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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 27 January, 2014

Report of the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services

 

Consideration of Responses Received to Proposals to Provide Alley Gates on a Lane Linking Heol Pantycelyn / Trinity Street, Barry

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To seek Cabinet approval to install an alley gate in the service lane, Heol Pantycelyn to Trinity Street, Barry, in light of conflicting responses received from nearby residents.

Recommendations

1.         That one alley Gate be provided to assist in reducing criminal and anti-social activities within the lane.  The installation to be at the Trinity Street entrance to the lane with the objectors being advised of this.

2.         That the success of this arrangement is reviewed over a 12 month period.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         This recommendation represents a reasonable compromise at this time.

2.         To allow the effectiveness of the alley gate installation to be properly considered.

Background

2.         Over a number of years requests for Alley Gates have been received from residents living at Nos 64 to 72 Trinity Street in respect to the lane adjacent to the rear of their properties.  These requests followed a number of incidents of anti-social activities within the lane; these included graffiti being applied to the brickwork of the properties, small fires within the lane, aerial cables pulled from the walls and broken bottles left by youths gathering at night.

3.         In 2011 funding was secured via the Tidy Towns initiative to enable the lane to be considered for inclusion in the Alley Gate scheme.  The proposed location of the Alley Gates is indicated on attached Map (Appendix 1).  The proposed location of the Alley Gate adjacent to No. 22 Heol Pantycelyn is indicated at the rear of 64 Trinity Street, this is the first point that would enable the lane to be secured because of low garden walls.  This would allow vehicles to turn around at the end of Heol Pantycelyn. 

4.         During the Public Consultation in 2011 objections were received from residents living in Heol Pantycelyn who felt there was no need for Alley Gates as they were not aware of any issues within the lane.  They also felt gates would inconvenience them if they wished to drive out onto Trinity Street.  To try and address some of the reported issues whilst also considering Heol Pantycelyn residents' objections, a revised gating scheme was implemented with gates being installed on the small lane to the rear of No 72 Trinity St. leading to Gadlys Road (Appendix 2 map).  This would remove an 'escape route' for perpetrators of the anti-social activities reported.  These gates since installation have themselves been the target of graffiti (photo attached at Appendix 7). 

5.         In February 2012 a petition was received from residents living in properties 62 - 72 Trinity Street (Appendix 3) asking for the original gating proposals for the lane to be reconsidered.  The request followed further anti-social activities including intruders entering the rear gardens of Trinity Street properties. 

6.         Funding was secured in 2012 via the Tidy Towns initiative for this lane to again be considered for Alley Gates.  During the second Public Consultation in September 2012 the same objections were received from residents living in Heol Pantycelyn (Appendix 4) together with a further letter of support from Trinity Street residents (Appendix 5).  In addition one of the ward Members, Councillor Ian Johnson, has visited the residents living in the area and the feedback from his visit is attached (Appendix 6).

7.         A modified proposal was put to residents in an attempt to try and reach a 'middle ground' agreement.  This was to install one set of Alley Gates between No's 70 & 72 Trinity Street.  As this lane is the only lane in the area not gated, installing one gate would prevent unauthorised persons entering the lane from Trinity Street and would dissuade those intent on carrying out anti-social activities; as entrance to the lane without a key would require a route along Gadlys Road / Heol Dewi Sant and Heol Pantycelyn.  The location of this alleygate is shown at Appendix 8 .

8.         Trinity Street residents whilst preferring the option of two Alley Gates were prepared to consider the installation of one Alley Gate.  Residents of Heol Pantycelyn were however not supportive of the modified proposal and requested Cabinet Members be asked to decide on an outcome to the current impasse.

9.         In February 2013 Trinity Street residents wrote a letter addressed to Cabinet members setting out the issues being experienced (Appendix 7).  In recent months Police have been required to attend the area on numerous occasions because of Youth nuisance.  The Police are supportive of providing some form of gating to the lane and a letter advising of this is attached at Appendix 9.

Relevant Issues and Options

10.      There are three options for consideration:

Option 1

The provision of two sets of Alley Gates, one to the rear of No. 64 Trinity Street and one between Nos 70 and 72 Trinity Street, with keys provided for residents of Trinity Street and Heol Pantycelyn as required.

 

 

Option 2

 

 

The provision of one set of Alley Gates located between Nos 70 and 72 Trinity Street as described in item 7 above, again with the provision of keys to residents who require access.

Option 3

No Alley Gates installed.

 

 

 

11.      The preferred option from a crime prevention perspective would be Option 1.  However this option is not supported by a number of residents of Heol Pantycelyn.  There is only one compromise that could assist the residents of Trinity Street and impact to a lesser degree the residents of Heol Pantycelyn and that is Option 2.

12.      It should be noted that residents of Heol Pantycelyn do not have to use the service lane to either access or exit Trinity Street and it could be argued that as a result of the restricted vision at this junction due to parked cars, this is not the safest route on and off this busy main road.  In this case therefore it is suggested that the objectors do not have greater strength to their argument than those whose lives may have been blighted by incidence of anti-social behaviour.

13.      It is therefore proposed that Option 2 be progressed though with a 12 month review period to allow its success or otherwise to be monitored.  A further report will be provided to Cabinet after this time period if officers believe that the installation has caused greater problems than it is designed to prevent.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14.      The Tidy Towns funding secured for 'Phase 14' of the Alley Gates initiative, of which the above lane formed a part, had time constraints and has therefore been committed.  Should Cabinet decide that Alley Gates are to be provided, there is a small stock of Alley Gates available that would be fit for purpose.  The installation costs would be funded from the Alley Gate Maintenance budget.  The approximate cost per gate installation is £795.00.  The press insertion of the Notice of Making of the Traffic Order to enable gate installation to proceed, would cost approximately £520.00, this would also be funded from the Alley Gate Maintenance budget.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

15.      The Vale of Glamorgan Council provides an Alley Gate maintenance budget to ensure the gates remain in good operational order and have dedicated personnel involved in the maintenance of the Alley Gate scheme.  There are no direct climate change implications.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

16.      The Highways Act 1980 (Gating Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2007 which underpin the relevant provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 give the council powers to restrict access to paths and alleyways during certain times of the day, or at all times, through a gating order. This allows more flexibility in closing alley ways where a permanent closure is not appropriate.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.      Depending on the decision made by Cabinet Members the opportunity for the anti-social / criminal activities currently being experienced could be reduced with the installation of Alley Gates.  If gates are not installed the issues will continue.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.      There are no Equal Opportunities implications

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.      The issues contained in this report are part of the service objective to improve the environment and quality of life in the Vale of Glamorgan.

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 and no adverse comments have been received.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

23.      None.

Contact Officer

Ken Evans, Acting Routine Maintenance Manager

Tel: 02920 673 084

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Legal Services

Accountant Building and Visible Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter Director of Visible Services and Housing