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How the planning system is used to minimise the impact of construction traffic



Introduction


If not managed properly the traffic generated during the construction phase of a development can have a serious impact on:


· parking availability;

· traffic flow;

· road safety;

· residential amenity;

· pedestrian & cycle safety and convenience; and

· greenhouse gas emissions.


The greatest environmental, safety and congestion impacts are normally experienced in the immediate vicinity of the site. However the impact of large developments, particular those which generate significant numbers of heavy goods vehicle movements during their construction, can extend over a much wider area.


Many planning and highway authorities, particularly those in large urban areas, therefore seek to minimise the construction impacts of a development by requiring developers to submit detailed information relating to the construction phase of development as part of the planning application process. The planning system is then used to secure “plans” to minimise the adverse impacts of the development during the construction phase.


Different local planning and highway authorities use slightly different names for these plans/reports.


The most commonly used terms are:


· Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP)

· Construction Logistics Plan (CLP)

· Construction Management Plan (CMP)

· Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP)


From the transport/highways perspective these reports normally address much the same overarching issues. Different levels of detail are, however, often required depending upon the size and location of the development, and the stage reached in the planning/construction process.


For example, the construction traffic impacts of a small-scale development are often dealt with as a separate section in a Transport Statement or Transport Assessment submitted with the planning application. A larger development, particularly if it is located in a sensitive area, may require the submission of a comprehensive, freestanding report dealing solely with the construction phase in addition to any Transport Statement or Transport Assessment.


If the planning authority grants planning permission then, in most cases, a pre-commencement planning condition will be imposed requiring the submission of more detailed information following the granting of planning permission.


Please be aware that it can take several months for a planning/highway authority to approve a CTMP/CLP/CMP/CEMP once planning permission has been granted.


Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP)


Perhaps the most commonly used term for the document setting out how a developer intends to minimise and mitigate the highway and traffic impacts of construction traffic is a “Construction Traffic Management Plan”.


A CTMP will normally consider the following:


· routing of demolition, excavation and construction vehicles

· routing of delivery vehicles

· site access and parking arrangements (staff and delivery vehicles etc)

· details of any off-site holding area

· details of any necessary temporary parking suspensions (e.g. for the loading/unloading of delivery vehicles in front of the site)

· details of any other Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders needed

· the work programme for each phase of the development including the number and type of vehicles likely to be generated during each phase of the demolition/construction programme

· details of any changes needed to pedestrian and cycle routes


A Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP) will often be used by the principal contractor when preparing a Construction Logistics Plan (CLP), a Construction Management Plan (CMP) or a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) - see below.


Construction Logistics Plan (CLP)


In order to minimise the impact of freight movements on the transport network in London, Transport for London (TfL) requires the submission of a CLP with all referable planning applications i.e. with all planning applications where TfL is a consultee. This means that any planning application on, or close to, a red route must include a CLP together with a Transport Statement or Transport Assessment.


TfL has produced detailed guidance on the preparation of CLPs. This guidance explains that:


“A CLP is an important management tool for planners, developers and construction contractors and focuses on construction supply chains and how their impact on the road network can be reduced. It also provides the consistent framework for understanding and managing construction vehicle activity into and out of a development site.”


The guidance produced by TfL has been adapted by CLOCS for UK wide implementation. In our experience, the use of CLPs outside Greater London is currently limited.


A CLP should include:


· A full assessment of the construction phase

· Details of the levels of construction traffic generated

· Routes the traffic will use

· Significant traffic management for the construction phase


Strategies to reduce construction site impact should be noted and include:


· Planned measures, with the specific techniques agreed through the planning process

· Identified sensitive routes so construction vehicles can avoid them


From the outset, a CLP should scope the use of more sustainable modes for transporting construction materials (e.g. by rail or water) and be incorporated where feasible.


An Outline CLP is submitted with the planning application and provides an overview of the expected logistics activity during the construction programme of the development. The submission of a Detailed CLP would then be a pre-commencement condition on any subsequent planning permission for medium and high impact developments.


The Detailed CLP would then be submitted following the grant of planning permission and before construction begins in order to discharge the pre-commencement condition.


For lower impact developments the outline CLP can normally be included within the Transport Assessment. Medium and high impact developments would normally require a separate outline CLP.


Construction Management Plan (CMP)


Construction Management Plans explain how the adverse impacts associated with a development (taking into account any cumulative impacts arising from other nearby construction sites) will be managed and mitigated.


The scope of a CMP extends beyond consideration of the traffic/highway impacts to encompass matters such as:


· detailed site management

· community consultation, liaison and communications

· implementation protocols including monitoring and corrective action

· detailed site operations including all the matters summarised above in connection with a CTMP

· noise and vibration

· dust

· air-quality

· mud

· pest control

· lighting

· waste management

· environmental monitoring & control


A CTMP will often have been prepared earlier in the planning process and will then be incorporated into the CMP by the main contractor.


Construction Environmental Management Plans (CEMP)


A CEMP explains how a construction project will avoid, minimise and mitigate impacts on the environment and surrounding area.


The traffic and highway impacts associated with the construction phase of a development can be incorporated into a CEMP in much the same way as they would be incorporated into an Environmental Statement.


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