Agenda and minutes

Environment and Regeneration Committee
Wednesday 13 November 2019 4.00 pm

Venue: Guildhall, Derry. View directions

Items
No. Item

ER226/19

Notice and Summons of Meeting

Minutes:

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

 

 

ER227/19

Member Attendance and Apologies

Minutes:

The Head of Environment completed the roll call and recorded apologies from Alderman McCready and Councillor Durkan.

 

 

ER228/19

Declarations of Members' Interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of Members’ interests.

 

 

ER229/19

Deputation - To Receive Representatives from Northern Ireland Water to discuss Funded Projects Within The District and the Risk to Vital Infrastructure (presentation attached). pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Minutes:

The Committee received Dr Stephen Blockwell, Head of Investment Management and Mr Ciaran Nicell, Head of Business Analytics, NI Water who gave a power-point presentation on the Risk to Vital Infrastructure for Derry City and Strabane District Council highlighting the following areas:

 

-      NI Water and Northern Ireland’s Ambitions

 

-      Strategic Issues for Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Across Northern Ireland and Derry City and Strabane District Council

 

-      The Critical Nature of Funding

 

-      NI Water: Vital Infrastructure Scope

 

-      Population Growth

 

-      Business and Industry

 

-      Tourism Growth

 

-      Northern Ireland’s Ambitions

 

-      Council Ambitions

 

-      Derry City and Strabane District Council Ambitions

 

-      NI Water’s Funding

 

-      NI Water’s Funding Challenge (in 2013)

 

-      Safe, Clean Water Supplies

 

-      Development Constraints Identified (in 2013)

 

-      Waterwaste Capacity Constraints

 

-      Derry City Network Capacity Constraints: High Level Analyses

 

-      Strabane Network Capacity Constraints: High Level Analyses

 

-      Castlederg Network Capacity Constraints: High Level Analyses

 

-      Newtownstewart Network Capacity Constraints: High Level Analyses

 

-      Claudy Network Capacity Constraints: High Level Analyses

 

-      Funding is Not Keeping Pace with NI’s Needs

 

-      Priority of Investment

 

-      Supporting Future Economy and Environment

 

Members thanked Dr Blockwell and Mr Nicell for their detailed presentation and expressed concern at the stark picture being presented particularly in regards to the pressures facing the system particularly in the North West.  Members then raised the following issues:

 

-      Acknowledged the general lack of perception regarding the complexities involved in regards to water provision.

-      Acknowledged the constraints facing Northern Ireland and the impact of the reduction in the block grant.

-      Commended NI Water on their prompt response in respect of dealing with queries/problems.

-      Acknowledged the level of investment required to bring the current system up to a suitable standard to deal with the needs of the service.

-      Referred to the need for a new Pumping Station to facilitate the A2 works on Buncrana Road and growing pressures on the H2 lands arising from increased development.

-      Referred to the importance of chemicals in terms of water treatment and questioned the potential implications of Brexit on the transportation of many such chemicals from Europe

-      Questioned NI Water’s position in regards to a Brexit Readiness Plan.

-      Acknowledged the projected underfunding in the next phase of spending plan outlined in PC21 and expressed concern that those responsible for allocating the budget showed little interest in addressing environmental problems or embracing the current emphasis in regards to protecting the environment.

-      Pointed out that a sustained shortfall would affect economic growth and create a health and safety risk.

-      Referred to the serious implication of existing and projected budgetary shortfall on strategic issues for water and wastewater infrastructure across the Council area.

-      Referred to Council’s positive performance in terms of addressing environmental issues, however, there did not appear to be any action Council could take to have the NI Water’s funding increased.

-      Queried what extra legal action was required to address this  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER229/19

Chairperson's Business

ER230/19

Congratulations

Minutes:

The Chairperson congratulated Council’s Environmental Team who achieved the Small Cities Award at the recent Britain In Bloom Competition.

 

 

ER231/19

Special Environment and Regeneration Committee Meeting

Minutes:

The Chairperson reminded Members that a Special Meeting of the Committee had been scheduled for Wednesday, 20 November 2019 at 4 pm to receive DfI Roads to present their Autumn Report.

 

 

ER232/19

Mount Castle Grave Yard

Minutes:

With the permission of the Chairperson, Alderman Devenney referred to a problem which existed at Mount Castle Grave Yard due to it being located on a very dangerous corner.  He requested that a scoping exercise be carried out to consider the construction of a footpath on the opposite site of the road to facilitate pedestrian traffic.

 

The Head of Environment undertook to have the scoping exercise carried out and report on the outcome thereof to a future Meeting of Committee.

 

ER233/19

Confirmation of the Open Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on Wednesday 9 October 2019 pdf icon PDF 305 KB

Minutes:

Open Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on 9

October 2019 (ER195/19-ER214/19) were signed by the Chairperson as  

correct.

 

Matters Arising

ER234/19

Deputation - The Gathering

Minutes:

Councillor McCann referred to the presentation at the October Meeting of the Committee from Dean Blackwood from The Gathering and the concerns expressed by him that the problem at Mobuoy had been raised by Faughan Anglers since 2008.  However, all correspondence relating thereto had since disappeared.  He expressed serious concerns that all such correspondence between Foyle Anglers and Northern Ireland Environment Agency regarding the illegal transportation and dumping of materials at Mobuoy had simply vanished.

 

Following some discussion the Committee

                                   

Proposed      that Council write to the NIEA seeking further information on the alleged disappearance of correspondence between Foyle Anglers and NIEA since 2008 to the current in regards to the issue of the transportation and dumping of illegal waste at Mobuoy.

 

 

ER235/19

Street Naming and Property Numbering - Request for Installation of Bilingual Signage pdf icon PDF 323 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 inform Members of the outcome of recent

applications to provide bilingual signage at Glenevish Hill and Melmount

Gardens, Strabane.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that given the outcome of the two plebiscites, Members approve the erection of bilingual street signage at Melmount Gardens, Strabane only.

 

ER236/19

Street Naming and Property Numbering - Request for Development Name pdf icon PDF 173 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 gain Members’ consent to name new developments at Berryhill Road, Artigarvan, Strabane and Strabane Road, Castlederg.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Members’ approval be granted for the adoption of the name Milltown Edge for the housing development at Berryhill Road, Artigarvan, Strabane and Mount Bernard Rise for the housing development at Strabane Road, Castlederg.

 

ER237/19

Regional Cross Party Working Group on Climate Change pdf icon PDF 134 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 a nomination from Members with regard to the Regional Cross Party Working Group on Climate Change facilitated by Sustainable NI.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Councillor M Durkan be nominated onto the Regional Cross Party Working Group on Climate Change facilitated by Sustainable NI.

 

 

ER238/19

Leasing Opportunity - Strabane Pagoda pdf icon PDF 130 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 seek Members’ approval to instruct Land and Property Services (LPS) with regard to setting a premium for the Strabane Pagoda.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that LPS be instructed to determine what, if any, premium is due with regard to the Strabane Pagoda.

 

 

Open For Information

ER239/19

Building Control Applications pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Capital Development and Building Control presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He pointed out that the purpose of the report was to advise Member of applications processed under Building Regulations (NI) between 1 September and 30 September 2019.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

 

ER240/19

Building Control Fees and Service Efficiency Initiatives pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Capital Development and Building Control presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He reminded Members that an item was brought to Committee earlier in the year relating to various issues concerning Building Control.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to inform Members of how Officers intended to achieve this last objective through a more rigorous implementation of the Building Regulations legislation in relation to the registration and validation of Building Control applications.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

 

ER241/19

Children's Funeral Fund for Northern Ireland pdf icon PDF 169 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 inform Members of a response received from the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Communities in relation to Council’s correspondence regarding Children’s Funeral Fund for Northern Ireland.

 

Councillor Dobbins expressed disappointment at the response received from the Department for Communities particularly in regards to the apparent lack of action in the absence of a Minister. 

 

The Head of Environment undertook to address this matter with the Director of Environment and Regeneration.

 

Following some discussion the Committee

 

Recommended       that Council write again to the Department for Communities expressing disappointment at their response in regards to the proposed Children’s Fund for Northern Ireland

ER242/19

Provision of Additional Festive Lights at Locations Across the City and District pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report, a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He pointed out that the purpose of the report was to advise and seek Members’ recommendations with regards to requests for additional festive lighting at a number of locations across the Council District.

 

Councillor Dobbins requested that Culmore be considered for the provision of Christmas lighting.  She further requested that, if possible, consideration be given to the erection of a Christmas tree in Culmore given that this was a main arterial route from Donegal into the City.  She requested that Officers consider the positioning of the tree both from a location and health and safety perspective.  She referred to the fact that as there was no available Council land in this area the tree would have to be erected on private land and suggested that discussion take place with private landowners in this regard.

 

Councillor Ferguson referred to recent discussions regarding the provision of an additional Christmas tree in Strathfoyle which had received the approval of Members and anticipated that this would be progressed as soon as possible.

 

The Chairperson advised that any decision agreed at Committee would have to be ratified at the November Council Meeting.

 

Councillor Duffy advised that she had been contacted by a number Strand Road traders who had expressed concern that the City Centre Festive Lights ended at Waterloo Place and did not extend to Strand Road.  She referred to the fact that traders in this area were paying significant rates and were disappointed that their businesses were not included in the scheme.  She requested that the scheme be extended to include Strand Road traders during the current year

                       

The Head of Environment explained that the current annual festive lighting budget had been fully committed and additional funding would have to be identified for any requests proposed by Members.  This would have to be made through the annual rates setting exercise.

 

In response to a query from Councillor Dobbins, the Head of Environment explained that the Festive Lighting budget included both lighting and Christmas trees across the District and the schemes referred to would be funded from this budget.

 

Alderman Ramsey expressed concern at the lack of festive lighting at Drumahoe which was the main gateway on the A6 and referred to previous suggestions by Alderman McClintock that this should replicate the lighting in either Dungiven on Limavady.  He requested that monies be set aside in the following year’s budget in respect of upgrading the festive lighting at Drumahoe.

 

Alderman Devenney commended community groups in Ballymagorry, Bready and Maydown on the provision of new festive lighting in those areas.  He referred to a request from Maydown Community Group for the provision of a Christmas tree at Enagh Crescent.  A request had also been received for monies to be set aside in the following year’s budget in respect of the provision of festive lighting at Artigarvan.

 

In response to concerns expressed by Councillor Jackson regarding a  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER242/19

ER243/19

Proposed Provision and Revocation of Disabled Parking Bays Across the District pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Environment 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 in October 2019 from DfI Network Development Section regarding proposed disabled parking bays at Bishop Street, Governor Road, Ballycolman Estate and Elaghmore Park and proposed revocation of a disabled parking bay at Beechwood Street.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

ER244/19

DfI No Waiting Restrictions pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Environment 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 no waiting restrictions across the District.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

 

ER245/19

Fly-Tipping Revised Shared Protocol and Commencement of Articles 4 and 5 Waste and Contaminated Land (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 pdf icon PDF 173 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 update Members with regard to the Fly-tipping Revised Shared Protocol agreement with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

 

Alderman Ramsey acknowledged the importance of this growing problem and the impact thereof on local communities. 

 

In response to a query from Alderman Ramsey, the Head of Environment undertook to prepare a report on the cost to the ratepayer in respect of the removal of illegally dumped rubbish for presentation to a future Meeting of Committee.

 

Councillor McCann expressed concern at the maximum Fixed Penalty Notice amount of £400 issued to fly-tipping offenders which he felt was inadequate given the seriousness of the offence.  He pointed out that illegal dumping of waste destroyed the environment and the natural beauty of many areas.  He continued that given the impact that fly-tipping has on our environment this was a pitiful sum.  He suggested that Council express its concerns regarding the maximum Fixed Penalty sum pointing out that in this instance the punishment did not fit the crime.

 

The Head of Environment explained that the £400 Fixed Penalty Notice was issued to a person who had been identified fly-tipping.  However, larger fines were dealt with through the Court system.  The £400 was in respect of small scale dumping.

 

Councillor McCann, whilst welcoming the proposed increase in the Fixed Penalty fine, reiterated that it was still inadequate given the seriousness of the offence which he suggested would encourage a culture of illegal dumping.  He referred to the need for stronger deterrents to successfully address the problem.

 

In response to a query from Alderman Ramsey regarding the number of fines which had been issued, the Head of Environment advised that he would be presenting a quarterly report to Committee on the number of fines issued by Council in respect of illegal dumping/littering etc.

 

Councillor Jackson requested that these reports include information regarding the use of mobile CCTV across the district in addressing the matter.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Council make representations to the Department for Environment requesting that the current Fixed Penalty Notice issued to fly-tipping offenders be increased and highlighting the need for stronger deterrents to be introduced to tackled Fly-tipping.

 

 

ER246/19

Use of Glyphosate on Council Grounds pdf icon PDF 193 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 update Members on the use of Glyphosate products to control weeds and to seek alternative measures following a Notice of Motion to Council.

 

Councillor Jackson expressed his Party’s concern that the content of the report did not reflect the sentiments expressed in the Motion passed by Council in February 2019.  He acknowledged that glyphosate was the only weed control effective on a number of noxious weeks including Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed and Council’s obligation to control these weeds when they grew on Council’s lands.  However, he felt Council should explore other non-chemical based methods of weed control for all other types of weeds and a further report thereon, together with the costs involved, be presented to a future Meeting of Committee.

 

The Head of Environment referred to the costs outlined in Appendix 1 of the report.  He stated that the main issue was the effective removal of the weeds and non-chemical based products were not always successful in removing weeds.  However, he undertook to continue to try to identify suitable alternatives including the costs involved and present a report thereon to a future Meeting of Committee.  He referred to the extensive amount of work carried out by Council in this regard in comparison with other Councils.  Council was working to eradicate weeds whilst minimising the use of chemical based products, however, it was necessary to identify a suitable alternative to tackle more stubborn weeds.

 

Councillor Jackson again referred to the earlier Motion passed by Council which was that Council pledge to discontinue the use of glyphosate and in all operations with the only exception being when dealing with Japanese Knotweed and should move towards eradication the use of any chemical based products.  He did not feel the report adequately addressed this.  He stated that any additional cost implications would be addressed.

 

The Head of Environment undertook to bring a further report on possible non-chemical based alternatives for the treatment of weeds and the costs involved.

 

 

ER247/19

Herdman's Mill Recreational Lands, Sion Mills pdf icon PDF 140 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 following the Notice of Motion resolved at the Monthly Council Meeting in June 2019.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

The Meeting then went into Confidential Business.