Earlier this month, plans were approved for the relocation of a ferry terminal in Southampton as part of proposals for the redevelopment of the city's waterfront. Anthony Brindley is head of planning and development at planning and development investment adviser Lucent.
Q. How did this scheme land on your desk?
A. We began looking at the project about three and a half years ago. Lucent was looking for projects to invest in and felt this was extremely exciting. As head of planning I was responsible for producing a planning evaluation and commercial viability study. This meant examining our planning requirements. We needed to check the constraints and that it met our requirements that the site was allocated in a development plan and fully supported by the local authority.
Q. What were the challenges?
A. The main one was on heritage. The site is on a former dry dock that has been infilled and has great historic importance. A pump chamber and associated works are still in place as well as the large entrance gate. Despite the fact that the dock has been infilled you can still see the original coping stones.
We also proposed putting a new terminal building on top of the pump chamber.
After we submitted an application we sat down with Historic England. We agreed to move a car park and put some glass panels in the floor of the terminal building so we can put the pumps on view to the public.
They understood what we needed to do in terms of our development and we understood what they wanted to retain. We negotiated a solution we were both happy with.
Q. Were there other issues to overcome?
A. There were a number of environmental issues mainly relating to marine ecology. We had to undertake an environmental impact assessment and other studies to satisfy environmental requirements. We also had to consult with the harbour master over the routes within the harbour and shipping channels.
In addition, we had to apply for a marine license to carry out works like dredging, plus the demolition of structures in the water.