Venue: Guildhall, Derry. View directions
Notice and Summons of Meeting
The Director of Environment and Regeneration read the Notice and Summons for the Meeting.
Member Attendance and Apologies
The Director of Environment and Regeneration completed the Member Attendance register and apologies were recorded from Councillors Campbell and Dobbins.
Declarations of Members' Interests
There were no Declarations of Members’ Interests.
The Chairperson referred to the fact that this was the last meeting of the Committee prior to the forthcoming Local Government Elections and thanked both Officers and Members for their support and hard work during the last 12 months.
Members from all parties commended Councillor Reilly on his excellent stewardship of the Committee over the last 12 months with comments highlighting his diligence and the effectiveness with which he had undertaken his role as Chairperson.
The Chairperson welcomed the representatives from DfI Roads Western
Division to the Meeting to make presentations on the Department’s Street Lighting Policy and their Winter Service.
Street Lighting Policy
The Network Development Manager advised that DfI Roads, the sole Road Authority in Northern Ireland, was responsible for public roads, footways, bridges and street lights. The responsibilities include the provision management and maintenance of all public roads including the functions of winter maintenance and street lighting.
The Network Development Manager pointed out that DfI Roads were responsible for 287,000 street lights in Northern Ireland of which 64,000 were in the Western Division and 28,971 in the Derry and Strabane Council area.
The Network Development Manager then highlighted the following areas:
Responsibility for Street Lighting
The Department has discretionary powers granted under Section 44 of the Roads (NI) Order 1993
Street Lighting Policy
Street Lighting in Urban Areas
New Housing Developments
Application of Policy to Rear Accesses
Roads, footways and footpaths which only give rear access to properties, or are alternative routes to already lighted roads or footpaths, will generally not be lit.
Members thanked the Network Development Manager for his presentation and then raised the following points:
- Acknowledged the extent of work carried out by DfI Roads and the enormity of the task involved in the provision of street lighting throughout the Council area.
- Queried the interpretation of the policy in regards to rear accesses and the suggestion that adopted roads providing access to properties would generally not be lit.
- Referred to numerous complaints received regarding the application of the policy in relation to the removal of street lighting from rear accesses rendering it almost impossible for residents to manoeuvre safely in the dark.
- Expressed concern at the negative response to previous requests for a community impact assessment to be carried out prior to the removal of any street lighting on the basis that this was not permitted within the policy.
- Referred to the need to revisit the policy in terms of having a community impact assessment carried out prior to the removal of street lighting.
- Expressed concern that the application of the policy in regards to rear accesses was in contrast to current planning requirements in terms of creating spaces and providing an attractive safe environment in which people could live.
- Expressed concern that the application of the policy was contrary to the Creating Places Policy and was creating environments where inhabitants felt unsafe.
- Considered the removal of street lighting, particularly in elderly residential areas, represented the removal of a vital utility.
- Referred to the need to arrive at an understanding regarding the implementation of the policy in regards to community safety and community confidence.
- Pointed out that those affected by the removal of street lighting tended to be long-term residents for whom this presented a major loss.
- Referred to the need for the policy to be reviewed and a public consultation held to ... view the full minutes text for item SER5/19
The Head of Planning Performance and Improvement presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated. He pointed out that the purpose of the report was to advise Members of correspondence received from Ards and North Down Borough Council regarding the issue of single use plastics.
Members noted the content of the report.
The Meeting terminated at 5.30 pm