_GREEN TRAVEL PLANS – JUST MORE GREEN TAPE?
Recently, we have seen a number of planning permits for higher density residential development include a condition requiring the endorsement of a Green Travel Plan. A ‘Green Travel Plan’ is a document that outlines a range of strategies and targets that are aimed at reducing the number of single-occupancy car trips and promoting the use of more sustainable methods of transport including public transport and walking / cycling.
Green Travel Plans typically summarise the public transport options and walking / cycling paths in the vicinity of the site and discuss how public transport timetables will be displayed in the lobby and maps will be provided to residents in their ‘welcome information packs’. Based on the content of these plans we question whether they actually provide any real benefit as they don’t seem to include any information that you could not obtain using a bit of common sense and a quick Google search. It’s not just a matter of more ‘green tape’ but also increased cost. For example, in a recent case an applicant was required to appoint a specialist traffic consultant to prepare an expert report in accordance with a Green Travel Plan condition.
The planning process already takes a significant period of time and these useless requirements only add to th e frustration of developers and delay progress.