An attempt at transport. I’m sorry, it might not all be in planning terms.
Trips and Impacts
I’ve just read the Transport Assessment in the Hornsey Town Hall planning application and frankly, I’m annoyed. We, the public should not have to put up with such tosh. It has clearly been written by the office junior whose first language is not English but Repetitious Twaddle, a very widely used dialect in documents of this sort.
Where shall we start?
Perhaps with this paragraph:
1.1.11 The purpose of this report is to demonstrate that there would not be any material impacts on the local travel networks, highways and other modes of travel, as a result of the proposed redevelopment scheme and that the operational requirements of the proposals would be satisfactorily accommodated without any material impact, with mitigation as appropriate.
Two sets of material impacts, two lots of proposed/proposals and , quite magically, other modes of travel in addition to travel networks. And yet, the poor soul responsible for this aberration has tried to slip past his readers an incredible truth. The purpose of the document is not to produce an objective measure of what effect the development might have on the area but “to demonstrate that there would not be any material impacts” . A tad prejudicial from the outset.
Also “3.3.8 Both the access off of Haringey Park and the access off of Weston Park would be gated.” Despite assurances at the public displays that this will not be a gated development.
Another paragraph: “4.1.1 This section of the report considers in detail the parking strategy to be brought forward for the site, primarily in relation to the strategy of coming forward with a restraint-based approach for the residential units and a primarily car-free approach for the non-residential operations, but whilst also considering the requirements for those with mobility difficulties and those in terms of cycle parking.” Now , if I were the arts Operator (we’re still not quite sure who that is) facing a £200,000 a year rent, I’d be mightily disappointed that none of my customers can arrive by car. Pass me the restraints.
“4.2.22 The location of the site immediately adjacent to the Crouch End district centre precludes the requirement to provide any on-site car parking for the café / restaurant units, whilst though the employment floorspace could be supported by between one and four spaces it continues to be appropriate to have this supported by the three shared-use visitor spaces.” I can find no justification for this preclusion, nor can I unravel the non-sequitur of the employment floorspace, nor the leap of faith that takes us to the appropriateness of the three shared use visitor spaces. I can only imagine that whoever wrote this believed that no-one would ever read it.
“6.1.1 This section of the report considers the likely trip patterns and impacts of the proposed redevelopment of the site at and around Hornsey Town Hall, through the undertaking of a multi-modal trips assessment of the proposed mixed-use development scheme. This assessment is considered against the background of the previously-permitted mixed-use redevelopment scheme (first consented in 2010 and then renewed in 2013)” Now while I enjoy a multi-modal trip assessment as much as anyone who has ever laughed at Norman Wisdom going over on a banana skin, with the resultant impact, I have to ask “Why are we comparing this proposal with the 2010 proposal?” Surely what we have to do is measure the effect of this proposal. As simple as that. Nothing else.
Which leads me on to table 6.19:
Here the column “Existing” relates to the 2010 planning permission, and “Prop” to this proposal. So, if the 2010 permission had been implemented, and the estimates had been perfect, and it were now replaced by this proposal, and the new estimates were perfect, then there would be 41 fewer car and taxi drivers! A matter of pure speculation and supreme indifference to everyone and his brother.
I think I’m running out of motivation for this exercise, but I believe I should look at one more table, 6.5.
My recollection is that Crouch End does not have an Underground Station. This deeply inadequate Transport Assessment acknowledges the existence of Finsbury Park as an Underground Station, but not Archway, Highgate or Turnpike Lane. So all those 414 daily two-way person trips in underground mode will be via Finsbury Park. But I’m willing to bet that not one of the Car Drivers will transfer to the tube, nor the 5 passengers, nor the motorcyclists. No need to bet on the rail passengers, there is no train station in Crouch End. Let’s be generous and say that all the cyclists pedal over the hill to Finsbury Park, chain their bikes up and get on the underground. and maybe half the foot traffic. Shall we say half the bus journeys are not on the 91 to Trafalgar Square, or the W3 to Northumberland Park, or the 41 to Tottenham. So we do have 65 bus journeys plus 31 pedestrians plus 111 cyclists going to Finsbury Park. That’s 207. A generous estimate in my opinion. Which leaves 207 Underground travellers needing to get from Crouch End to Finsbury Park using either a broomstick or flue dust. If on the other hand they are merely muggles I reckon they’ll be queuing up for the W7.
In conclusion – this hilariously inadequate transport assessment should be dismissed out of hand. Its figures are unreliable, its premises questionable and its bases for comparison utterly irrelevant.
Again from the transport assessment tables 2.7 and 2.8
The following tables list the full range of local amenities referenced in the ‘Home Quality Mark – Technical Manual’, with Table 2.7 considering firstly the key local amenities and Table 2.8 considering the additional beneficial local amenities, demonstrating whether or not these are within the travel distance or travel time thresholds of the site.
Coleridge is within 700m so we’re all right for schools, except last time I looked the cathcment area for Coleridge was about 70m