The Marine Employment Quarter (MEQ) forms part of the regeneration of the former Vosper Thornycroft ship-building site, which has been approved for a renewable technology hub of over 11,500sqm set to create up to 250 new jobs. It is a key part of the wider Centenary Quay site, which is a mixed-use development comprising residential, hotel, retail and leisure use.
Working alongside Quayside Architects, the aim of our involvement was to produce reports which outlined the merits of the scheme from a highways perspective. The site makes the most of the waterside location with turbine blades delivered to and from the site by boat, creating a research, design and development hub for renewable energy.
Paul Basham Associates were approached in 2016 for our services, which for this scheme involved the provision of an Addendum Transport Statement to give an update on the previously approved (but lapsed) highway implications for an industrial building and ancillary office space with a GFA of c. 3,000sqm.
We continued to work on the project through the development stage and provided further reports to submit as part of the addendum and then a revised application which comprised the whole site, with a total GFA of 11,600sqm. The crux of our reports was to ensure that there would not be adverse impact from wind turbine parts on the local road network if transportation were to occur via road. It was also important to ensure that sufficient car parking was provided, however that overprovision was not made (the size of the buildings would have required a far greater number of car parking spaces than the proposed staff numbers if Southampton’s parking standards were used).
Our relationship with Southampton County Council highway officers was key to the success of the highway elements of this project. We worked very closely with both highway officers that were involved throughout the scheme to ensure that the very specific nature of this facility were given due consideration.
The latest application was approved in January 2018. The site could see 250 new jobs created and will be a hub for the research and testing of wind turbines; a great legacy for this former shipyard.