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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 18th March 2013

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

Barry Island-Update on Regeneration, the Production of a Master Plan and Marketing of Nell's Point

Purpose of the Report

1.             To provide Members with an update on regeneration proposals for Barry Island.  The report also provides information relating to the proposed Barry Island master plan including the reason for its production and the methods for consultation and delivery.  The report also seeks authority to market the Nell's Point site on Barry Island.

 

Recommendations

1.             That the progress made on regeneration proposals for Barry Island be noted.

 

2.             That Cabinet endorse the attached document entitled "Setting the Scene" as the basis for consultation and the commencement of the Barry Island master planning process.

 

3.             That delegated authority be given to the Director of Development Services to market the Nell's Point site with the aid of a marketing brief the content of which is to be agreed in consultation with the Leader, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation and the Managing Director and that Cabinet be apprised of the interest received regarding the site in due course.

 

4.             That a further report be presented to Cabinet to detail the responses received to the marketing exercise for Nell's Point and the consultation responses to "Setting the Scene" in due course.

 

5.             That the report be referred to Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To provide a full update on the regeneration proposals for Barry Island.

 

2.             To accept the attached document as the basis for consultation.

 

3.             To allow the Nell's Point site to be marketed.

 

4.             In order to evaluate the responses received following the marketing of the Nell's Point site and the consultation on "Setting the Scene".

 

5.             To seek the views of the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee on the content of this report.

 

Background

2.             Officers presented a report to Cabinet on 12th December 2007 regarding Nell's Point and future potential land uses. That report was agreed and contained a recommendation relating to the appointment on consultancy support. In accordance with recommendation 4 of that report, Humberts Leisure was appointed in June 2009.

 

3.             The Humberts recommendations were reported to Cabinet in April 2010 and following a period of public consultation it was decided that the recommendations of that report needed to be considered within a wider master plan context. In addition as the Barry Regeneration Board was being formed at that time it was suggested that such a funding source might be utilised to support any schemes proposed as well as other initiatives both in Barry and at the island.

4.             Following discussions with the Barry Regeneration Board, the LDP/Collins group were appointed to advise on an alternative set of end uses which might be promoted for Barry Island via a more targeted marketing approach. LDP/ Collins produced a two stage marketing study which was reported to Cabinet in October 2012.

 

5.             In this regard Members will recall that the report that was presented to the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee (subsequently considered by Cabinet 15th October) detailed the work undertaken by LDP/Collins.  Members were updated on progress with regard to possible investment on leisure uses and Nell's Point, and the potential to progress the LDP/Collins work to the next stage, that of producing a marketing and investment plan for Nell's Point and that a consultancy brief be produced to procure such services, with the possibility of procuring such services directly from LDP/Collins.  For completeness, the resolution of the Cabinet meeting (Minute No. C1866) of the 15th October on this particular issue was as follows:

 

RESOLVED-

(1)          THAT the views of the Barry Regeneration Area Board be noted.

(2)          THAT officers prepare a Consultancy Brief in order that Stage 3 of the master planning, marketing and investment plan for Nell's Point can proceed and the Director of Development Services, in consultation with Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, the Director of Resources, and the Leader procure such services.

(3)          THAT following the preparation of consultations brief and if considered appropriate the Council procure the work directly from LDP/Collins Leisure Consultants with the appropriate exemption from financial regulations.

(4)          THAT the costs of such Consultancy Services be financed via the Barry Regeneration fund element of the Council's Capital Programme.

(5)          THAT officers utilise the recommendations of the report and incorporate such proposals into a draft Barry Island Master Plan.

(6)          THAT officers complete the draft Barry Island Master Plan and report firstly to Scrutiny Committee and then to Cabinet, prior to a formal consultation exercise being undertaken.

(7)          THAT officers report the outcome of the Stage 3 report when available.

(8)          THAT an update report on progress be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in six months.

 

Reason for Decisions

(1)          In consideration of the programme and funding requirements associated with the project.

(2)          To allow progression of the third stage of the Consultancy work involving the actual marketing of the land and negotiations with a specific group of investors in accord with an agreed brief.

(3)          To progress this work given their input into Stages 1 and 2.

(4)          To finance the work.

(5)          To progress the Barry Island Master Plan to a draft stage for Members' views via Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet prior to consultation.

(6)          To provide a contextual framework for the regeneration of Barry Island.

(7)          To provide details of progress.

(8)          In order to apprise Members and update them on progress.

 

6.             At the same Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet on 15th October a report entitled 'Proposals to Aid the Regeneration of Barry Island' was also presented.  The report clarified that the Barry Regeneration Area Partnership Board had prioritised a substantial legacy project for Barry Island in 2013/14 and with this in mind a suite of works were presented to aid in increasing business confidence, improving visitor experience and to act as a catalyst for future private sector investment. The proposals include works on the eastern promenade and shelter, works to the Harbour Road/Causeway as a key gateway and improvements in interpretation, public art and public realm.  It was also envisaged that enabling works could be undertaken at Nell's Point which would benefit the site for future development but allow interim uses such as events and car parking pending the redevelopment of the site.  It is envisaged that this suite of urban realm improvements, with a focus on the eastern promenade and shelter, would set the context to future redevelopment of Nell's Point and act as a catalyst for private sector investment. The proposals received the support of the Committee and again for completeness the resolution of the Cabinet meeting (C1867) was as follows:

 

RESOLVED-

(1)          THAT the regeneration options at Barry Island as outlined within the report be endorsed.

(2)          THAT external consultancy services be appointed to provide initial design and costings in accordance with Minute No. C1783.

(3)          THAT a further report be submitted to Cabinet to confirm the outcome of feasibility works and discussions relating to the development options for Nell's Point and the regeneration options for Barry Island as contained within the report.

(4)          THAT opportunities to attract additional match funding for the regeneration options be explored.

(5)          THAT a further report on the progress of the proposals to aid the regeneration of Barry Island be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in six months.

(6)          THAT officers be thanked for their hard work in bringing forward this report at short notice.

 

Reasons for Decisions

(1)          In order that the views of the Committee were considered.

(2)          To facilitate further feasibility and design work.

(3)          To facilitate the implementation of the project and provide sufficient lead-in time should funding opportunities arise.

(4)          To apprise Cabinet of progress and to seek approval as required for a funding application under the Barry Regeneration Area programme 2013/14.

(5)          To maximise the benefits of regeneration to Barry Island.

(6)          To thank staff for their hard work.

 

7.             Subsequent to the reports being presented in October, officers have, working alongside the Welsh Government, appraised the process, costs and risks associated with taking forward the targeted marketing approach as advocated by LDP/Collins.  It has been concluded that the approach suggested isn’t one which has been used by the public sector or Welsh Government and, therefore, has risks associated with it. The advice, therefore, is not to follow this approach as it is not considered that it provides best value for the Council's limited resources. There was also a general view that there was an initial need to market the site to assess the level and type of interest that may exist.

 

8.             In addition the challenging timescale under the Regeneration Area funding stream (the programme comes to a conclusion in March 2014) heightened the risk associated with the LDP/Collns approach.  Finally, the funding gap, even accounting for the Barry Regeneration Area Funding, is a hugely material factor when considering which option to progress.  As a result work has progressed on proposals to aid regeneration of the Island (as referred to under Minute C1867) and this is a course of action that has been reported through the Barry Regeneration Area Partnership Board, most recently on 19th February 2013.  At this meeting it was agreed that regeneration area funding be used to progress a suite of public realm proposals as outlined under paragraph 6 above and presented in the report to Scrutiny and Cabinet in October of last year.

 

9.             Alongside the above matter, the Welsh Government has recently produced a consultation document, Vibrant and Viable Places - A New Regeneration Framework, which is the result of a policy review of approaches to regeneration instigated by the Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage in February 2012. 

 

10.        The consultation document and various commissioned reports which have informed the review were issued on 22nd October 2012.  The closing date for responses to the Welsh Government was 14th January 2013.  Given the direction proposed in the Vibrant and Viable Places paper it is essential that funding bids under the proposed regime are supported by strategic plans and it is proposed that the developing master plan for Barry Island can provide the required framework to support submissions for further funding at the Island which was recently identified as the central project for the Barry Regeneration Board in 2013-14.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

11.        The CABE document- Creating Successful Master Plans - advises that to ensure that the master plan does not become yet another Study, implementation must be considered from the start and throughout the master planning process. Clarifying and understanding realistic delivery strategies is an essential part of master planning and one which must start early. It is important to recognise at the outset of the process that master plans should not be seen as rigid blueprints for development and design. Rather they will set the context within which individual projects come forward. A detailed document entitled "Setting the Scene" (Appendix A) will be made available in the Member's Room.  This sets out the available information relating to past analysis of Barry Island and the issues that a master plan might consider. It is intended that the document be used as source material during the development stage of the master plan.

 

12.        Master plans should be simple, sophisticated documents. They must communicate clearly the aspirations for development in an area and a certain amount of prescription is appropriate. Yet they also have to provide flexibility as physical change may take some years to be delivered. The implementation or delivery strategy should evolve through analysis and discussion during the course of the master planning process. The future delivery strategy will need to consider a variety of issues including timetabling, funding streams, potential delivery mechanism and the involvement of key partners and the need to communicate decisions and market the offer.

 

13.        I am therefore recommending a suite of actions in respect of Barry Island to sit and progress alongside the regeneration activity that is proposed on the Island for this coming financial year.  It is considered opportune and appropriate to market Nell's Point whilst at the same time consult on the "Setting the Scene" document.  The response to the marketing exercise and the consultation on "Setting the Scene" will then be reported to Cabinet, which in turn will inform future, more detailed master planning.  It is also considered that these actions will put Barry Island and Barry in a strong position in terms of future funding and regeneration activity and opportunities.

 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

14.        The intention is to continue to develop the master plan utilising internal staff resources.  Funding for the Barry Island public realm enhancement works will be obtained from the Welsh Government's Barry Regeneration Area funding stream.  Your officers are also seeking other funding opportunities to supplement the budget.

 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

15.        The comprehensive and integrated approach to Barry Island provides the opportunity to consider all sustainability issues, with particular emphasis on transport links, construction and energy consumption.

 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

 

16.        Whilst there are no direct legal implications at this stage in general terms, section 2 of the Local Government Act 2000 gives the Council power to take steps which it considers are likely to promote the economic, social or environmental well being of their area or its inhabitants.

 

In this regard, all decisions taken by or made on behalf of the Council must be within the legal powers of the Council; comply with any procedural requirement imposed by law; be within the powers of the body or person exercising powers of behalf of the Council; be undertaken in accordance with the procedural requirements imposed by the Council; be fully and properly informed; be taken having regard to the Council's fiduciary duty to its taxpayers; and be reasonable and proper in all the circumstances.

 

In particular on the disposal of any land owned by the Council, consideration will need to be given to the statutory duty under section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 and any other related legislation.

 

Advice will therefore need to be taken at various stages of the process and reported in any subsequent reports relating to this matter. Individual proposals for the use of the various sites covered by the ‘Master Plan’ will be the subject to the relevant planning permission and/or any other statutory process.

 

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.        There are no crime and disorder implications.

 

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.        Equal opportunity issues will need to be considered in the developing document.

 

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.        The proposal would support the Corporate Plan in its promotion of regeneration, sustainability, public health, and the safety of residents in the Vale. The Draft Corporate Plan 2013-17 proposes that we develop, in consultation with residents, businesses and the wider community a master plan for Barry Island, to include enhancements to the public realm and the use of land at Nell's Point for leisure purposes (2014/15)

 

Policy Framework and Budget

20.        This report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

 

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.        Local Ward Members have been consulted.

 

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.        Economy and Environment.

 

Background Papers

Appendix A. Setting the Scene: Barry Master Plan Framework

 

Contact Officer

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services - 01446 704630

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Legal - Committee Reports

Senior Accountant

Operational Manager for Countryside and Economic Projects

Operational Manager for Parks and Ground Maintenance

Operational Manager for Leisure and Tourism

Operational Manager for Waste Management and Cleansing

Operational Manager for Planning and Transportation

Head of Business Management and Innovation

Head of Housing

Head of Strategic Planning and Performance

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

 

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