A formal decision to opt for full pedestrianisation was taken one year ago. To our knowledge this has not been reversed. The public were under the impression that the civic square would incorporate the pedestrianisedBroad Street.
Much has been made about the wind tunnel effect.
4.1 Why is the civic space only 14,500 sq ft? If traffic is to flow along Broad Street, is the civic space around Provost Skene's House to be increased proportionally?
The Civic space has increased since the original plans were put forward by Muse (please see question 3.3 Building Design for more information). However, no final decision has yet been made about the potential pedestrianisation of Broad Street. Muse are able to implement the current planning permission without increasing the area of civic space around Provost Skene's House regardless of the final decision made on pedestrianisation. It should be noted that Provost Skene's House has not previously been set within a large area of open space.
4.2 On what date were the pedestrianisation/planning permissions for the Project separated? Where is this minuted by ACC? Did ACC tell staff not to divulge this information?
As set in the Council Report, work to pedestrianise Broad Street does not require planning permission if being carried out by the Council in its capacity as Roads Authority. Thus it is not correct to say the two have been separated as planning permission was never required for this aspect.
As a result, the merits of Broad Street pedestrianisation and the proposals shown for a civic space between the development site and Marischal College were not considered in assessing this application.
There is, however, a separate statutory procedure, including opportunities for the public and others to make representations to the Council regarding pedestrianisation, a civic square and any impact on traffic flow. The Master plan process which commences a third and final public engagement phase from March 18th 2015 - may well offer recommendations on options for pedestrianisation in the city centre.
4.3 At the public hearing, it was stated that the wind tunnel effect would be reduced in comparison to when St Nicholas was there. This may have been the case in a pedestrianized Broad Street with adequate planting of greenery. Has the wind tunnel effect been recalculated for a buy road, with little greenery?
Assessments have shown that the wind tunnel effect will be improved. The microclimate assessment for the development demonstrates that the wind microclimate would be improved compared with the current situation.It should be noted that whilst trees and landscaping can be used to reduce windy conditions, these did not form the basis for the assessment.The assessment was based on existing conditions and comparing them with those anticipated with the proposed buildings.A third scenario was assessed which included the nearby Pinnacle development.