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27th November 2007
Minutes of the Meeting of the Environment Committee held in the Council Chamber, Council Offices, 47 Derry Road, Strabane on Tuesday 27 November 2007 at 7.30 p.m.
Present: - In the Chair: Councillor J O’Kane
Other Members: Councillors I Barr, A Bresland, J Donnell, J Emery, G Foley, T Kerrigan, T McBride, K McGuire, C McHugh, E McMenamin, J McNulty.
In Attendance: Chief Executive, Chief Technical Services Officer, Technical Services Licensing Officer, Administrative Assistant, Ms Oonagh Given - Planning Officer
Apologies: Councillors D Hussey and B McMahon
Chief Technical Services Officer’s (CTSO) Report
The CTSO presented Members with his monthly report, a copy of which was previously distributed for Members’ attention. Discussion ensued with particular reference to the following:
Environmental Improvements Remedial Works
Members were advised that upon the deterioration of the Riverside Walk along river band at Plumbridge Livestock Market, DSD had agreed to provide additional funding of £5,910.00 for the redevelopment and Bitmac surfacing of same. Members were further advised that the funding was subject to Council agreeing to accept the maintenance and public liability indemnity for the footpath.
On the proposal of Councillor Emery, seconded by Councillor McBride this was agreed.
The CTSO advised that agreement had been reached for various items of street furniture funded by the above to be installed in various towns and villages throughout the district. He further advised that installation would be carried out by Council’s Parks and Cemeteries squads as part of the winter works programme.
Councillor McHugh declared an interest in the above.
Councillor McNulty stated that he welcomed the re-generation of the rural area.
On the proposal of Councillor Bresland, seconded by Councillor Emery it was agreed that Council would request Clear Channel to consider the provision of bus shelters at the following locations:
· Junction of Killymallaght Road with Duncastle Road
· Peacock Road at the junction of Bellspark Road
Landfill Communities Fund Allocations 2007/08
The CTSO stated that following invites from all Community and Sporting Groups to avail of the above funding, Better Belfast advised that applications had been received from Bridgetown ‘No Surrender’ LOL379 and Bracken Target Club, Strabane, both meeting the criteria for improving a public amenity.
Approval was therefore sought from Council to split the available funds of £4,618.00 equally between the two groups.
*Councillor McHugh stated that in his view, Council should have been made aware that Councillor Hussey was involved in the application from Bridgetown ‘No Surrender’ LOL379.
Councillor Donnell stated that he welcomed the funds being put to use and proposed that they be divided equally as recommended. This was seconded by Councillor Bresland.
In response to a query from Councillor McNulty the CTSO confirmed that funding would be available next year.
On the proposal of Councillor McMenamin, seconded by Councillor McNulty the CTSO’s report was adopted.
Planning Schedule (New Applications) November 2007
The Planning Officer (PO) presented Members with the above Planning Schedule, a copy of which a previously been circulated for Members’ attention.
It was agreed that the following applications be deferred for 10 days:
J/2006/0811/F, J/2007/0251/F, J/2007/0323/F, J/20070336/F, J/2007/0432/F, J/2007/0448/RM, J/2007/0450/O, J/2007/0458/O, J/2007/0468/F, J/2007/0487/F, J/2007/0505/F, J/2007/0541/F, J/2007/0551/F, J/2007/0563/F, J/2007/0591/RM, J/2007/0641/F
It was agreed that the following applications would be held for one month: J/2007/0515/O, J/2007/0578/O
It was agreed that the following application would be deferred until January: J/2007/0476/0.
Councillor Kerrigan welcomed approval of the following application: J/2006/0988/F.
Councillor McBride welcomed approval of the following application: J/2007/0324/RM.
On the proposal of Councillor Barr, seconded by Councillor Bresland the approvals on the above schedule were adopted.
Planning Schedules (Deferred Application & Late deferred Applications) November 2007
On the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor Bresland the above schedules were approved.
The Chief Executive (CE) referred to correspondence from Mr David Ferguson, Planning Service in relation to the above and asked if Members had any queries, which they would like the PO to clarify.
In response to a query from Councillor Donnell, the PO advised that if requested by the applicant/agent, the Planning Service would agree to defer their application until the revised PPS14 policy was issued. She further stated that there was no mechanism in place to reconsider those applications made after the current PPS14 was implemented. The PO advised that it would be at the discretion of the applicant/agent to mount a legal challenge in relation to the assessment of their application.
Councillor Kerrigan stated that it was unfair on those applicants who had their applications refused on the grounds of PPS14, given that a judge had recently ruled it unlawful. He further stated that Council should seek a consultation with the Minister through the MLAs.
Councillor Barr stated that Council needed to review its position in relation to both PPS14 and the water charges. He felt that it would be beneficial to arrange a strategy meeting to discuss the issue further.
Councillor McBride also felt that the direction of PPS14 needed to be monitored and Council should ensure that they were given access to consultation processes.
The CE advised that he would contact the CE of Omagh District Council to determine a way forward in relation to PPS14.
In response to Councillor Donnell, the PO advised that approvals for December would be issued.
Members wished the PO a Merry Christmas and she left the meeting at 8.10pm.
Technical Services Licensing Officer’s (TSLO) Report
The TSLO presented his monthly report and the following was discussed:
The Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985
As detailed within his report, the TSLO advised Members that Messrs J Carlin and R Dolan requested that they be permitted to extend their Amusement Permit area to incorporate a room, which was currently used as a store.
On the proposal of Councillor McGuire, seconded by Councillor McHugh the above was agreed.
Bye-Laws Prohibiting the Consumption of Intoxicating Liquor in Designated Places
Draft Criminal Justice Order in Council: Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places
Members were advised that a consultation paper re the above was released with a response deadline of 31 January 2008.
The TSLO recommended that a meeting of Council’s ‘On Street Drinking Working Party’ (OSDWP) be convened to compile a response and that it be presented to Council for approval at the Environment Committee Meeting in January 2008.
On the proposal of Councillor McNulty, seconded by Councillor O’Kane it was agreed that those Members who currently served on the OSDWP and any other Member who wished, could attend the said meeting.
Councillors O’Kane and McNulty expressed concerns in relation to alcohol being delivered to the homes of underage children and they queried who was responsible for ensuring that such did not take place.
In response the TSLO advised that taxis were not licensed to deliver food or alcohol. He further advised that it was the responsibility of the PSNI to enforce such and stated that this issue could be discussed at a future meeting of the OSDWP.
Review of Existing Schedule of Designated Areas
It was agreed that the TSLO should initiate a consultation process to review the areas and the above would be progressed through the OSDWP.
In response to Councillor Donnell, the TSLO confirmed that Castlemurray was not at present a ‘Designated Area’, however could be added to the schedule.
On the proposal of Councillor O’Kane, seconded by Councillor McMenamin it was agreed that a letter be forwarded to the NIHE Neighbourhood Warden to address the issue of on-street drinking within Castlemurray.
Councillor McMenamin stated that in his view, every area within a 30 mile per hour radius should be a designated area as this would make it easier for the areas to be identified and would also save on costs for signage.
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions)(NI) Order 1995 Naming of Housing Developments
On the proposal of Councillor Donnell, seconded by Councillor McBride it was agreed that ‘Berryhill Court’ be adopted as the name of a housing scheme consisting of 17 No. houses at the junction of Art Road and Berryhill Road, Artigarvan.
On the proposal of Councillor McMenamin, seconded by Councillor Foley it was agreed that ‘Orandale’ be adopted as the name of a housing scheme of 30 No. houses at the rear of Ferndale, Melmount Road, Strabane.
On the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor McHugh it was agreed that ‘Craignagore Lane’ be adopted as the name of the laneway between 28 – 30 Evish Road, Strabane.
In response to a query from Councillor Donnell, the TSLO stated that the road sign at Berryhill Road had been erected.
Councillor McBride advised that the road sign at McCullaghstown Road had been vandalised.
In response, the TSLO advised that there were several roads signs throughout the district that needed repair and stated that he would address this issue.
On the proposal of Councillor McBride, seconded by Councillor McMenamin the TSLO’s report was adopted.
Strabane Canal Project
Councillor Barr queried the claim that the lock gates had been maliciously damaged and felt that, in his view it was more likely to be a defect in the mounting point strap assembly and if so, it would be unfair to make such allegations against the Strabane community.
Councillor O’Kane stated that he had seen photographs of the damage and it had been suggested that it was as a result of wear and tear and that the securing pin had worked itself loose.
Councillor Donnell advised that he raised the issue of the condition of the lock gates mounting assembly several months ago, stating that they did not look strong enough.
The CE stated that he would contact Mr Alan Moneypenny, Strabane/Lifford Development Commission to clarify the situation.
Alley Theatre Opening Hours
On the proposal of Councillor McMenamin, seconded by Councillor McHugh it was agreed that the Box Office and Jenca Café would open on Christmas Eve from 10.00am – 3.30pm.
On the proposal of Councillor Foley, seconded by Councillor McBride it was agreed that the meeting go ‘into committee’.
The meeting ended at 9.10 pm
The following does not form part of the Minutes recorded above but is included hereon in the interests of clarity:
At a meeting of Strabane District Council held on the day of 10 December 2007 the Minutes of the above Meeting were adopted as a true record on the proposal of Councillor O’Kane, seconded by Councillor Kerrigan, subject to the following amendment: -
* Insert a sentence: ‘Councillor McHugh noted that, having requested and obtained relevant information, he would be abstaining from any decision taken on the matter.’