Agenda and minutes

Environment and Regeneration Committee (Open)
Wednesday 12 September 2018 4.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Strabane Council Offices. View directions

Items
No. Item

ER186/18

Notice and Summons of Meeting

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration read the Notice and Summons for the Meeting.

ER187/18

Apologies

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration completed the roll call and recorded apologies for Aldermen Bresland and Ramsey.

 

 

ER188/18

Declarations of Members' Interests

Minutes:

Councillor Reilly declared an interest in Items 12, 14 and 25 as a Member of the Walled City Partnership.

 

Councillor Campbell declared an interest in Item 8.

 

Alderman Warke declared an interest in Item 4.

 

Councillor Hastings declared an interest in Item 4 as a member of the Management Committee - Dove House.

 

Councillor Hastings declared an interest in Item 29 as a member of ERNACT.

 

ER189/18

Deputation - To receive representatives from Urban Villages to discuss progress on Meenan Square Shops (presentation attached) pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

The Committee received Mr G Murray, Programme Manager and Mr C

McGurk, Capital Manager The Urban Villages Initiative to the Meeting.  Mr Murray advised Members that unfortunately due to a family bereavement, Ms Farrell was unable to attend the Meeting.  Mr Murray gave a power-point presentation on The Urban Villages Initiative Derry-Londonderry – Bogside, Fountain and Bishop Street as follows:

 

The Urban Villages Initiative has three aims:

 

-      Foster positive community identities

-      Build community capacity

-      Improve the physical environment

 

2017/18 Derry-Londonderry Proposed Capital Projects

 

Abercorn Road                      Meenan Square                     Gaol Tower

Revitalisation Scheme          Redevelopment                     (Fountain Estate)

           

Destined – Foyle Valley        Gasyard Heritage &              The Realm

Railway Museum                  Exhibition Centre

 

New Gate Arts &                   The Cathedral Youth

Culture Centre                       Club (CYC)

 

Capital Project Update

 

Partnership Approach

 

-      A Strategic Approach to Delivery

-      Delivery Partners

-      Partnership Funding Contributions

 

Mr Murray advised Members that it was anticipated that the Abercorn Road Revitalisation Scheme and the Destined Refurbishment Scheme would be completed within the 2019 financial year.  He stated that it was hoped to get acquisition of the Meenan Square site during the current financial year.  In terms of the Gaol Tower and the Realm, feasibility works were required and the schemes would not begin until the 2020/21 financial year.

 

Mr Murray stated that it had been anticipated that the site for the Meenan Square Redevelopment Scheme could be purchased by Apex Housing Association.  However, this had not yet transpired and the Urban Villages Team had been advised by the estate agent that the site was in the process of being sold to a private purchaser. The details of The Urban Villages Initiative’s plans had been forwarded to the purchaser’s Agent in an effort to establish if works on the project could proceed.  He stated that Urban Villages would continue with the business case however it was difficult to determine the situation until the new owners’ intentions had been established.  He continued that the new owners had indicated, through their Agent, that they would be willing to consult with The Urban Villages Initiative to set out their intentions for the site and it was anticipated that following this it would be possible to progress with the project.  Mr Murray informed Members that The Urban Villages Initiative held regular political briefings for elected representatives in Urban Village areas. 

Members from all Parties thanked Mr Murray and Mr McGurk for their presentation and commended them on the excellent work carried out by The Urban Villages Initiative.

 

Alderman Devenney welcomed the presentation and acknowledged the great working being carried out by Urban Village Initiative.  In relation to the Meenan Square redevelopment he queried if the business case would be affected, if, following negotiations, it became apparent that the new owners had different aspirations for the site.

 

Mr Murray pointed out that there was considerable speculation regarding the new owners’ intentions.  He stated that if the new owners were prepared to resell the site the funding could be made available to Apex to purchase the works  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER189/18

ER190/18

Urban Villages - Abercorn Road Revitalisation Regeneration Programme

Minutes:

The Regeneration Manager presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to update Members in relation to Council’s successful funding application to the Urban Villages programme for the delivery of a Revitalisation regeneration on Abercorn Road and to outline proposed next steps and to seek authority to grant Council’s Chief Executive delegated authority in signing off all procurement matters related to the delivery of this programme.

Alderman Hussey endorsed the concept outlined at 4.1 of the report that the grant being offered by TEO was part of this Revitalisation Programme was being funded at a rate of 100%.  He also welcomed the fact and that eligible works to participating property owners would also be at a rate of 100% given previous difficulties experienced by property owners in terms of moving forward with a rate less than 50%.  He anticipated that a similar approach would be adopted in the rural area.

 

Councillor Tierney also welcomed the 100% funding and the fact that this would have no financial implications for Council.

 

In response to a query from Alderman Warke, Mr McGurk confirmed that at present there were no plans to alter the entrance to the scheme at Fountain Estate.  He advised that a Vacancy and Dereliction Properties study of the area was underway when representations and plans would be taken forward on those areas in the Fountain and Bogside which contained derelict and vacant properties which would lend themselves to the project.  He referred to the fact that the bonfire site at the Fountain was derelict and vacant.  He also referred to the possibility of establishing, through Council, which routes and sites were vacant within The Urban Villages area.  It was anticipated that this study could be completed within the coming months and the information collated shared with Council.  He continued that, as yet, there was no budget in place for further projects.  However if the Stormont Executive were to return to power, a bid would be made for further funding.

 

In response to a query from Alderman Warke, Mr McGurk confirmed that there were no plans to include Carlisle Road in the Vacancy and Dereliction Properties Study.  He further advised that as part of the Study comments had been invited however there were no definite plans, as yet, to carry out any re-dereliction works.

 

Councillor Campbell welcomed the report and stated that not only was Abercorn Road a main gateway into The Urban Villages area but was also a main arterial route into the City.

 

The Regeneration Manager advised that Officers were actively working with the Department for Communities who would be carrying out a re-vitalisation programme for Carlisle Road and which was currently part of a scoping exercise and it was anticipated that funding would be received to take this forward during the next financial year.

 

Councillor Hastings referred to the condition of the former Tillie and Henderson’s factory site and enquired if there were  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER190/18

ER191/18

Confirmation of the Open Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on Wednesday 18 July 2018

ER192/18

Confirmation of the Open Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on Wednesday 18 July 2018 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Minutes:

The Open Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on 18 July 2018 (ER157/18-ER173/18) were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

 

 

ER193/18

Audit of Columban Heritage in County Donegal and Derry City and Strabane District Council (Ref ER163/18)

Minutes:

Alderman Hussey referred to comments he had made at the previous Meeting of the Committee regarding the potential of other ecclesiastical links, in particular St Eugene, and enquired if any progress had been made in relation thereto.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration advised that this was currently being pursued through Council’s Business and Culture Directorate and the Heritage Development Officer and a detailed report on how this could be taken forward would be presented to a future Meeting of the Committee

ER194/18

Audit of Columban Heritage in County Donegal and Derry City and Strabane District Council (Ref ER163/18)

Minutes:

Alderman Hussey referred to comments he had made at the previous Meeting

of the Committee regarding the potential of other ecclesiastical links, in

particular St Eugene, and enquired if any progress had been made in relation

thereto.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration advised that this was currently being pursued through Council’s Business and Culture Directorate and the Heritage Development Officer and a detailed report on how this could be taken forward would be presented to a future Meeting of the Committee

ER195/18

Urban Villages - Abercorn Road Revitilisation Regeneration Programme

Minutes:

The Regeneration Manager presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to update Members in relation to Council’s successful funding application to the Urban Villages programme for the delivery of a Revitalisation regeneration on Abercorn Road and to outline proposed next steps and to seek authority to grant Council’s Chief Executive delegated authority in signing off all procurement matters related to the delivery of this programme.

 

Alderman Hussey endorsed the concept outlined at 4.1 of the report that the grant being offered by TEO was part of this Revitalisation Programme was being funded at a rate of 100%.  He also welcomed the fact and that eligible works to participating property owners would also be at a rate of 100% given previous difficulties experienced by property owners in terms of moving forward with a rate less than 50%.  He anticipated that a similar approach would be adopted in the rural area.

 

Councillor Tierney also welcomed the 100% funding and the fact that this would have no financial implications for Council.

 

In response to a query from Alderman Warke, Mr McGurk confirmed that at present there were no plans to alter the entrance to the scheme at Fountain Estate.  He advised that a Vacancy and Dereliction Properties study of the area was underway when representations and plans would be taken forward on those areas in the Fountain and Bogside which contained derelict and vacant properties which would lend themselves to the project.  He referred to the fact that the bonfire site at the Fountain was derelict and vacant.  He also referred to the possibility of establishing, through Council, which routes and sites were vacant within The Urban Villages area.  It was anticipated that this study could be completed within the coming months and the information collated shared with Council.  He continued that, as yet, there was no budget in place for further projects.  However if the Stormont Executive were to return to power, a bid would be made for further funding.

 

In response to a query from Alderman Warke, Mr McGurk confirmed that there were no plans to include Carlisle Road in the Vacancy and Dereliction Properties Study.  He further advised that as part of the Study comments had been invited however there were no definite plans, as yet, to carry out any re-dereliction works.

 

Councillor Campbell welcomed the report and stated that not only was Abercorn Road a main gateway into The Urban Villages area but was also a main arterial route into the City.

 

The Regeneration Manager advised that Officers were actively working with the Department for Communities who would be carrying out a re-vitalisation programme for Carlisle Road and which was currently part of a scoping exercise and it was anticipated that funding would be received to take this forward during the next financial year.

 

Councillor Hastings referred to the condition of the former Tillie and Henderson’s factory site and enquired if there were  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER195/18

ER196/18

Action Renewables Energy Association pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Capital Development and Building Control presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to seek approval to renew Council’s membership of Action Renewables Energy Association (AREA).

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Members agree to renew membership of the Action Renewables Energy Association (AREA) as a Partner Member for an annual fee of £1,000 excluding VAT.

 

ER197/18

European Green Leaf Award pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  She advised that the purpose of the report was to seek Members’ endorsement to make an application for the 2020 European Green Leaf Awards.

 

Alderman Hussey welcomed the Award which he felt was timely.  He advised that the previous weekend he had represented his Party at a Waste Management in Armenia when he was asked to address the issue of waste.  He referred to the fact that this issue stemmed worldwide and was a matter of international concern.  He stated that this Award provided an opportunity to further address the issues around environmental awareness and involvement and provided a wider remit which would ultimately feed into the community planning process.  He queried Council’s eligibility to apply for the Award post Brexit given Council’s experience in relation to the European City of Culture.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration confirmed that Council Officers had contacted the European Green Leaf Secretariat for guidance on Council’s eligibility to apply for the award post Brexit and were advised that the Secretariat had received no direction on the matter and therefore were expecting applications from UK based cities.

                       

Alderman Hussey expressed concern that Council had received similar advice in the past which had proved incorrect. 

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration acknowledged the need to be aware of possible problems in this regard.  She felt however, that it would prove beneficial to Officers, the organisation and local citizens to proceed with the application process which would enable Officers to concentrate on the delivery of the projects in the topic areas and to see how the strands of the various Directorates would interact and ultimately benefit.  This would also provide a valuable learning process and would provide the potential to carry on with some of the initiatives involved.  She suggested that given that there were no financial implications to Council in preparation of the application process and the work was being carried out in-house, Council proceed with its application to the 2020 European Green Leaf Awards.

Councillor Tierney expressed concern that during the European Youth Capital process, Council Officers had continuously sought assurances regarding Council’s eligibility and were given a similar response.  He acknowledged that there were no financial implications to Council but said he would wish to avoid any embarrassment to Council further down the line and whilst accepting that the work would be carried out in-house suggested that there would still be a cost to Council. 

 

Whilst acknowledging the risk involved, the Director of Environment and Regeneration suggested that Council proceed with the application given the benefits to derived from engaging in the process both for Council and its’ citizens and due to the limited resources required.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Members endorse Council’s application to the 2020 European Green Leaf Awards.

 

 

ER198/18

Applications Processed under Building Regulations (NI) pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Capital Development and Building Control presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to advise Members of applications processed under Building Regulations (NI) between 1 June 2018 and 31 July 2018

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

 

ER199/18

Update on the Walled City Conference - Unlocking Prosperity through Heritage led Regeneration 11-12 October 2018 pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Minutes:

The Regeneration Manager presented the above report, a copy of which had

previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to

update Members on progress in relation to the Walled City Conference –

Unlocking Prosperity through Heritage-led Regeneration – which will be

held in the Guildhall on 11-12 October 2018 and provide details on the

programme content, keynote speakers and booking details.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

 

ER200/18

SMARTrenew European Projects pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  She advised that the purpose of the report was to inform Members of the notification by the NPA Secretariat that the SMARTrenew Project has been successful in its application to receive funding under the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme, Priority Axis 3 – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

 

ER201/18

Walled City Townscape Heritage Initiative pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Minutes:

The Regeneration Manager presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to update Members regarding the ongoing progress towards delivery of heritage led capital regeneration projects by Council’s partner organisation the Walled City Partnership Limited (WCP) within a designated area of the Historic City Conservation Area of Derry.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

ER202/18

The Landfill Allowance Scheme (NI) Regulations 2004 (as amended) 13th Scheme 2017/18 (Draft Reconciliation) pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report, a copy of which had

previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to

update Members on the status of landfill allowance for Derry City and

Strabane District Council in consideration of the Northern Ireland Landfill

Allowance Scheme for 2017/18.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

 

The Meeting then went into Confidential Business.