The Torquay gateway area is immediately to the west of Shiphay. The importance of this area for growth has changed since South Devon Link Road due - completed December 2015. The Council identified the land to the east of Hamelin Way as an ‘Area of Search’ in the then emerging Local Plan which had been reflected in the emerging Torquay Neighbourhood Plan.
In January 2014 iCube was appointed to the Mott MacDonald team as masterplanner / urban designer given the long involvement in the Bay prior to this commission working with the Princes Foundation in the area. In December 2015 the Torquay Local Plan was adopted and shortly thereafter the Gateway masterplan was adopted as SPD.
The Torquay Gateway was expected to facilitate the following:
a) The enhancement of a strong sense of community through the effective design and layout of homes and the provision of local facilities;
b) Provision of a range of residential schemes that offer a mix of housing types alongside recreational, lesiure and tourism elements;
c) Creation of employment space, delivered in the early stages of development, designed to meet identified economic growth sectors;
d) Essential transport and utilities infrastructure, including green infrastructure, and appropriate links to other planned facilities;
e) High quality design standards that embrace sustainable and energy efficient construction techniques; and
f) Appropriate phasing during the development roll-out.
In 2014 iCube was appointed by the Princes Foundation for Building Community to coordinate, manage and deliver a Special Development Plan (SDP) for downtown Yangon, Myanmar for Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT). The key elements of the work included:
- SDP Vision - As an important advocacy tool this document articulated a positive vision for Yangon city centre as a modern liveable city which has at its centre the conservation of its unique heritage. The document demonstrated the benefits of conserving Yangon’s heritage and set out YHT’s objectives and rationale for the SDP.
- SDP Framework - will provide the policy structure for the delivery of downtown Yangon which is also a conservation area which will guide future development and change in the city centre.
- Action Plans - Action Plans are aimed to unlock the conservation area’s potential through specific guidance and information. They will focus on two aspects – some key buildings and two ‘opportunity’ areas either under developer pressure or the subject of interest.
The Framework required numerous surveys which were carried out by the in-country project manager using architectural students. On completion the draft was used by YHT to deliver their city wide heritage strategy. The completed draft was used by YHT to deliver the Yangon Heritage Strategy.
Review of the PTAL methodology (jointly with Arup) which identified serious flaws in its effectiveness to guide general planning policy and site specific development potential. PTAL is a fundamental part of core planning policies in London at a strategic and local level, substantially effecting issues such as office location, residential density and parking standards.
Despite being an accepted part of the planning framework, PTAL has only been subject to superficial validation to date. It has, in effect, been ingrained in London's planning without being properly tested and the consequences of any systemic inaccuracies have largely been ignored to date.
Reinventing PTAL is an attempt to understand where PTAL is strong and where it is weak, and to set out how the process can be improved without losing sight of its simplicity and ubiquity. The work has established that PTAL as it is currently specified is a very poor basis for locational and density policies. Only around 25% of the difference in commuting mode splits can be attributed to change in PTAL.
There is also a systemic bias in the methodology which unduly penalises locations served by rail modes and significantly over-states the benefit of the bus system. The illustration shows the PTAL rating for LU and NR alone to demonstrate this point. Changes to the PTAL methodology have been proposed that are expected to significantly improve the predictive capability of PTAL and address the flaws in the current system.
Central London Forward is the sub-regional partnership of the seven central London boroughs. The study focused on understanding the changes that have happened to the provision and use of road space in Central and Inner London over the last 30 years.
The report set out where the trends are likely to take road space provision and use in the next decade or so and advanced a series of policy priorities for the boroughs in relation to their engagement with Transport for London.
Using data drawn from a wide range of sources, the study sought to present a comprehensive analysis of the changes and how policies have impacted on the use or road space.
iCube were part of a team examining the carbon footprint of four buildings from the perspective of their construction and use.
The Practice was responsible for quantifying the carbon emissions from journey to work travel at the sites which ranged from central London offices through to a business park near Heathrow.
Data was collected and analysed to determine patterns of travel including mode used and distance travelled before typical rates of emissions per kilometre were applied to assess the average carbon release from commuter travel. The single busiest factor was found to be commuting by office occupants.
A strategic planning study examining the impact of London Plan growth on the City’s rail system and the priorities for allocating Section 106 receipts for mitigating impacts over the coming decade.
The work developed a database of approved, submitted and proposed office schemes and assessed the likely travel demands arising from them and the distribution of journeys on the rail system.
Further demands generated from developments outside of the City - but travelling through the City - were forecast and overlaid too.
The study assessed the expected S106 receipts from the planned developments and established mitigation priorities where funds could be aggregated to support strategic projects materially benefiting all City development
iCube was appointed by CLF to review the Mayor's Transport Strategy and develop a manifesto for the organisation in its engagement with TfL. As befits a grouping of seven boroughs, the focus was on establishing a common set of objectives and projects which could further the growth and development of central London.
The City of Westminster appointed iCube to review the SPG on Planning Obligations in terms of developing a framework to strategically monitor individual and cumulative impact across the borough and to establish mechanisms for determining planning contributions.
The study identified a grid system based on the existing stations in Westminster as a potential structure for considering these issues at a sufficient level of detail. The resultant "cells" or "pockets" of development would then respond to natural catchment areas that orientate travel demands to particular pressure points in the system