3.2 Traffic Impact Study An appraisal of the highway implications and traffic management issues arising from the proposed development has been carried out by the Council's Transportation Group who have commented as follows:
(a) The number of car parking spaces to be provided within the main elements of the development which are respectively 105 for the office development and 80 for the apartment/hotel blocks are collectively similar to the total capacity of the current surface car park on the site which has space for 175 vehicles. This level of car parking is considered acceptable and should not attract any additional traffic to the area. From a policy point of view, the limited provision is considered acceptable, and should encourage the use of public transport.
(b) The proposed servicing arrangements for the offices and hotel/apartment blocks are acceptable and fully compatible with the current initiative to remodel Old Hall Street, which includes carriageway narrowing, new loading and taxi/bus facilities and revisions to traffic circulation in the area.
(c) The development will result in the loss of eleven pay and display parking spaces on Old Hall Street. To compensate for this loss however, there is within the Old Hall Street remodelling initiative, an opportunity to increase the overall number of on street parking spaces.
(d) The Daily Post and Echo have raised concerns about the impact of the development on their requirements to maintain a quick distribution of publications and to receive uninterrupted deliveries of printing materials. Whilst there may be some increase in traffic movement on the local highway network, resulting from the development, the extent of that increase can be accommodated within the existing capacity of the network and the associated road junctions, particularly the Brook Street/King Edward Street junction.
(e) Finally, in terms of public transport, it is considered that the application site is well located within the City Centre network, being within five minutes walking distance from the Moorfields railway station. There are some bus services which stop close to the site; it is however, recognised that better links from the main bus facilities within the City Centre to the Commercial Quarter could be provided. A substantial increase in potential demand arising from the proposed development would strengthen the justification for such provision.
3.3 Visual Impact assessment The applicants have undertaken a series photographic montages and panoramic views of the City's waterfront to show how the scale, massing, design and height of the buildings relate to the local skyline and to other significant buildings in the area. These include the historic buildings at the Pier Head and the group of tall office buildings to the north, which are clustered around Old Hall Street. The photographic images are intended to demonstrate that the development will:
(a) not compete with or detract from the character and appearance of the historic buildings at the Pier Head or the nearby Castle Street Conservation Area;
(b) not detrimentally affect skyline views of the City from the river or other high points around the area;
(c) form a deliberate, positive and complementary grouping with other neighbouring tall buildings in Old Hall Street;
(d) serve in a positive way to strengthen the identity of Old Hall Street as the focus of commercial activity within the City Centre.
(e) Provide a 'landmark' northern gateway to the City Centre
3.4 It is considered that the visual impact assessment successfully demonstrates that the composition of proposed buildings would make a substantial and positive contribution to the Liverpool skyline. The complex will not have any detrimental impact on the historic buildings at the Pier Head when viewed from the river, and the buildings will help reinforce the identity of Old Hall Street as the hub of the City's Commercial Quarter. The positioning of the tower block at the junction of Old Hall Street and King Edward Street will, when approached from the north, help define in a clear and positive way, the northern boundary of the City Centre.
continued . . .