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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 30th July, 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

 

Proposed Cycleway/Footway, The Bowl, Penarth

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To obtain Cabinet approval for a new cycleway and footway link adjoining Penarth Heights in the Bowl area identified indicatively on the Plan attached as Appendix A, subject to obtaining the necessary planning consents.

2.             To obtain authority for the Director of Development Services to submit a formal grant application to Sustrans for the cycleway/footway scheme and to delegate powers to the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Director of Finance, ICT and Property and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation to accept the terms and conditions of the Sustrans grant.

3.             To obtain authority for the Head of Legal Services on the Council’s behalf to accept the Sustrans grant and to execute and complete all legal documentation required facilitating the project.

4.             To obtain approval of the Council’s match funding (presently estimated at £52k) towards the cost of the cycleway/footway scheme and for the Capital Programme to be amended subject to Chief Executive Emergency Powers.

5.             To obtain authority for funds from the Section 106 Agreement to be utilised towards the cost of the cycleway scheme subject to the approval of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation” and consultation with the other local Ward Member in accordance with Section 106 protocol.

6.             To obtain authority approving Crest Nicholson to let the works contract, subject to planning, for an enhanced cycleway/footway scheme on behalf of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, to be financed by funding from the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Sustrans and Crest Nicholson or other such funding as may be available.

7.             To obtain authority for exemption from Financial Regulations / Contract Standing Orders to enable the provision by Crest Nicholson of a  cycleway / footway scheme. This will allow the scheme to be designed by Crest Nicholson’s existing design team and constructed by Crest Nicholson’s existing works contractor, to avoid delaying the delivery of the scheme within a tight deadline set by Sustrans and the Big Lottery Fund for the expenditure of the grant.

8.             Due to the immediacy of the project and the time constraints of the Sustrans grant , Chief Executive Emergency Powers will be sought prior to Cabinet to underwrite any reasonable costs incurred by Crest Nicholson to facilitate the urgent feasibility, survey and design of the scheme (including planning fees).

Recommendations

1.             That authority is given for a new cycleway and footway link adjoining Penarth Heights in the Bowl area identified indicatively on the Plan attached as Appendix A, subject to planning;

2.             That authority is given for the Director of Development Services to submit a formal grant application to Sustrans for the cycleway/footway scheme and to delegate powers to the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Director of Finance, ICT and Property and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation to accept the terms and conditions of the Sustrans grant

3.             That authority is given for the Head of Legal Services on the Council’s behalf to accept the Sustrans grant and to execute and complete all legal documentation required facilitating the project;

4.             That, subject to agreement of grant terms, authority is given for the Council to provide the match funding required for the cycleway/footway scheme to be funded from Section 106 monies, subject to the approval of the Director of Finance, ICT and Property, the Director of Development Services and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation and consultation with the other local ward member in accordance with Section 106 protocol;

5.             That authority is given to Crest Nicholson to let the works contract, subject to planning approval, for the cycleway/footway scheme (on behalf of the Vale of Glamorgan Council) financed by funding from the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Sustrans and Crest Nicholson or other such funding as may be available once the grant terms are agreed; 

6.             That authority is given for the procurement of the cycleway/footway scheme to be implemented by way of an Exemption from Financial Regulations/Contract Standing Orders thereby enabling the scheme to be designed by Crest Nicholson’s existing design team and constructed by Crest Nicholson’s existing works contractor.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To obtain Cabinet approval for the cycleway/footway link at the Bowl adjoining Penarth Heights subject to planning;

2.             To obtain Cabinet approval for the submission and acceptance of a Sustrans grant for the cycleway/footway scheme;

3.             To obtain authority for all legal documentation to be executed and completed by the Head of Legal Services;

4.             To obtain authority for the Council match funding required towards the cost of the cycleway/footway scheme;

5.             To obtain authority to Crest Nicholson to let the works contract subject to planning for the cycleway/footway scheme on behalf of the Vale of Glamorgan Council;

 

6.             To obtain authority for the cycleway/footway scheme to be implemented by way of an Exemption from Financial Regulations/Contract Standing Orders in order for it to be designed and constructed by Crest Nicholson’s existing design team and existing works contractor respectively.

 

Background

9.             The Council has a legal agreement in place with Cardiff County Council and Sustrans in respect of the Pontywerin project and the various cycle routes associated with it. The majority of these links, to date, have been provided via grant support provided by the Welsh Government via Sewta.      

10.        As part of the project an opportunity has arisen for the Vale of Glamorgan Council to secure a grant from the Big Lottery fund via Sustrans towards the cost of implementing a new cycleway as part of a cycleway/footway link proposed between Terra Nova Way in Penarth Marina and the Penarth Heights development. This will provide a strategically important link via Pont y Werin Bridge between Cardiff Bay, Penarth Marina and Penarth and is one of the key elements of the agreement in place.

11.        The Bowl is an area of land owned by the Vale of Glamorgan Council and is managed by the Council’s Parks and Grounds Maintenance section.  Crest are already committed to reinstating an original footway in this location as part of the Penarth Heights project and have indicated that they have £25,000 of their own funds earmarked for this purpose.

Relevant Issues and Options

12.        The grant offered by Sustrans towards the cost of facilitating the proposed cycleway as part of a cycleway/footway link within the Bowl area indicatively identified in Appendix A is requested by the grant body to be physically completed by the end of December 2012.  Due to this very tight timescale there is insufficient time to tender the design and construction of this vital section of infrastructure.  Crest Nicholson are in temporary legal possession of the Bowl area of land upon which the cycleway/footway scheme is proposed as the developer was due to facilitate reinstating the original footway following the recent completion of drainage works in this area.   In view of this it is proposed Crest Nicholson facilitate via their existing design team consultant and works contractor the design and construction of the cycleway/footway as it is impractical to tender and involve any other parties. 

13.        As stated the Bowl is an area of land owned by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.  The proposed cycleway/footway will therefore be owned by and maintained by the Council’s Parks and Ground Maintenance section.

14.        As with any construction project there are risks associated with its delivery.  For example, the project could be delayed due to poor weather or through technical difficulties encountered on site resulting in the Sustrans grant not being fully spent before the end of December 2012.  Also, the scheme could increase in cost, for example in the event during the works unexpected difficult ground conditions arise.  Any financial deficit arising from increased costs or due to a reduction in grant would have to be funded by the Council.  It should be noted that Crest are not obliged to deliver this cycleway scheme, as they are only required to reinstate the original footpath which is now being superseded as a result of this new project.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

15.        Due to the scheme being designed at the time of writing this Cabinet report and the need to facilitate further feasibility and survey work it is not possible at this stage to confirm with any accuracy the cost of the scheme.  The scheme is challenging in construction terms particularly due to the gradients.  Therefore the following estimated costs are preliminary and the actual cost may differ.  However, it is anticipated there are sufficient funds within the Penarth Heights Section 106 Agreement to offset any additional costs.  Bearing in mind this uncertainty it is proposed to delegate authority to the Director of Finance, ICT and Property and the Director of Development Services in liaison with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation to agree the final budget allocation prior to agreeing commencement of the physical works. 

16.        Due to the immediacy of the project and the time constraints of the Sustrans grant, Chief Executive Emergency Powers will be sought prior to Cabinet to underwrite any reasonable costs incurred by Crest Nicholson to facilitate the urgent feasibility, survey and design of the scheme (including planning fees).

17.        The initial cost estimate for the cycleway/footway scheme is £227,000 comprising:

·               £212,000 (rounded) – initial cost estimate from Crest Nicholson for the works contract (including design team fees); and

·               £15,000 – Council’s In house Highway Engineering fees (for monitoring the works).

18.        The funding for the scheme will comprise:

·               £150,000 Sustrans grant (subject to the cycleway/footway being physically completed by the end of December 2012),

·               £25,000 from Crest Nicholson (the sum of money the developer has set aside to reinstate the original footway). 

·               £52,000  - the gap or match funding for the scheme is required to be funded by the Council.

19.        The cost of the design and construction of the cycleway/footway is presently an initial estimate.  The actual cost and therefore the actual match/funding gap required from the Council will be determined in due course as the detailed design for the cycleway/footway is finalised over the next few months.  If during the course of finalising the design there is a need for further funds an additional report will be submitted to Cabinet.

20.        In addition there is a need for support from the Council’s highway engineers to monitor and certify the payment of invoices from Crest Nicholson for works completed by their design team and works contractor.  It is estimated this will cost circa £15,000. 

21.        The Council’s funding gap (presently estimated at £52,000) is to be met from Section 106 monies. Initially the funds will come from the Project Fund, however it will be repaid once Section 106 monies associated with the Penarth Heights development have been received.

22.        The development at Penarth Heights was subject to a section 106 agreement which, amongst other things, secured a financial contribution of £1,280,700 for ‘sustainable transport facilities’ to be paid in instalments at relevant stages of the development. This sum was based on cost estimates for a range of sustainable transport measures serving the development, and included the provision of a cycleway/footway to Penarth Marina which was estimated at £125,000 at the time of the application. The section 106 agreement was worded in a flexible manner to enable the Council to allocate this funding to appropriate projects at the time of implementation, therefore there is scope to use more or less of the ‘sustainable transport facilities contribution’ towards the delivery of the cycleway as the need arises, depending on alternative grant funding. This is subject to the usual consultation with Cabinet and Local Ward Members in accordance with the section 106 protocol.

23.        The after care and maintenance of the cycleway/footway will be facilitated by Parks and Grounds Maintenance.   

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

24.        The implementation of the cycleway/footway will encourage cycling and walking and thereby reduce the use of motor vehicles and is therefore a project that is highly sustainable and will have positive impact on the potential of the Council to contribute to minimising the impact of climate change.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

25.        The land upon which the cycleway/footway will be constructed is within the freehold ownership of the Vale.

26.        Any reference to the Director of Finance, ICT and Property within this report will be superseded by the designation Director of Resources from the 1st August 2012.

Crime and Disorder Implications

27.        The aim will be to address issues of crime and disorder in the design of the project.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

28.        The project will be delivered in accordance with the Council’s equal opportunities policies and ethos.

Corporate/Service Objectives

29.        The Pontywerin Project is a key element of cycling provision in the Vale and the provisions of the Regional Transport Plan.

Policy Framework and Budget

30.        This report is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet.

 

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

31.        The following comments were received from Councillor Gwyn Roberts, Ward Member for St. Augustines:

"We have been campaigning for an improved link from the Marina to the town for a number of years, concentrating on this area.

I therefore welcome the proposal wholeheartedly and am pleased that it is to take place in the very near future.

I do have one concern. During the consultations over the years, Crest has never shown great enthusiasm for this link, leaving it in place but downgrading it considerably. On the last and current plan, I was pleased to see that there is a greater emphasis on this aspect in the whole site layout.

 What I would therefore caution against is that in the haste to achieve the project, we put too much faith in Crest’s design, so I would want to have some input from residents as to the design.

 In order not to delay the project, I would be happy to facilitate any informal discussion / consultation with local residents at both ends of the link.

Can I also warn that if the Police are consulted, their emphasis to date has been to prevent ‘escape routes’ for wrongdoers. I would not want that dimension to detract from the link.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment."

 

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

32.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Mark White (Major Projects Manager) – Penarth Heights Tel. 01446 704698.

 

John Dent (Major Projects Manager) – Acting OM, Planning and Transportation Tel 01446 704698

 

Officers Consulted

Principal Lawyer (Legal Public Protection and Housing)

Estates Group Manager, Strategic Property

Senior Accountant, Accountancy

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services.