Consortium working – Barrhead South SDO

Geddes was jointly appointed by a consortium comprising Miller Homes; Wallace Land Investments; Avant Homes and the Council to prepare an indicative masterplan for a Strategic Development Opportunity (SDO). This allocated site can accommodate over 1,000 homes including a new railway station funded under City Deal.

This indicative masterplan was guided by a set of site wide surveys and assessments which identified development constraints and necessary mitigation measures. The process also clarified a consistent set of planning obligations for the entire SDO site.

This work was then drafted into supplementary guidance to assist in the delivery of an integrated proposal and approved by the Council.

The approach adopted received a Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning in 2015 in the Delivering in Partnership category.

  • Geddes managed this partnership approach over a five year period
  • Planning applications were lodged for Planning Permission with planning obligations known in advance
  • Approach allowed common infrastructure constraints to be resolved collectively rather than individually
Barrhead South SDO Masterplan
The site lies adjacent to the southern edge of Barrhead
View of the site, looking towards Barrhead
Receiving the Delivering in Partnership award at the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning 2015

Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment

We undertake Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments at different levels to support planning applications.

All work is produced in line with current and best practice guidance, including IEMMA’s Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment. We agree our  methodology and viewpoint locations with the relevant Planning Authority.

We produce all our graphics in-house, including Zone of Theoretical Visibility (ZTV) mapping, viewpoint photography and photomontages. This ensures a continuous thinking and a confidence in the materials being used to carry out the assessments.

Our photomontages are catered towards the proposal at its current stage. For instance, we generally prepare simple block models of homes for Planning Permission in Principle applications and more detailed models for a Planning Permission application.

  • Demonstration of the acceptability of the proposals in terms of landscape and visual impact.
  • Informs the type and extent of landscape and visual mitigation required as part of the proposals.
  • Verifiable photomontage visualisations demonstrating how the proposals will be viewed within the existing landscape.
Assessing topography
Assessing landscape features
ZTV modelling is used to identify views
Assessing the site using photomontages

Environmental Impact Assessment

We undertake environmental impact assessments from requesting a Screening Opinion to project managing the multi-disciplinary project team appointed to assess the impacts.

All work is produced to a standard template, allowing the completed Environmental Assessment to read as a single document.

We review all technical work produced to ensure that the mitigation required can be delivered post planning approval. This review process also ensures that the impact assessments accord with an evolving proposal and that the proposal also has incorporated all mitigation measures.

Projects assessed include large scale urban expansions, windfarms and smaller developments in sensitive locations.

  • Fully co-ordinated Environmental Assessment delivered
  • Our process ensures all mitigation measures can be delivered
  • Mitigation measures are the evidence adopted to justify compliance with planning policy
Assessing the landscape and visual impact before and after planting has established
Our EIAs provide a complete assessment package
A number of assessments are prepared for the site
Assessing the site and its context at Halbeath

School Impact Assessment

Geddes has developed a model to assess impacts on primary and secondary schools for proposed residential developments. This modelling approach and its findings have been tested at appeal without challenge from any education authority.

Our model is used to assess the scale of the impact of new pupils on the existing catchment schools. It can be used to develop scenarios to reduce the scale of impact on a school and these measures can become planning obligations.

This approach is also used to clarify and verify a proposal’s education mitigation requirements including accommodation requirements and the cost of any financial contributions is in accord with the test in Circular 3/2012.

Our expertise is also used to challenge whether emerging supplementary guidance proposed education mitigation solutions are compliant with Circular 3/2012.

  • Our approach reduced the cost of the education planning obligation from £3.5M to less than £100,000 and resulted in the Council abandoning its approved supplementary guidance
  • Our impact assessment led to the Council agreeing that a new primary school was not required and an extension to the existing catchment school was adequate mitigation
  • Our modelling confirmed for several sites in West Lothian that there is education capacity to allow development to proceed
Assessing school catchments and roll projections
Assessing catchment areas
Assessing school capacities against allocated housing

The Geddes Way

Since its formation in 2007, the Directors of Geddes Consulting have developed a particular approach to undertaking work for our clients. This has become known as the ‘Geddes Way’ and underpins our service to our clients.

The ‘Geddes Way’ describes an evidence led approach to demonstrating compliance with planning policies. It highlights our wish to explain the significance of the impacts arising to a planning authority and allow evidence to be properly interrogated.

It also describes our systematic and consistent approach to undertaking our commissioned work, ensuring that the full range of issues has been properly and thoroughly dealt with.

It also indicates that through our QA system, the advice provided is from the company and not just an individual in the company.

  • Our up front approach is designed to identify and address project issues
  • Our approach adds value to commissioned work, drawing upon the expertise and experience of all our team
  • Our approach increases the prospects of a site being allocated or securing planning consent