Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham
Contact: Democratic Services
Introduction and Welcome
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained its purpose, which was to discuss any areas of concern relating to the Planning and Transportation Service.
The minutes of the meeting held on 23rd January, 2007 were agreed as a correct record.
Minute No. 29(d)
Karl Battersby, Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, gave an update on the situation regarding the road surface from Hill Top to Firsby. He confirmed that the road was a public bridleway and as such had no public vehicular access, other than for vehicles accessing the properties along its stretch. This was the reason that this road was unsurfaced. Appropriate signs were located at each end Firsby Lane.
The first 825 m of the road from Hill Top, Conisbrough was actually within the Doncaster boundary and the rest in Rotherham.
The residents of Firsby Lane had the right to undertake repairs and road planings, when they were available, had been used to fill potholes in the past. Any further information could be obtained by contacting the Public Rights of Way Officer on 01709 822935.
Town Centre Projects Update
The Strategic Director gave a presentation on Rotherham Town Centre Projects Update which drew specific attention to:-
· Westgate Demostrator.
· Old Market Street.
· Keppel Wharf.
· Imperial Buildings.
· All Saints Building.
· Townscape Heritage Intiative.
· New Civic Building.
· Railway Station.
· St. Ann’s Leisure Centre.
· Strategic Development Framework (SDF) Refresh.
In addition, further information was provided on the consultation proposals for Herringthorpe Playing Fields, which would involve the demolition of the current leisure centre building and releasing this area only for residential provision. The consultation process had just commenced and it was proposed for a discussion to take place at every Area Assembly.
The YES! Project had now had its Heads of Terms agreed, which involved the Council receiving a profit sponsorship income. Oak Holdings were wishing to take over the park to invest and improve facilities, but this was subject to a separate agreement.
Now the Heads of Terms were agreed Oak Holdings could work up the detailed planning application for the £3 million project, which included a 3* and a 4* hotel, extreme sports, electronic golf driving range, indoor extreme sports for ice wall, climbing wall and bungee jumping, micro brewery experiences, cooking academy, retail, various restaurants, multi-media experience, facilities for broadcasting, spa, Olympic canoe rafting and 3,000 car parking spaces. The company were trying to secure tenants and had memorandum of agreement with the Royal Bank of Scotland.
A question and answer session ensued and the following issues were clarified:-
- Attracting retailers back to the town centre.
- Future plans for a cinema in Rotherham.
- Developments for a new stadium near Retail World.
- Proposals for at least a 500 seat theatre in Rotherham.
- Timescales for the YES! Project.
Agreed:- That Karl Battersby, Strategic Director, be thanked for his very informative presentation.
Environment and Development Services Update
Karl Battersby, Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, gave an update on the changes within the Directorate, which now included the area of responsibility for Waste from Neighbourhood and Adult Services. This not only included waste and recycling, but also the Waste Strategy. Consideration was currently being given to the negotiation of new waste contracts for the Rotherham borough.
Culture and Leisure Services had also joined the Directorate and sat neatly with plans for the regeneration and planning agendas.
Since obtaining the Strategic Director post, the posts of Director of Planning and Transportation and Rotherham Investment and Development Office had been vacant. A decision had been made to merge the two posts and have one Director of Planning and Regeneration. The closing date for the advert was 29th February, 2008.
The Development Control Manager would also be leaving shortly to take up a Director post in Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. There would be an overlap with his replacement to ensure that was no disruption to the planning function.
The Council had also come up with balanced budget proposals for 2008/09 with significant challenges ahead.
Minute No. 67(c) refers from meeting of the Cabinet Member for Streetpride held on 17th December, 2007 (attached)
Richard Bramall, Rotherham Wardens Manager, gave an overview of the new Dog Control Orders, the procedures and forms for making these orders.
The guidance available was intended for local authorities, parish councils and other bodies with powers to make Dog Control orders, which were defined in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, 2005.
Richard Bramall gave an explanation as to:-
· New powers for official orders.
· Offences of dog fouling (not picking up), dogs to be kept on leads in certain areas, dog exclusion areas, number of dogs controlled by one person and dogs to be on leads when directed.
· The general principles of the Dog Control Orders.
· Land which was subject to Dog Control Orders.
· Defences/Exemptions to Dog Control Orders.
· What was defined as Primary and Secondary Authorities.
· How to make a Dog Control Order.
· Procedures for making a Dog Control Order.
· Amendments to existing Dog Control Orders.
· Revocation of Dog Control Orders.
· Erecting signage.
· Setting the number of dogs which a person could control.
· Fixed Penalty Notices.
Information which further explained about all Dog Control Orders was provided for Parish Councils and those that had not attended would be sent a copy in due course.
A discussion and a question and answer session ensued and the following issues were raised and clarified:-
- Process of consultation through invited visits in May, 2008 to see if Parish Councils had any problems areas in their Parish.
- Numbers of dogs allowed to be kept in one household.
- Resources for enforcement in problem areas.
- Erection of official signage and how effective this would be.
- Number of prosecutions.
- Beneficiary of fixed penalty notice income.
- Training on enforcement.
Agreed:- That Richard Bramall be thanked for the information he provided.
LOCAL ISSUES REPORTED BY PARISH AND TOWN COUNCILS
Discussion took place on the following local issues, which were reported by representatives of the Parish and Town Councils:-
(a) Traffic Speed/Calming Measures through WoodsettsVillage down Worksop Road/Dinnington Road as far as Cotterall Wood/Bends?
Arrangements were in hand for the replacement of existing speed activity signs to be replaced in Woodsetts. Officers would be in touch with the Parish Council to discuss what signs would be the most appropriate.
(b) Proposals to Try and Reduce Traffic Congestion at Flash Lane, Bramley
A traffic calming scheme was being proposed to a section of Flash Lane centred on the playground. This would take the form of a flat top road hump outside the playground with two sets of speed cushions on each approach. The scheme should reduce traffic speeds and help pedestrians to cross the road using the flat top hump. It was the Council’s intention to start the consultation process within the next few weeks which would involve writing to the Parish Council and local Ward Members.
Consideration was given to providing a zebra crossing, but the pedestrian crossing criteria was a long way off being met due to the low numbers of pedestrians crossing the road near the playground. Consideration was also given to a refuge, but the road was too narrow to fit one in without expensive road widening.
(c) Spare Land adjacent Garages and No. 95 Wadsworth (very close to entrance to Bramley Depot)
This stretch of land was being used as a sales area for vehicles. Investigations were taking place to ascertain whether or not this stretch formed part of the highway, in which case the user would be asked to remove all vehicles. If the land was not public highway, then planning permission would be required.
The information had been passed through to the Enforcement Officer for him to look into further.
Any Other Business
(a) A representative from Aston-cum-Aughton Parish Council raised concerns about the traffic management issues at Aughton Crossroads/Treeton Lane/Ulley Lane, which had been raised by several Parish Councils in the area and asked whether these concerns were as a result of works on the A631. It also appeared that the problems were made worse by people travelling to and from Sheffield trying to miss the M1.
The Strategic Director sought views from the Parish Council on what it thought was the best solution, with the answer being probably traffic controlled signals.
The Strategic Director referred to several examples in the borough of trying resolve traffic problems and considered whether the action should be temporary until the works on the A631 were completed or whether they should be more permanent.
The issue would be taken back to colleagues in the Directorate for them to consider and come up with a solution.
(b) A representative from Whiston Parish Council asked for an update on the Parish Boundary Review.
The Strategic Director agreed to seek a response from officers in the Chief Executive’s Directorate who were leading on the review.
(c) The Strategic Director gave an update on activities on the Arkwright Site and confirmed the Planning Regulatory Board authorised an application to the County Court for an injunction against Andrew Brightmore and ARB Agri-Plant Limited came before the Manchester District Registry of the High Court on Tuesday, 19th February, 2008. Mr. Brightmore entered into various binding undertakings to the court.
In respect of the Red Hill Quarry site at Gildingwells, Mr. Brightmore gave an undertaking to remove all the waste from the site within three months, to be reviewed by the court after three months. He also undertook to bring no further waste onto the site.
I at any time the Council considered that Mr. Brightmore was not attempting to remove the waste at Gildingwells or that he was not complying with his undertakings in any other respect, the matter would be brought back before the court. A pre-trial review in the injunction proceedings, linked with similar proceedings brought by the Environment Agency, had been listed in Manchester for the 22nd May, 2008.
Councillor Smith thanked the Parish Councils’ representatives for their attendance and closed the meeting at 7.35 p.m.