RTPI London Event Review: Nine Elms Construction Logistics

On the 21st June, a delegation of 30 planners visited Nine Elms to explore the work that is ongoing around managing construction logistics in the Opportunity Area. Commencing with a talk at Battersea Power Station’s The View, the event explored the strategies that have been implemented and some of the opportunities and challenges of multiple sites and projects coming forward together. Andrew Dorrian, reviewed the scale of the challenge and some of the issues being grappled with in the area. This includes congestion, managing hotspots and improving conditions for pedestrians and vulnerable road users. Andrew further introduced some of the planned measures which have been implemented including a CLP coordination function, road safety schemes, signage and booking systems. Help is available from TfL in the shape of the revised Construction Logistics Guidance and a free training course. For more information please email freight@tfl,gov.uk.

Nick Rabin (Infrastructure Project Director at Battersea), introduced the enormous Battersea project and the strategy for managing multiple contractors across the scheme, maintaining their access as well as catering for new residents moving in as the project develops. It was clear that the strategy has been based on ongoing collaboration with stakeholders including the council surrounding developers and TfL. Their current focus is on commencing muck away by barge after finding innovative solutions to get this muck to the river, working closely with contractors and hauliers to instil best practice around road safety and efficiencies and constant reviews of performance. Good communication on planned works that could be noisy occurs in order to make sure residents and surrounding projects are aware which helps reduce complaints.

Sam Emmett (Project Manager, Wandsworth Council), focused in on the utilities strategy and close working between development partners and utility providers to deliver the utilities the area needs as governed by the utilities strategy. Significant achievements include the utilities corridor which will run through Nine Elms Park, relieving pressure on Nine Elms Lane and sharing utilities trenches. Delivering the construction coordination strategy and utilities plans has been made possible through the establishment of a Developer Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which provides funding for these tasks.

Focused on collaboration, the tour visited Riverlight where Nick Trollope (Operations Director, St James) gave his experience of resident views of living in the middle of a construction site. Nick noted that for St James one of the biggest challenges post build is the management of .com deliveries. The scheme  is reacting by building a larger post room to handle deliveries.

Finishing on a new section of the Thames Path the tour concluded by looking at the construction of the US Embassy and Covent garden Market. The traffic was horrendous largely as a result of the road closures for the Queen’s speech so it was perfect to demonstrate some of the problems we are battling with.

Thank you to Battersea Power Station for hosting us and to our speakers. All slides are available online.

Andrew Dorrian (RTPI London immediate past chair and Principal Planner at TfL)

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