Agenda and minutes

Environment and Regeneration Committee (Open)
Wednesday 14 November 2018 4.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Strabane Council Offices. View directions

Items
No. Item

ER248/18

Notice and Summons of Meeting

Minutes:

The Head of Environment read the Notice and Summons for the Meeting.

 

 

ER249/18

Member Attendance and Apologies

Minutes:

The Head of Environment completed the roll call.  There were no apologies.

 

ER250/18

Declarations of Members' Interests

Minutes:

Councillor Hastings declared an interest in agenda item 26 – Servicing, Maintenance and Erecting Dog Fouling Bins – TENV18-091.

 

ER251/18

Deputation- To Receive Mr Arbuckle, Bryson Energy to give an Update on Bryson Energy's Activities pdf icon PDF 5 MB

Minutes:

The Chair invited Mr Arbuckle, Senior Manager, Bryson Energy to provide an update to Members on Bryson Energy’s activities.

 

Mr Arbuckle distributed information leaflets to Members then proceeded with the presentation highlighting the following:

 

·         Bryson Energy were part of the Bryson Charitable Group

·         One of a network of 80 energy agencies across Europe

·         Vision of Bryson Energy was to motivate and support householders to reduce their energy use, costs and carbon emissions

·         Their mission is to energy proof homes throughout the City and District

·         Bryson Energy was formed after the merger of three local energy agencies

·         Bryson Energy was a one stop shop and a trusted central point of contact which addressed all elements of the fuel poverty triangle

·         Energy efficiency, the level of household income, and the cost of fuel where the main elements in the fuel poverty triangle

·         They also provide community oil clubs to help reduce costs to householders by making bulk oil orders.

·         Bryson Energy also provide advice on electricity tariffs and switching providers

·         Oil prices throughout Northern Ireland were unregulated with no transparency on pricing

·         More flexible payment must be developed to address the high price and fluctuations

·         500 litres of heating oil in Derry costs 60p per litre compared to 56p cheaper when buying 900 litres in bulk

·         Some suppliers charging 76p per litre for small deliveries such as 150 litres

·         People using plastic containers are charged 66p per litre  - even more expensive and a dangerous means of budgeting, yet supplier has no delivery costs

·         Disparity in oil prices between the North-West and Belfast – householder in the North-West pays on average 5p per litre more or £25 per load and for smaller loads 11p per litre

·         69 percent of urban areas experiencing fuel poverty with 89 percent in rural areas

·         Bryson Energy have a Service Level Agreement with Derry City and Strabane District Council to assist Council in its energy projects and raise public awareness on renewable energy

 

Mr Arbuckle then distributed information leaflets to Members and invited questions and comments from the Committee.

 

The Committee thanked Mr Arbuckle for the useful and informative presentation and commented on the following:

 

·         The alarming disparity with oil prices in the North West compared to Belfast which a contributing factor to fuel poverty throughout the City and District

·         Referred to oil prices not being regulated and asked what Council could do in terms of lobbying oil companies to challenge the price difference

·         Concerned at that the price of fuel had increased at the time of year when those suffering from fuel poverty needed it the most

·         Referred to the affordable warmth scheme and noted that people who had availed of the scheme were still experiencing fuel poverty

·         Stated that most people were could not afford to buy the higher volumes of oil and suggested that a higher number of people used plastic containers to fill oil tanks on a weekly basis as opposed to purchasing in bulk

·         Referred to oil clubs and stated that not  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER251/18

ER252/18

Chairperson's Business

Minutes:

ER252/18      Nappuchino Event

 

The Chair informed Members aware of a forthcoming conference on Tuesday 20 November in the Foyle Arena from 9.30am -12.30pm entitled Nappuchino.  He stated that the event would encourage parents or carers to move away from plastic nappies to more environmentally sustainable ones and he encouraged Members to attend.

 

ER253/18      Royal Mail Postbox on Chapel Road

 

The Chair referred to a matter that had been raised at a previous meeting regarding the removal of the Edwardian Royal Mail post box on Chapel Road.  He enquired if officers could contact Royal Mail to establish when the post box will be re installed at Chapel Road and also request clarification on the number of that particular type of post box still in use throughout Council area.  He added that the information would be of interest to those keen to see that particular type of heritage retained.

 

ER254/18      Proposed Recycling Facility at Newbuildings

 

Alderman Devenney thanked the Chair for permitting him to bring up a matter under Chairperson’s Business.  He stated that he had raised the issue at a previous Environment and Regeneration Committee meeting regarding a suitable space for a recycling facility at Newbuildings.  He stated that a space had been identified but unfortunately it did not progress.  He suggested that a scoping exercise be carried out at the previous Council owned waste facility in the area.  He added that a recycling centre at this location would encourage people to recycle not just at Newbuildings but the surrounding areas and would also help prevent illegal dumping.

 

In response, the Head of Environment stated that a report would be brought to a future Environment and Regeneration Committee meeting for Members’ consideration.

 

ER255/18      Burnt Out and Abandoned Vehicles

 

Councillor Campbell raised expressed concern regarding the procedure for the removal of burnt out and abandoned vehicles throughout the City.  He stated that the matter had been raised at a previous meeting, however since then there have been more burnt out vehicles at Galliagh, the Bogside and Creggan Estate.  He stated that the contracted removal service had guaranteed removal of such vehicles within a 24 hour period. however this has not happened.  He further stated that some vehicles had been lying for 3 days or more which raised health and safety issues particularly for children living in the area.   He referred to an abandoned car at Creggan Estate with broken windows and had been informed that an abandonment notice was required before removal could take place.  He advised that the vehicle had been left at the side of the street for seven days as per the notice then a further 3 days which resulted in a total of 10 days before it was removed.  He asked if the previous procedures for the removal of such vehicles could be re-instated as it proved to be a more efficient service.

 

Councillor Tierney stated that it was his understanding that the delay for the removal of vehicles was due to problems with the  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER252/18

ER253/18

Confirmation of the Open Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on Wednesday 10 October 2018 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Minutes:

The Open Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on 10 October 2018 (ER217/18-ER236/18) were confirmed and signed by the Chair.

 

 

 

ER254/18

Matters Arising

Minutes:

ER259/18      Deputation – To receive Mr Scott and Ms Gallagher, Woodland Trust to discuss the Faughan Valley Project (ER220/18)

 

Alderman Husssey referred to the recent visit by the Princess Royal to County Londonderry for the launch of a project at Brackfield Wood were 40,000 native trees had been planted in memory of soldiers who fell at the Great War.   He stated that it was appropriate that congratulations be recorded from the Committee and at Council to everyone involved in the cross-community project.

 

ER260/18      Health and Safety Works to the War Memorial (ER235/18)

 

Alderman Hussey referred to the above item and expressed gratitude to Council staff on the marvellous work carried out at the Diamond War Memorials and at other Council related war memorials throughout the District.

 

 

ER255/18

Response on Dfi Consultation on A2 Buncrana Road Improvement Scheme- EIA Scoping Report pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the   above report, details of which had been previously circulated to Members.  The purpose of the report was to advise Members of a consultation received by Council on 7 September 2018 on the above matter.

 

Councillors Duffy welcomed the report and stated that comments from Sinn Fein on the report would be forwarded to the Head of Environment.

 

Councillor Tierney stated that he was aware of concerns raised by residents particularly at Messines Park and Farren Park.  He added that it was important that Council consider these concerns and stated that he was unsure if the proposed scheme would remedy the congestion problem at that area.  He stated that although an improvement scheme was needed, he did not feel that this particular scheme met the needs of people throughout the City and District and also residents from the area.  He stated that all comments on the report by the SDLP would be forwarded to the Head of Environment.

 

In response to a query from Councillor Hastings, the Chair advised that the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) had illustrations on display and asked that Officers re-circulate these to Members.

 

The Committee         

                         

Recommended            That (i) comments to be submitted on behalf

                                         of the Council and (ii) illustrations/plans be

                                         re-circulated to Members

                       

 

ER256/18

Council Support for the Eco- Schools Programme in Northern Ireland 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report, details of which had

been previously circulated to Members.  The purpose of the report was to

seek Members approval with regard to a request for an uplift in the

annual support from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful with regard to the

Eco-Schools Programme for the 2019/2020 period.

 

Councillor Dobbins welcomed the report and stated that she was content to propose the recommendation contained within.  She congratulated Hollybush Primary School on their recent success at winning the prestigious Ashden Award for sustainable energy.  She stated that children were more aware of environmental issues and were teaching others on how to become more environment friendly.

 

Councillor Duddy also welcomed the report and seconded the proposal contained within.  She stated that everyone was aware of the benefits of Eco Schools and the work undertaken by them to educate children on the importance of becoming environmentally friendly.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Members approve the request for an increase in funding from £1,500.00 to £1,650.00 for the Eco Schools Programme

 

 

ER257/18

Draft Protocol on Combating Fly Tipping pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report, details of which had

been previously circulated to Members.  The purpose of the report was to

seek Members comments with regard to a draft protocol on fly-tipping

issued by the Government Waste Working Group (GWWG).

 

Councillor Tierney referred to previous comments raised by Alderman Ramsey regarding Council taking the initiative and clearing the area as it was a recurring problem with no-one taking responsibility.  He referred to a lane in the William Street area of the City which Council had cleared on several occasions and expressed incredulity that household rubbish was being dumped in the middle of the city centre.  He stated that Council needed to examine how this issue could be remedied in the long term as a short term ‘sticking plaster’ remedy was not the way forward.  He stated that in relation to the mews lane at William Street, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) had a duty to act on the matter.  He referred to the provision of mobile CCTV in the Rosemount area and enquired if this could be used to address the issue of fly-tipping at William Street and other areas throughout the City.  He proposed that a report be brought to a future Committee meeting to outline how many lanes were being used for fly-tipping throughout the City and District and any Officer recommendations on how to resolve this matter.  He also suggested that officers conduct a cost analysis and liaise with NIEA on the matter.  He then proposed that a focus group be set up to tackle these issues.

 

The Head of Environment stated that in relation to CCTV, that discussions had taken place in relation to how CCTV could be used to identify those who were depositing waste illegally throughout the City.  He explained that in a recent case prosecuted by Lisburn and Castlereagh Borough Council, a fly-tipper challenged the case on the grounds that they had been filmed without the consent.  However, the matter was decided in favour of the plaintiff on the basis that the area under CCTV surveillance had been well sign-posted.  The person was subsequently fined.  He stated that subject to Members’ consideration, that overt CCTV provision be installed at William Street as it was an ongoing issue at that particular area.  He stated that signs would state that CCTV was being used for the prevention of crime and if anyone was identified depositing rubbish illegally CCTV footage could be used as evidence.

 

Councillor Tierney Proposed, Seconded by Councillor Hastings that CCTV be installed as soon as possible at the lane mews in William Street.

 

Councillor R McHugh sought clarification on why CCTV surveillance had to be overt.  He stated that fly-tipping was also a major issue in the rural areas particularly at the border with Donegal.  He stated that covert surveillance had been discussed by the former Legacy Strabane District Council as overt surveillance would not be as successful in rural areas.   He stated that there had been no  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER257/18

ER258/18

Memorandum of understanding - Winter Gritting pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report, details of which          

had been previously circulated to Members.  The purpose of the report

was to seek Members approval with regard to the continuation of the            

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Transport NI and Council

with regard to the clearing and gritting of designated footpaths and

walkways during periods of adverse winter weather.

 

Councillor Campbell welcomed the report and endorsed the recommendation.  He stated that it made common sense to continue with a further three year agreement with DfI.  He noted that Council’s Resilience Plan was up to date and that it had played a key role within the community particularly in adverse weather conditions.

 

Councillor Dobbins also endorsed the recommendations.  She referred to the grit boxes that had been removed from various areas throughout the City earlier in the year and noted that some had still not been returned.  She asked that the matter be looked into particularly with the onset of winter.

 

In response, the Head of Environment stated that Transport NI were responsible for the maintenance of grit boxes throughout the City and District.  He stated that they would be contacted to ensure that any grit boxes that had been removed would be returned to the appropriate area.

 

Alderman Hussey referred to the the areas under consideration for gritting at Castlederg.  He expressed concern with the priority 1 walkway and commuter routes at Castlederg town centre as Main Street at the Diamond and William Street had not been included.  He state that the local post office, fast food restaurant and busy supermarket were located at William Street and that consideration must be given to frequently used areas within towns and villages.

 

In response, the Head of Environment stated that this would be taken into consideration as the document was subject to review.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Council continue with the MoU with Transport NI with regard to the clearing of city and town centre footways and pedestrian areas during periods of adverse or prolonged winter weather.

 

 

ER259/18

Update Report- New City Side Cemetery pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report, details of which had

been previously circulated to Members.  The purpose of the report was to

update Members on progress with regard to identifying lands suitable

for development as a municipal cemetery on the City side of Derry and to

seek approval to engage Land and Property Services (LPS) should it be

concluded following site investigations that the lands on offer are suitable

for this purpose.

                       

Councillor Campbell welcomed the report and stated that the impending capacity at the City Centre needed to be addressed as it was his understanding that it would reach full capacity within 12 years.  He referred to plans for a crematorium to be located in the City and District and asked for an update.

 

Alderman Ramsey also enquired about the crematorium and remarked that more land would also need to be acquired for this project.

 

Councillor Tierney stated that he had similar concerns regarding the crematorium and stated that although people may choose to be cremated their remains were also buried and this could mean having to acquire even more land.  He referred to the land at Killea for the new cemetery and asked how many plots would be available.  He expressed concern regarding the road network and the public transport connections to and from Killea.  He remarked that while working as a taxi driver some years ago, a fare to Killea from the City was approximately £6 or £7 and suggested it was likely to have increased since then.  He added that the City was expanding but not in that direction and stated that he would like more detailed information on the matter.

 

Alderman Devenney stated that it would be prudent to consider plans for a crematorium and enquired as to how much land would be required.

 

Councillor Hastings also expressed concern regarding the location of the new cemetery due to the lack of transport available to the area.  He stated that the people of Derry and Strabane visited relatives and friends interred on a regular basis however, not everyone could afford to travel to Killea.  He stated that transport costs would also increase the cost of funerals.

 

In response the Head of Environment stated that the crematorium was a joint project with three other councils with a business case being currently prepared.  He hoped to have a report with all the proposals on the crematorium to Members by January for Members’ consideration whether to proceed with a full business case for the development of the facility. 

 

In terms of the City Cemetery, he stated that rather than 12 years, it was somewhere between 5 and 7 years for new burials, therefore it was imperative that Council acted as soon as possible.  He stated that the City Cemetery will operate for some considerable time beyond that due to the re-opening of existing plots.  He further stated that this was the second occasion that Council had conducted an exercise to identify lands for a civic  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER259/18

ER260/18

Boom Hall Lands- Community Engagement Proposals pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Minutes:

The Regeneration Manager presented the above report, details of which had

been previously circulated to Members. The purpose of the report was to

update Members in relation to proposals for Officers to undertake a

programme of community engagement in relation to ongoing initiatives at

Boom Hall to consider the creation of the establishment of a

consultative forum and formally appoint a senior Council Officer to be

represented on the Foyle River Garden Trust’s     Project Board. 

                       

Alderman Warke left the meeting at this point.

 

Councillor Dobbins stated that presentation delivered by Foyle River Gardens Trust at a previous Committee meeting had been ambitious and costly, however it was achievable.   She welcomed stated that the Director for Environment and Regeneration was on board with the project and also welcomed the one day consultation for early next year.  She added that positive feedback had been received on a citywide level. 

 

Councillor Duffy welcomed the report and stated that it was a very exciting time for the area at Boom Hall and the entire area.  She referred to the presentation by Foyle River Gardens which had sparked the imagination of the public in terms of future aspirations for the area. She stated that the initial steps were being taken to ensure that the regeneration plans were carried out which would benefit everyone throughout the City and District and beyond.  She referred to the community engagement process on the matter and stated that it was important that the views of the community were acknowledged.  She referred to the funding required for the project and stated that it was important for Council to be fully involved and also encouraged the participation of senior council officers.

 

Councillor Hastings enquired how the plans for Boom Hall would link in with the Greenway from Muff, Co Donegal to the City as the greenway plans had progressed much further than the plans for Boom Hall. 

 

The Head of Capital Development and Building Control outlined that an existing greenway link from Muff ran from the entrance to the Foyle Hospice at Culmore Road through Bay Road Park and subsequently to the City centre as part of the route.  He stated that this particular section of greenway was put into that area some years ago and would be the tie-in point with Boom Hall estate and subsequently along the walkway at the quay to the city centre. 

Alderman Hussey enquired if there was any further information on the independent group who expressed an interest in the project.  He referred to the one day consultation session and asked if this would take place on-site.  He then enquired if there was any proposed link-in to the Maritime Museum as 2019 would commemorate the 70th anniversary for the beginning of the Second World War.  He remarked that Boom Hall had been utilised by the Women’s Royal Naval Service and the WREN’s trained at Boom Hall during this time.

 

In response, the Regeneration Manager explained that a collection of representatives such as the Ulster Architectural  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER260/18

ER261/18

Street Naming & Property Numbering- Development of 2 New Dwellings and 9 Apartments at Fahan Street, Derry- Request for Development Name pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Capital Development and Building Control presented the            

above report, details of which had been previously circulated to Members. 

The purpose of the report was to gain Members consent to name a

development of two new dwellings and nine apartments at Fahan Street,

Derry.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Members approve the name Fahan Court for this proposed new housing development

 

ER262/18

Street Naming & Property Numbering- Development of 91 New Dwellings at Lands opposite Lettershendoney Avenue, Eglinton, Derry- Request for Development Name pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Capital Development and Building Control presented the            

above report, details of which had been previously circulated to Members. 

The purpose of the report was to gain Members consent to name a new

development of ninety-one new dwellings at a site opposite

Lettershandoney Avenue, Eglinton, Derry. 

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Members approve the name Gortnessy Meadows for this proposed new housing development.

ER263/18

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The above report was presented for information to advise Members of          

applications processed under Building Regulations (NI) between 1     

September and 30 September 2018.

                       

The Committee

 

Recommended that Members note the content of the report.

 

 

ER264/18

2018 Environmental Awards pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Minutes:

The above report was presented for information to update Members on         the

success achieved by Council in a number of Environmental awards     over

recent months.

 

Councillor Dobbins as a point of interest stated that the City and District had been successful in gaining a number of awards such as Ulster in Bloom and these achievements should be acknowledged.  She stated that the team under the management of Mr McCartney had enhanced the entire City and District.

 

Councillor Jackson concurred with the sentiments expressed by Councillor Dobbins and wished to pass on congratulations and also best wishes for upcoming awards.  He stated that despite the awards that have been won there were major challenges within the City and District in terms of indiscrimate dumping of waste.

 

Alderman Hussey fully endorsed the remarks made by the previous speakers and highlighted that Derry City and Strabane District Council had achieved a gold award in Britain in Bloom and had been extremely close in winning the category for Britain in Bloom Award.  He stated that this was a tremendous accolade for the team and the local communities who were involved.  He stated that it was important however to focus beyond the City to the towns and villages throughout the district.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended that Members note the content of the report.

 

 

 

ER265/18

Historic Environment Division Heritage Asset Audit- Strabane Area pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The above report was presented for information to inform Members of the

content of the Heritage Asset Audit for the Strabane area which was

commissioned by the Department for Communities – Historic

Environment Division (HED) and the Heritage Lottery Fund and the plans to

hold a public event in Strabane to share the findings of the audit.

 

The Regeneration Manager invited the Heritage Development Officer to provide Members with information on the Strabane Heritage Asset Audit.

 

The Heritage Development Officer stated that the heritage audit was an extremely worthwhile piece of research which offered an opportunity to raise awareness of the rich diversity of heritage that could be found throughout the City and District.  She advised Members that there were plans to hold a public event in Strabane to share the findings of the audit in early 2019 and encouraged Members to attend.

 

Councillor D Kelly referred to the audit and expressed his disappointment at the commentary provided throughout the body of the report particularly the criticism which he described as explicit in regard to Council’s seeming negligence around heritage which he described as unacceptable.  He stated that Council was not the author of the report and suggested that officers engage with the author in terms of having the audit edited to a more acceptable standard.  He described the language as ‘clumsy’ and was unsure if criticism of Council was therefore intended as it had also commended Council on the work carried out in enabling and making heritage available across the Council area.   He expressed concern as there was so much going on throughout the Council area in terms of heritage that had not been incorporated into the report such as heritage week, and the Johnny Crampsie and Flan O’Brien festivals.  He also noted that no reference had been made regarding the appointment of a Heritage Development Officer.  He said that nothing had been mentioned in the audit regarding the huge cultural shift within heritage particularly in accessing heritage services through digitalisation with so much online material to be sourced.  He added that people no longer needed to engage with the traditional gatekeepers of heritage as they could go directly online to carry out research.  He stated that no reference had been given to the Ulster American Folk Park which was in the process of being designated a national immigration and migration studies centre for Ireland and enquired why Members had received a recommendation to develop that type of facility in Strabane.  He the referred to the study on thatched housing which was listed within the audit as a priority.  He stated that he could not see the value in replicating something that was contained within the Ulster American Folk Park and that there were other aspects of heritage more pressing than a priority case study on thatching.  He felt that in his opinion, the report contained elements which absolved the faults of the Department who had held responsibility for heritage in previous years.  He stated that Council had a  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER265/18

ER266/18

Proposed Disabled Parking Bays pdf icon PDF 24 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The above report was presented for information to advise Members of          

correspondence received in October 2018 from Transport NI, Network         

Development Section, regarding proposed disabled persons’ parking            

bays at various locations throughout the District.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Members note the content of the report.

 

 

The meeting went into Confidential Business.