application has been approved. This involves the production of a brand-new planning application which goes into the detail of the design and will go through the same planning process as the Outline Planning application (including public and stakeholder consultation). The following information will be developed in the detailed design phase and subsequently included in future Reserved Matters Applications (RMAs).
There will be further opportunities for engagement with and input from the public, stakeholders, and Members ahead of the detailed designs being finalised and submitted as RMAs.
How does the Design Code support the future Reserved Matters Applications?
The Design Code establishes mandatory rules and supports the principles of development set out in the Outline Application. These mandatory rules must be met in all future Reserved Matters Applications (RMAs). The Design Code rules provide Cornwall Council Planning Authority with efficient tools to control design quality within future RMAs.