Agenda and minutes

Environment and Regeneration Committee
Wednesday 12 June 2019 4.00 pm

Venue: Guildhall, Derry. View directions

Items
No. Item

ER92/19

Notice and Summons of Meeting

Minutes:

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

ER93/19

Members Attendance and Apologies

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration completed the roll call.  Apologies were recorded from Alderman Ramsey, Councillors Hunter and McLaughlin.

ER94/19

Declarations of Members' Interests

Minutes:

Councillor Tierney declared an interest in item 12 – Building Control Applications.

 

Councillor Burke declared an interest in item 30 – UV Abercorn Road Revitalisation Scheme.

Chairperson's Business

ER95/19

Welcome

Minutes:

The Chairperson welcomed Members to the first Environment and Regeneration Committee Meeting of the newly appointed Council.

 

ER96/19

Tackling Plastic NI

Minutes:

The Chairperson advised Members that an invitation had been received for a Member of Committee to attend a “Tackling Plastic NI” event to be held at Parliament Buildings, Stormont from 10 am – 2 pm on Tuesday, 18 June, 2019.

 

Alderman Hussey Moved, Councillor Duffy Seconded and the Committee

 

Recommended          that the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson be nominated to attend the “Tackling Plastic NI” event to be held at Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Tuesday, 18 June 2019.

 

With the permission of the Chairperson Councillor Dobbins Moved, Councillor Tierney Seconded and the Committee

 

Recommended          that Councillor Durkan replace Councillor McLaughlin on the Environment and Regeneration Committee.

 

 

 

ER97/19

Confirmation of Open Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on Wednesday 13 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Minutes:

The Open Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on 13 March 2019 (ER60/19-ER85/19) were confirmed and signed by the Chairperson as correct.

 

 

Matters Arising

ER98/19

Transfer of Lands - Churchtown Play Area, Allotments and Adjoining Green Space (Ref ER64/19)

Minutes:

In response to Members’ queries, the Director of environment and Regeneration pointed out that she did not have any update in regards to the above item.  However, she undertook to prepare a report thereon for submission to the July Meeting and, if possible, advise Members of the position prior to that Meeting.

ER99/19

Cleaning of Mews Landes within the Council District (Ref ER68/19)

Minutes:

In response to a query from Alderman Hussey, the Head of Environment advised that report containing extensive information regarding the above matter would be presented to the July Meeting of Committee.

ER100/19

Derg Riverside Walkway (Ref ER73/19)

Minutes:

In response to a query from Alderman Hussey, the Head of Environment explained that a report updating Members on the above matter would be presented to the July Meeting of the Committee.

ER101/19

Deputation - To Receive Mr J Wright (Head of Regulations) and Mr K Wells (Team Manager), North West Regulations Team NIEA to give a Presentation on Anaerobic Digesters (Ref ER63/19)

Minutes:

Councillor McCann expressed concern at some of the responses provided by the representatives from NIEA to queries raised which he suggested were devoid of meaning.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration reminded that Members had requested that NIEA attend Committee to make a presentation on Anaerobic Digesters and answer questions arising therefrom.  She pointed out that Officers had did not have any further update in this regard.  However, if Members’ required, a further letter could be sent to NIEA seeking an update or clarification on issues discussed at the March Meeting.

 

Councillor McCann undertook to prepare a list of queries to be forwarded to NIEA and if the response thereto proved unsatisfactory suggested that, given the importance of the subject, they be invited to address a further Meeting of Committee.

 

Councillor McCann Proposed, Councillor Jackson Seconded and the Committee

 

Recommended          (a) that Council write to NIEA expressing concern at their responses provided at the March Meeting of Committee and seeking answers to a list of questions provided by Members; and

 

                                    (b) if the responses received are unsatisfactory, NIEA are invited to attend a future Meeting of Committee to address Members’ concerns.

 

 

ER102/19

Application for Renewal of a Bus Permit from Airporter (Ref ER65/19)

Minutes:

In response to a query from Councillor Dobbins, the Director of Environment and Regeneration advised that she had not received any concerns from Members regarding the above matter.  She therefore assumed that the matter had progressed smoothly.

 

In regards to the above application, Councillor McCann raised a serious concern that until recently Airporter offered a facility to those customers with Travel Cards, however, this service had now been withdrawn and the Company no longer offered free or reduced rates to potential customers.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration advised that this matter had related to correspondence received from DfI relating to the renewal of an application from Airporter to move its facility to Foyle Street, in respect of which a response was sought by Monday 18 March.  She pointed out that as no concerns had been raised by Members Council had not made representation to DfI and they would therefore have processed the application in accordance with procedures.  She continued that no further information had been received from DfI on the matter.

 

Councillor McCann suggested that Council write to Airporter expressing Council’s dismay at their decision to withdraw free travel and reduced rates requesting that this service be reinstated.

 

The Chairperson pointed out that the point being made by the said Member did not relate to the reason why this issue had been placed on the Agenda for consideration by the Committee at its March Meeting.

 

Councillor Dobbins concurred with the Chairperson’s comments.  She referred to the fact that Airporter was a private company over which Council did not have any remit.  She pointed out that Airporter had withdrawn this service was due to the fact that they were not receiving payment from Stormont for subsidising the travel cards.  She therefore did not support the proposal put forward by Councillor McCann.

 

Alderman McCready agreed with the comments made by Councillor Dobbins.

 

Councillor Duffy advised that when this had initially arisen Sinn Fein had met with representatives from Airporter.  She said she understood that the free/reduced service had been withdrawn because of technological problems which were being experienced and not because the Company had they had not received payment from the Assembly.  She agreed, however, that they were a private company and were entitled to withdraw the facility, if they chose, for whatever reason.  She understood that by offering this service Airporter were losing money and whilst regretting the withdrawal of the service acknowledged the hardships facing the company due to the provision thereof.

 

 

 

ER103/19

Street Naming and Property Numbering - Requests for Installation of Bilingual Signage pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Minutes:

Alderman Hussey queried the current threshold in regards to the number of household replies received in regards to the decision to erect bilingual signage.

 

Councillor McHugh disagreed with the former speaker’s comments.  He pointed out that all households were contacted and it was a matter for individual residents if they chose to respond.  If they did not partake in the consultation process they could not impact the overall decision.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration advised that the policy adhered to in regards to Street Naming and Property Numbering had been formally adopted by Council.  She stated that the plebiscite was circulated to all householders and this was in accordance with the policy agreed by Council.  She stated that any change in policy was a matter for Members to decide. 

 

The Committee

 

Recommended          that given the outcome of the four plebiscites, approval be granted to the erection of bi-lingual signage at Ballycolman Estate and Church View, Strabane and Ballymagowan Park, Derry.

ER104/19

Live Here Love Here Project Funding pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Additional documents:

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 seek Members’ approval to provide funding in the sum of £22,000.00 per annum over the next 3 years from 2019/20 to 2021/22 to LIVE HERE LOVE HERE project managed by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful (KNIB).

 

Various Members welcomed the fact that additional funding of £22,000 had been made available in respect of this project and acknowledged its positive impact on local communities both in terms of creating a feel good factor and instilling a sense of pride.  It also targeted many issues which were of significance to local communities.

 

Alderman Hussey referred to the qualitative work carried out through this project was beyond the capacity of many of the groups who partook in it.  He enquired if it would be possible to produce a quantitative report on the number of groups partaking in the scheme.  This would allow Council to encourage participation in those areas who were currently not involved.

 

The Head of Environment undertook to prepare a report on the number of communities participating in the campaign in the past number of years.

 

Subsequently, the Committee

 

Recommended          that Council continue to participate in the Live Here Love Here project in partnership with KNIB, other statutory agencies, local authorities, and the business and community sector to continue to deliver positive community environmental projects at a cost per annum of £22,000.00.

ER105/19

Fuel Oil Stamp Saving Scheme pdf icon PDF 33 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’ approval to continue to engage Strabane Community Projects to manage and deliver a Fuel Oil Stamp saving scheme throughout the Council area.

 

Councillor Dobbins welcomed this scheme which provided comparable value for money.  She queried if there was any possibility of having this rolled out in the Derry area.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration explained that the scheme operated throughout the entire District Council area, however, was operated by the Strabane Community Group.  She referred to 2.2 of the report and pointed out that Dove House Community Centre also partook in the scheme and was one of the additional outlets for the sale of stamps.  She undertook to request those Officers involved to provide Members with details of all the groups participating in the scheme in order that those not currently partaking could be encouraged to become involved.

 

In response to a request from Alderman McCready, the Director of Environment and Regeneration undertook to have the information provided on a map basis. 

 

Various Members welcomed the scheme and the ongoing need for its continuance.

 

In response to a request from Alderman Hussey, the Director of Environment and Regeneration undertook to invite representatives from Strabane Community Projects to present to a future Meeting of Committee on the work undertaken by them.  However she pointed out that given the schedule of deputations presenting to the Committee in the coming months it may not be possible to receive this group until November or December.

 

Councillor Dobbins expressed concern that given the nature of the group’s work the November/December may prove too late to receive this presentation.

 

Subsequently, the Committee

 

Recommended          (a) that approval is granted to continue to engage Strabane Community Projects to manage and deliver a Fuel Oil Stamp saving scheme; and

 

                                    (b) that representatives from Strabane Community Projects be invited to present to a future Meeting of Committee on the work carried out by them.

 

 

ER106/19

Heritage Trust Network Conference 18th-19th November 2019, Guildhall, Derry pdf icon PDF 36 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 inform Members about the annual UK Heritage Trust Network (HTN) Conference to be held in the Guildhall, Derry/Londonderry on 18th-19th November, 2019 and to seek approval for financial support from Council towards the overall costs.

 

Alderman Hussey welcomed this tremendous opportunity. 

 

In response to a query from Alderman Hussey, the Regeneration Manager confirmed that there would be cross border participation in the Conference.  He stated that Council worked closely with Donegal County Council’s Heritage Development Officer in regards to the restoration and regeneration of our historic environment.  He pointed out that heritage carried seamlessly across the border.  He said Officers would work to ensure the greatest attendance at the conference and that all can share the benefits.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended          (a) that Derry City and Strabane District Council continues to work with ICT, HED and HTN to organise and deliver the HTN Conference in November 2019 as outlined;

 

                                    (b) that Members approve the proposed Council contribution to the cost of the HTN Conference to a maximum value of £7,000.00; and

 

(c) that a further report be brought back to Committee to update Members when the Conference programme has been agreed and how plans for the Conference are progressing.

 

ER107/19

Building Control Fees and Service Efficiency Initiatives pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Additional documents:

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 update Members on recent correspondence between SOLACE and the Department of Finance on the current fee levels Council can charge for provision of their Building Control services.  She pointed out that the report also detailed some forthcoming proposals for improving service delivery and efficiency of building control operations.  She concluded that Members’ approval was being sought for a change in the format of the monthly Building Control Committee item so that it better complied with the General Data Protection Regulation introduced the previous year.

 

Councillor Jackson agreed with the proposed increase given that the current fees were introduced in 1997 and the fact that building costs had risen significantly since that time.  He said it was somewhat alarming that the cost of works greatly exceeded the fees and the likelihood that Council could be working at a loss.  In regards to the calculation of fees he enquired if there was any opportunity for Council to adopt a similar approach to that used in England, Scotland and Wales.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration explained that this was how planning fees were currently calculated however, these were set by DfI in Northern Ireland.  She continued that Building Control did engage with Department regarding the setting of fees and these suggestions could be put forward to that forum.

 

Subsequently the Committee

 

Recommended          (a) that Members note the ongoing communication between SOLACE and the Department for Finance regarding the outstanding implementation of the 20% uplift in Building Control fee levels;

 

                                    (b) that Members note that proposals for further improvements in the service deliver and efficiency of building control operations will be brought for Members’ consideration and approval in the coming months; and

 

                                    (c) that approval is granted that going forward the appendix to the standard monthly Building Control Committee item containing names and addresses of new applicants registered within the preceding month will be omitted, as it is deemed contrary to best practice under the General Data Protection Regulation to publicise such information in open business.

ER108/19

Building Control Applications pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  She pointed out that the purpose of the report was to advise Members of applications processed under Building Regulations (NI) between 1 February and 30 April 2019.

 

Alderman Hussey referred to 3.1 and referred to the apparent 32 Notice application that were approved for the Affordable Warmth Scheme and acknowledged the need for this scheme.  He enquired as to the current status in regards to funding available to applicants and what post codes were currently under consideration for the scheme.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration explained that the budget in respect of the Affordable Warmth Scheme was the responsibility of the Health and Community Directorate.  She stated that the scheme was administered through Environmental Health.  She undertook to request the Head of Environmental Health to update Alderman Hussey in this regard and present a report thereon to a future Meeting of the Health and Community Committee.

 

 

 

ER109/19

Clooney Terrace Environmental Improvement Works - Appointment of Urban Designer pdf icon PDF 33 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 appraise Members of proposals in relation to preparing a design concept for an environmental improvement scheme at Clooney Terrace and to advise of anticipated next steps.

 

Alderman Devenney welcomed the proposals to work with a design team in regards to the preparation of initial design concepts in respect of this small parcel of land between Clooney Terrace and Melrose Terrace.  He acknowledged the poor condition of the site including one of the City canons.  These works would further enhance the road widening scheme carried out in 2015/16.

 

Councillor Jackson echoed the previous speaker’s comments and commended those Officers involved in promoting and progressing this project. He said he felt this project was timely given the ongoing works at the Ebrington site.  It would not impact or conflict on plans going forward with the local community in regards to the regeneration of the area.

ER110/19

Correspondence from DfE on Mineral Prospecting Licensing Application Consultation Response pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Duffy expressed her Party’s disappointment at the Department’s decision to grant a Mineral Prospecting Licence to Dalradian Gold.  She continued that given its relativity to this Council area it was disappointing that Council’s view were not taken into consideration.

 

Councillor Dobbins agreed with the views expressed by the previous speaker and on behalf of the SDLP expressed her disgust at the Department’s decision to grant the Licence.

 

Councillor McCann concurred with the above comments.  He stated that this was emblematic of the treatment of our land and one should not be alarmed given that

when the Stormont Assembly was last in operation approval  had been granted for such Licences.  He pointed out that no less than 35% of land in Northern Ireland had been approved for mining and whilst some of these might not be progressed this approval was in place.  He continued that whilst some of the Licence holders may have no intention of developing the land for mining, if faced with opposition they had a right to prosecute.

 

Alderman Hussey reminded Members that the Director of Environment and Regeneration had written to the Department reflecting the views expressed by Members.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration advised that Council had written to the Department in November 2018 when it had originally received the correspondence from them advising that they were intending to consider the application for the Licence.  She stated that the Department had subsequently issued the Licence in May and to her knowledge, to date a planning application had not been received in respect thereof.

 

Councillor Ferguson supported Members’ comments.

ER111/19

Proposed Provision and Revocation of Disabled Parking Bays Across the District pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  She pointed out that the purpose of the report was to advise Members of correspondence received February, March and April 2019 from DfI Network Development Section regarding proposed and revocation of disabled parkin bays across the district.

 

Councillor Jackson welcomed that this was being progressed throughout the Council district.  He referred to a Disabled Parking Bay at Mimosa Court which had been assessed by Dfi Roads who had acknowledged that the disabled person in question did not have the opportunity to park near their home because of parking pressures.  He then questioned the advice given by the Department to a Meeting of Planning Committee the previous regarding an application to develop twenty-seven new apartments in the same location assuring that there was capacity within the area to provide sufficient parking spaces.

 

The Chairperson agreed with the previous speaker’s comments and expressed concern regarding the Disabled Parking Bay process.

 

Alderman Devenney acknowledged that Disabled Parking Bays were an issue. 

 

ER112/19

DfI No Waiting Restriction pdf icon PDF 24 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  She pointed out that the purpose of the report was to advise Members of DfI’s correspondence regarding proposals to introduce a no waiting, loading and unloading permitted on Melvin Road, Strabane and to introduce an additional stretch of limited waiting on Horace Street, Derry.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

ER113/19

DfI Proposed Speed Limit pdf icon PDF 24 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  She pointed out that the purpose of the report was to advise Members of DfI’s proposed speed limit on Maydown Road.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

ER114/19

Former Faughan Valley Secondary School Regeneration Masterplan pdf icon PDF 31 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 appraise Members of the current progress of proposals to develop a masterplan for the former Faughan Valley School Site in Drumahoe and to advise on next steps.

 

Alderman McCready welcomed the above scheme and its progression for the people of the surrounding area.

ER115/19

Historic City Conservation Area Targeted Decorative Enhancement Scheme pdf icon PDF 30 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 proposals to deliver a targeted decorative enhancement scheme to the facades of identified heritage properties within the Historic City Conservation Area of Derry.

 

Alderman Hussey stated that in regards to what was described as the largest monument in Northern Ireland i.e. The Walls.  He stated that if you view the Walls from the Guildhall, there was a lot of overgrowth and queried if this was enabling the regeneration of the Scheme.

 

The Regeneration Manager pointed out that there was an Inter-Agency City Walls Management Group which had been established in 2007 for those who had a statutory or stakeholder interest in the Walls.  He stated that given the archaeological issues regarding the monument the position by archaeological experts was to remove this would undermine or damage the integrity of the Walls and it was therefore necessary to have a very managed approach.  It was therefore agreed that this remain for a further period until the matter had been given further consideration.

ER116/19

SMARCTIC European Project 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 update Members on the successful award of funding for the SMARCTIC (Smart Energy Management in Remote Northern, Peripheral and Arctic Regions) project under the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme, Priority Axis 3 – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

 

Members noted the content of the report.