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TDA revisions to boost urban renaissance

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Letters

I was delighted to read Brian Waters' article on 'Concentrating on development' (AJ 29.3.01) but sad to see that the name of one of the authors of the TDA (Transport Development Areas) Report had been misspelt (it is Gal, not Gall).

However, I hope Waters will be pleased to hear that, following a series of seminars around the UK late last year, the consultancy team (Kathy Gal from gal. com, Peter Hine and Andrew Marsay from Symonds Group, and Jeremy Edge from Weatherall Green & Smith) has been working on a guide to good practice. This is planned for publication in May this year on the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors website (www. rics. org. uk) with a printed version to be made available at a Waterfront Conferences TDA Event being held on 5 June 2001. The amplified Guide to Good Practice for TDAs is scheduled for publication in autumn 2001, and will include details of 12 TDA case studies, on which work is about to commence.

The revised PPG13 Transport (published 27.3.01 by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions) now advises in relation to 'key sites' that 'the concept of TDAs (as set out in the report on TDAs by RICs, July 2000) may provide a mechanism to help integrate development and transport objectives in highly accessible locations, for instance by bringing all parties together around a shared vision'.

TDAs were originally described as 'well designed, higher density, mixed-use areas situated around good public transport access points in urban areas'. The research has shown that TDAs can also be successful in circumstances where a particular land use, such as housing or offices, predominates. The concept is also applicable across a wide range of settlement types, from major transport interchange points in London to market towns and key rural service centres.

In planning terms, both the policy tools and much of the practice and procedures necessary to deliver TDA-style development, and deal with the detailed issues, already exist.

What is required is sharper focus, more consistent policy application and greater co-ordination at the implementation level. Local authorities are seen to have a key land use/transport planning enabling role and can help to ensure that other complementary measures are incorporated into the TDA equation.

With the new policy reference incorporated in revised PPG13 and publication of the RICS guidance, further, more consistent progress in the application of the TDA Approach within urban areas in support of the urban renaissance may be anticipated.

Kathy Gal, gal. com, Transport Development Areas Consultancy Team

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