Council planning bosses will get an update on designs aimed at finally making the streets around Bridgewater Place safe from deadly high speed winds.
A meeting of the City Plans Panel, which will be held next week, will get a pre-application presentation featuring a number ideas drawn up by experts.
They include a series of wind “baffles”, or barriers, vertical screens, and a large glass canopy covering half of the building’s forecourt. The gusts of wind around the 30 storey plus building are believed to have contributed to the death of a pedestrian in 2011 and have wreaked havoc with other city centre workers.
A report to the panel says: “The current problems which are experienced in relation to high winds around the Water Lane, Victoria Road junction adjacent to Bridgewater Place began to be reported soon after the building was completed in 2007.”
The report added: “The wind problems have mostly resulted in complaints from pedestrians being blown around but may have also potentially contributed to a lorry being blown over in March 2011 causing the death of a pedestrians and serious injury of another.”
Council officers have been working with developers and the owners to look at how to mitigate the winds, thought to be aggravated by the towering building’s design. Highways work has already been carried out and a warning system put in place to alert drivers when wind speeds reach more than 35mph.
Now officers want to add four wind baffles across Water Lane, three 18m high vertical screens on the north west corner of the building and a glass canopy covering half the forecourt’s depth and the length of the northern elevation to Water Lane.