This study has, for the first time, clearly identified the implications for the siting of tall buildings associated with the setting of key heritage assets in the city centre, and has thereby provided a very valuable engagement tool for both developers and development managers.
This study was prepared in the context of ongoing pressure for growth in the City of Southampton. The compact and constrained form of the city, together with ambitious plans for more jobs and homes, has meant increasing pressure to build upwards. This has been compounded by a greater appetite from developers for large buildings in the city centre.
Tall buildings tend to generate strong opinions and it is therefore essential that there is clear policy guidance on this sensitive and emotive issue. On behalf of the City Council and Historic England, and partnered by Forum Heritage Services, we have prepared a detailed study which identifies where in the city centre tall buildings will, or are likely to have, an unacceptable impact on key heritage assets and strategic views.
The guidance ensures that the City Council is equipped with the right tools to consider proposals for tall buildings and ensure the suitability and sustainability of their location, as well as the quality of design and construction.
The study will also form part of the evidence base informing the preparation of Southampton’s new Local Plan, making it key to decisions on planning applications and investment decisions across the city.
The RTPI have recognised the quality of our work by making it a finalist in their national Planning Excellence Awards for 2017.