To consider the report of the Director of City Development on the results of the post-installation wind monitoring exercise at Bridgewater Place; and which seeks agreement to the recommendation that the high winds protocol can be stopped, following receipt of peer reviewed independent expert advice. The report also provides an update on the agreement reached with the owners of Bridgewater Place to seek planning permission and implement the additional structures to ameliorate the wind conditions at the hot spot sites on privately owned land to the south of Bridgewater Place.
Further to Minute No. 131, 10th February 2016, the Director of City Development submitted a report providing an update on the wind amelioration scheme undertaken subsequent to the consideration of the matter by the Board in 2016 and which sought a decision by the Board on the recommendation that the high winds protocol be lifted, following receipt of peer reviewed independent expert advice. The report also provided an update on the agreement reached in relation to the further works required to ameliorate the wind hot spots in the private land to the south of Bridgewater Place.
As part of the introduction to the submitted report, the Board’s attention was drawn to the expert analysis on the wind conditions following the establishment of the wind mitigation measures. It was noted that the analysis had been carried out on behalf of the Building Owners and had been peer reviewed and validated by an independent wind analyst expert retained to act on behalf of the Council.
On the basis of the expert advice which had been received, the submitted report recommended that the high wind protocol was no longer necessary. However, notwithstanding this recommendation, the Board noted that precautionary safeguarding measures, as detailed in the report, were recommended to be retained, together with further recommendations, again as detailed in the report, regarding the residual hotspot areas.
A Member raised concern regarding the reliance upon expert advice in respect of the recommendation to stop the high wind protocol and suggested that the matter be deferred until the further testing had been carried out on the hot spot area at Back Row. In response, it was highlighted that the Coroner had recommended in 2013 that a road closure protocol be established under specified conditions, until a mitigation scheme had been established and which had been shown to be effective. It was noted that such recommendations had been followed and it was highlighted that the expert advice, which had been peer reviewed and validated, had confirmed that the high wind protocol was no longer needed, with it being acknowledged that although residual hot spots did exist, they did not impact upon the road closure protocol. As such, in determining this matter, the Board was asked to consider the expert advice as detailed within the submitted report, and should they not be minded to agree to the lifting of the protocol, what additional evidence would they require before doing so.
Responding to Members’ comments, the Board received further detail on the 3 hot spots which remained, and the actions being taken in these areas.
Also in response to a Member’s enquiry, it was confirmed to the Board that on the basis of the peer reviewed expert advice received, there were no longer any safety failure points to the north of the building which failed the Lawson Safety Criteria, which according to the experts was the only measure available to the development industry to assess wind conditions, and on that basis the experts had advised that the ... view the full minutes text for item 96