Enabling travel by sustainable modes was the main priority. This was achieved by exploiting the opportunity provided by the River Stour, adjacent the site. Landscaped pedestrian and cyclist routes will be provided around and across the site, with environmental improvements to the river walkway connecting to the city centre.
Severance due to the external road network is addressed by rationalising the number of vehicular accesses, widening footways, enhancing the public realm and provision of additional pedestrian and cyclist crossings. The mix of uses enables the need to travel to be minimised, in particular co-locating complimentary retail and leisure developments. Car parking provision is restricted to that necessary to meet public parking needs and for satisfactory operation of the development. The car park is located underground to ensure that pedestrians can move freely between the various attractions on the site.
The tension between the desire to create a vehicular free public realm and the servicing needs of the various uses had to be addressed. This was achieved through detailed consideration of the needs of each use. This enabled us to ensure that each use can be serviced efficiently in an unobtrusive way.
The impact of the development on the AQMA was accepted by the local authority as being negligible due to the comprehensive Travel Plans, which encourage travel by sustainable modes. In addition, a significant number of electric vehicle charging points are included in the development, with additional infrastructure provided for future proofing.
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