Agenda and minutes

Environment and Regeneration Committee
Wednesday 9 September 2020 4.00 pm

Venue: Guildhall, Derry. View directions

Items
No. Item

ER138/20

Notice and Summons of Meeting

Minutes:

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

ER139/20

Member Attendance and Apologies

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration completed the roll call and recorded an apology from Alderman McCready.

ER140/20

Broadcasting Statement

Minutes:

The Chairperson read the Broadcasting Statement for the Meeting.He welcomed Members to the Meeting.

ER141/20

Declarations of Members' Interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of Members’ interests.

ER142/20

Deputation - To receive Mr Peter Robinson, Architect, Alastair Coey Architects to deliver a presentation on the Boom Hall Estate - Conservation Management Plan (copy attached). pdf icon PDF 12 MB

Minutes:

The Regeneration Manager welcomed Mr Peter Robinson who was one of the architects with the firm Alastair Coey Associates responsible for preparing the Boom Hall Conservation Management Plan (CMP).  He advised that the presentation would be considered in conjunction with Items 7 on the Agenda.

 

Mr Robinson then gave a power-point presentation which addressed the following:

 

Purpose of Presentation

 

-      Overview

 

Content

 

-      Background History of Site

 

“The Conservation Management Plan is a process that seeks to guide the future management, conservation and development of a place through an understanding of its heritage, significance and characteristics”

 

 

-      Condition of Existing Structures

 

Conservation led structural condition of the three elements of built fabric on the site, namely Boom Hall House, Boom Hall Stable Block and the Walled Garden

A summary of the physical and structural condition of each of these structures

Intervention needed in order to arrest any further decline of these built elements – in particular the listed stable block due to its current condition

 

-      Understanding of place

 

Sources

Designations

Topography and Setting

Historical Overview

Comparative Analysis

The Development of Boom Hall Demesne – Cartographical Evidence

Condition

Gaps in Knowledge

 

-      Significance of Boom Hall Estate

 

Assessment of Cultural Heritage Values

Statement of Significance

      Evidential value

      Historical value

      Aesthetic value

      Communal value

Threat and Opportunities

 

-      Conservation Policies and Recommendations

 

Objectives

Current Regional and Local Policy Context

Definitions of Key Terms

Existing Statutory Policy, Guidance and Legal Framework

Policies and Recommendations Relating to Protection of Heritage Significance

Policies Relating to Understanding, Recording and Research

Policies Relating to Land Use, Land Management and Ecology

Policies and Recommendations Relating to Engagement and Understanding

Review of Policies and Recommendations

                       

The Chairperson thanked Mr Robinson for his presentation.  He referred to the

attributes of the Boom Hall site particularly in regards to its historical nature

and the conservation of this building and site were of paramount importance. 

He expressed concern in respect of the condition of the built structures on the

site and concurred with Mr Robinson of the need for solutions to be identified

and implemented.

 

Alderman Ramsey thanked Mr Robinson for the presentation. He said it was reassuring to know that the CMP would assist Council in how it manages and protect the Boom Hall site for future generations.  He acknowledged how connections had been developed in the Waterside as far as Strathfoyle and this year it was anticipated that Culmore would finally be linked to the City along the Banks of the River Foyle. He agreed that it was most unfortunate if the site were to deteriorate further and stated that the future development of the entire Boom Hall site was a matter of great interest for local people in terms of the opportunity for it to be returned to its former glory.  He thanked Mr Robinson for the work carried out in regards to the preparation of the CMP.

 

Councillor Jackson welcomed the presentation and thanked Officers for providing Members with a copy of the CMP prior to this  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER142/20

Chairperson's Business

ER143/20

Condemnation

Minutes:

The Chairperson condemned the recent damage caused to one of Council’s Play Parks.  He also condemned the damage caused to a grave in the City Cemetery.  He urged those responsible to reflect on their actions.  He said the costs to repair the damage caused was prohibiting Council in its continuous endeavours to maintain existing Play Parks and develop new ones.

 

The Chairperson condemned recent postings on social media displaying images of a person commit suicide.  He said he had been advised that these images were deeply disturbing and distressing and referred to the need for greater policing of social media sites.

 

ER144/20

Killen Recycling Centre

Minutes:

With the permission of the Chairperson Alderman Kerrigan sought an update in regards to the reopening of the Killen Recycling Centre.  He acknowledged that an email had been issued on 13 August advising that a meeting would take place between the landowner, the PSNI and Council Officers to consider the possible reopening of the site.  However, he was advised by the landowner that this meeting had not yet been arranged.  Whilst appreciating difficulties in regards to Covid restrictions he expressed concern at the delay in arranging this meeting.  He said this was the main recycling centre for the Castlederg area.  He referred to an email issued on August 13 suggestion that a booking system be put in place to facilitate the reopening of the site.  He expressed concern that this suggestion had been disregarded due to the fact that there was an alternative site at Spamount.  This service he pointed out consisted of two refuse collection vehicles on-site on Tuesdays and Thursdays which was in no way equivalent to a recycling centre which operated six days each week.  He expressed concern at the apparent neglect in regards to the reopening of the site and referred to the public outrage at the continued closure of the site.  He acknowledged the issues in regards to access to the site but pointed out that other Councils had been able to introduce a booking system to address such issues.  He felt if this option was considered offering ten minute slots throughout the day this would facilitate the reopening of the site.  He referred to the significant increase in fly-tipping in the Castlederg area as a result of the continued closure of this site which in many cases was being dumped on private lands thus resulting in the landowner being responsible for the disposal of the waste.

He referred to a further email which referred to the possibility of a new site being explored by Council.  He had been contacted by residents of the area who had indicated that the proposed location of the new site would face major opposition.

 

Councillor Edwards referred to the importance of this issue.  He said he had received numerous complaints regarding the continued closure of the site and the inadequate facilities at the Spamount site.  He had also been contacted by a number of local residents who had been refused entry to the temporary Spamount site.  He said he would support all efforts to have the Killen site reopened.

 

Councillor McHugh concurred with the sentiments expressed by the previous speakers. He acknowledged that there were issues which required addressing but referred to the frustrations felt by constituents at the continued closure of the site.

 

Alderman McKane said he felt action must be taken to address this problem and referred to the continuous complaints being received by elected representatives at the current lack of recycling facilities in the Castlederg area.  He urged Council to address the problem as a matter of urgency.

 

The Head of Environment pointed out that  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER144/20

ER145/20

Confirmation of the Open Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on Wednesday 8 July 2020 pdf icon PDF 226 KB

Minutes:

The Open Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee (ER113/20-ER129/20) held on 8 July 2020 were agreed and signed by the Chairperson as correct

 

Matters Arising

ER146/20

Dog Fouling (Ref ER117/20)

Minutes:

Councillor Burke echoed the sentiments expressed by the Chairperson in terms of his condemnation of the recent incidents of vandalism in the City and referred to the distress these had caused to the families involved and the wider community.

 

She referred to an announcement earlier that week to alter the closing time of the City Cemetery from 9 pm to 8 pm.  She stated that given the current situation with darker evenings approaching it was important to ensure that the public had adequate day light hours to visit the Cemetery.

 

Subsequently Councillor Burke Proposed, Councillor Jackson Seconded

 

That    the opening hours of the City Cemetery were restored to those in operation pre-Covid.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration advised that City Cemetery opening hours were being reviewed on a constant basis as Officers wished to return to normal opening hours as quickly as possible.  Clearly in reviewing the opening hours Officers must be cognisant of the legislation and guidance which was forthcoming in regards to Covid and ensure that this was being followed both by Council and Funeral Directors.  It was anticipated that this could be worked through and the pre-Covid opening hours reinstated quickly and ahead of the change of daylight hours in October.  Officers would continue to update Members on this situation.

 

Councillor Burke said obviously Members would want to see the reinstatement of pre-Covid opening hours as soon as possible. She enquired, however, if, in the meantime it would be possible to introduce alternative opening periods to facilitate older members of the community in their daily routines.

 

Councillor Boyle agreed with the suggestions put forward by the previous speaker and acknowledged that as daylight hours decreased appropriate time to visit the Cemetery was greatly reduced.  For the benefit of clarity he referred to discussions which he had with the Head of Environment regarding the alleged attacks of vandalism in the City Cemetery at the weekend.  He suggested that it would be appropriate if the Head of Environment shared with Members the information which he had received regarding this particular incident.  He referred to the power of social media and stated that on occasion the information provided on social media was not accurate.  Whilst vandalism in any part of the City Cemetery would cause distress if the information provided was inaccurate this could also cause unnecessary distress.

 

The Head of Environment stated that all incidents of vandalism must be condemned.  He stated that with regard to this particular incident damage was caused to a number of Memorials which had been knocked over.  He referred to previous occasions when rabbits, hares and foxes prevalent in the Cemetery had run past graves and tumbled over ornaments.  He also referred to the possibility that young people had been drinking nearby as there did appear to be evidence of this from empty bottles disposed of in the bins.  He said it may have been the case that someone grieving a recent loss had consumed too much alcohol and  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER146/20

ER147/20

Boom Hall Conservation Management Plan - Consideration and Endorsement of Final Draft Document pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Additional documents:

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 present to Members the final draft version of the Boom Hall Conservation Management Plan for consideration/adoption, to outline potential proposed next steps in relation to proposed stabilisation works to buildings, land management matters and third-party development interest.

 

Councillor Jackson welcomed the report.  He referred to the fact that Committee had previously received a number of presentations regarding the Eden Project and Council had endorsed the vision of the Foyle River Gardens Project.  He referred to an element of expectation from Members of the Committee that Council were in support of one particular project.  He stated that, as a Member of Committee, he had not been given an opportunity to hear proposals for an alternative vision for the site.  He referred to the report being presented which was in relation to Council developing a criteria to select a partner and he questioned if Members of the Committee would be given an opportunity to develop this criteria given the strategic importance of the Boom Hall site.  He referred to the impact of Covid on local tourism.  He referred to the importance of tourism in any plans for the City and in particular regard to the development of the Boom Hall site. He continued that he was surprised when reading the report at the apparent deviation from the position already endorsed by Council namely, the Eden Project.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration acknowledged the previous presentations from the former Foyle River Gardens now known as Eden Project Foyle.  She stated that Officers had been given a mandate to work with this group as their project developed.  She stated that Eden Project Foyle had never made a formal request to Council for land or, indeed for a formal partnership agreement.  She stated that as Members were aware and given the interest in this site, it was felt that some form of formal partner selection process be put in place at this stage to safeguard Council.  She stated that clearly the partnership criteria would be approved by Members and indeed Officers had already begun to consider how this might work and to look at examples of best practice in terms of undertaking this process in a way that would ensure that Council were not challenged on this particular method of developing partnerships.  She said it may transpire that Council would be working with a number of partners but Officers were trying to ensure that any criteria brought forward reflected the vision of Council and the potential of the site to develop and help Council in moving towards its vision.  She stated that obviously tourism was as option as well as economic development opportunities, environmental regeneration which would all be included in the criteria.  She stated that within the criteria Council would like to be able to identify the skills and ability of any potential partner in terms of moving  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER147/20

ER148/20

Invasive Alien Species Strategy of Council Owned Greenspaces pdf icon PDF 251 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 present Members with the Non-native Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Strategy of Council Owned Greenspaces 2020-2025.  This was an action from the Derry and Strabane Green Infrastructure (GI) Plan 2019-2032, which would assist Council in managing IAS on its 800 ha estate.

Councillor Edwards expressed concern at the giant hogweed and knotweed in the Strabane and Derg area.  He referred to the report wherein it was suggested that there were 12,000 sq m of giant hogweed and knotweed in Strabane River Walkways and what works were being carried out to address this problem. He also referred to a Motion passed at the July Council Meeting “that Council work collaboratively with partners to tackle invasive species” and expressed concern that there was no evidence outlining a plan of collaborative working with other stakeholders other than DAERA.

The Director of Environment and Regeneration advised that this particular approach was in respect of Council’s plans for tackling invasive species on Council lands.  She said landowners were responsible for dealing with invasive species on their land.  She undertook to ask Council’s Bio Diversity Officer who was responsible for managing invasive species to contact the Member directly to discuss this specific issue.  She said she was aware that the team was working on the Motion passed at the July Council Meeting in regards to working collaboratively with other stakeholders.  She stated that collaboration was of extreme importance in regards to Council’s Green Infrastructure Plan within which the issue of invasive species was addressed.   She reiterated that the action set out in the report was to prioritise resources on Council owned land but there was obviously more that was being done.  She said a further report on Council working collaboratively to tackle invasive species would be presented to a future Meeting of Committee.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Members adopt the Non-native Invasive Alien Species Strategy of Council Owned Greenspaces 2020-2025.

 

 

ER149/20

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 Members of applications processed under Building Regulations (NI) between 1 June and 31 July 2020.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

ER150/20

Acorn Farm - UK Climate Action Fund pdf icon PDF 148 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 outcome of a successful funding application in the sum of £200,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund.

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

ER151/20

Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme pdf icon PDF 145 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 the ongoing work being progressed in relation to the Covid-19 Recovery Revitilisation Programme and to advise on next steps.

                       

In response to a query from Councillor Boyle, the Regeneration Manager explained that this was a rapidly evolving situation.  As was evident from the report Council was in receipt of funding and clearly worked towards identifying areas where this was needed most and creating the business development grants for businesses to be able to avail of quickly. There was also a programme of environmental town improvements in respect of both Strabane town centre and Derry City centre including both City and Waterside.  Officers had been working with business representative groups in both Strabane and Derry. He explained that this was constantly evolving as Officers identified with partners in regards to providing additional street furniture and lighting in areas such as Waterloo Street.  This was now on schedule to be installed by the end of the month.  In terms of traffic management proposals, some design works had been prepared by architects in terms of parking areas in for eg The Diamond and Castle Street in Strabane.  Once approval had been received from DfI Officers would be in a position to provide Members with a more detailed report on the matter. 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

ER152/20

Mobuoy Update pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Additional documents:

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 members of the monthly update from DAERA on progress in relation to Mobuoy Road remediation.              

 

Members noted the content of the report.

 

                       

 

ER153/20

Confirmation of Confidential Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on Wednesday, 8 July 2020

ER154/20

Wayleave - Apex - Labre Park - Ballyarnett Country Park

Additional documents:

ER155/20

Brooke Park - Gwyn's Cafe and Pavilion - Franchise Agreement - Two's Company

ER156/20

Proposed City Cemetery Extension at Southway Ecology Recommendations

Additional documents:

ER157/20

Fleet Assets (Various) T ENV20-035

Additional documents:

ER158/20

Grounds Maintenance Equipment T ENV20-036

Additional documents:

ER159/20

Inisfree Gardens, Strabane - LPS Approval

Additional documents:

ER160/20

North West Greenway Network - Acquisition of Lands

Additional documents:

ER161/20

St Columb's Park House - Rent

ER162/20

Summer Bedding 2021

ER163/20

Creggan Reservoir Condition Surveys Update

ER164/20

Grey Squirrel Management at the City Cemetery