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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 9 October 2012

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Proposals to Aid the Regeneration of Barry Island

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             The purpose of this report is to inform Committee of a number of regeneration options for Barry Island discussed at the Barry Regeneration Area Partnership Board on 11 September 2012. The report considers the strategic context for these proposals together with the funding opportunities and timescale available to deliver them. The report also considers the revenue implications of the proposals.  

Recommendations

1.             That the Committee endorses the report and refers the same to Cabinet.

2.             That Cabinet approve the regeneration options for Barry Island outlined in the report.

3.             That external consultancy services are appointed to provide initial design and costings in accordance with Minute No. C1783.

4.             That a further report is 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 outlined in this report.

5.             That opportunities to attract additional match funding for the regeneration options are explored.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             In order that the views of the Committee are sought and the report referred to Cabinet for consideration.

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.   

Background

2.             The Barry Regeneration Area Partnership Board has prioritised the delivery of a substantial legacy project for Barry Island in 2013/14. This will be the fourth year of the Barry Regeneration Area programme and circa £3.3M is available from the Welsh Government in that financial year.

3.             Cabinet received a report on development proposals for Nell's Point on 23 July 2012 (Minute No. C1778 refers). The report outlined the findings of the LDP/Collins Leisure Consultant’s study into providing family attractions on the site. A further report will be presented to this meeting of Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) detailing the next stages to develop a concept masterplan together with funding implications and timescales for delivery, relating to Nell’s Point.

4.             Should it become apparent that the concept plan and delivery will not be possible within the lifetime of the current investment programme i.e. 31 March 2014 funding could be directed towards other regeneration objectives on the Island. Officers have identified a number of options that will benefit the visitor experience and improve the tourism offer year round. Work will also continue via the Council’s emerging Destination Management Plan to explore the various tourism and funding opportunities linked to this wider regeneration approach.  

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             Barry Island exhibits significant landscape and townscape features that give it a distinctive sense of place and contribute materially to the broader character and identity of the town. This legacy deserves to be preserved and enhanced through conservation and adaptation of period buildings, surviving relict structures and improvements to public spaces. However the overall condition of these features together with street furniture, boundaries and surfacing continues to have a negative impact and detracts from the visitor experience. The following options aim to address the declining condition of the public realm and to reinvigorate key sites. Members are asked to note that indicative plans and photographs will be displayed at the meeting to illustrate the proposals.   

a) Eastern Promenade. This important resort feature requires substantial public realm improvements including repairs and alterations to existing structures with re-surfacing, improved lighting and seating. The condition of the promenade has increasingly deteriorated and viewed from the west appears derelict and uninviting. The whole area requires urgent attention to provide a more suitable setting for the Nell’s Point site and future visitor attractions. The aim is to reconnect the promenade with the land above and extend the seafront character of the resort along the full length of the beach to exploit its unique setting. Such an approach will encourage greater access and appreciation of Nell’s Point headland, the refurbished Coastwatch Station and Jackson’s Bay which are key visitor destinations to the east. In order to maintain increased footfall and family use a modern DDA compliant toilet could be introduced next to the Eastern Shelter.  

b) Harbour Road Causeway. This key gateway route could be substantially improved by a co-ordinated approach to the public realm including new street lighting, road surfacing and boundary improvements. Provision of a segregated cycleway will be assessed to provide a safer environment for cyclists and also to promote Barry Island as a destination in the context of National Link 88 of the Sustrans route.

c) Footpath improvements and interpretation. Key footpath routes would benefit from re-surfacing with finger posts and interpretation located at arrival points. Improved lighting using LED lanterns can result in significant energy savings as well as creating a more welcoming environment. The provision of such lighting will be explored further during design and feasibility.

d) Street furniture. A new suite of co-ordinated furniture is proposed across the Island to include new shelters, seating, railings, bollard, bins, cycle stands.  Amenity and Highway lighting can also be upgraded. Tourist information signage would be updated and opportunities for public art also explored to further enhance the public realm. The present appearance of these items is outdated and in poor repair and upgrading would provide a much needed facelift and reinvigorate the tourism offer in all areas. A condition audit would be one of the first tasks for the appointed consultants working closely with Cleansing and Resort Management. 

e) Enabling works Nell’s Point site. Enabling works such as breaking out and crushing concrete building slabs, grading to even contours and spreading the aggregate would benefit the site for future development. This would also provide an overflow parking option at this end of the Island with scope for hosting events in the interim and pending the bringing back of the site to a permanent beneficial use.

6.             The engineering and building works described will require planning consent and in order to minimise impact and disruption to the tourism trade these works would need to be carried out between September 2013 and March 2014. An earlier start for the enabling works on Nell’s Point may be an option. Orders would be placed for street furniture and equipment from April 2013 onwards to secure stocks in advance.

7.             Cadw will be consulted at an early stage to agree the scope of the improvement proposals and to discuss any potential funding support. Listed Building consent will be required for repairs to the former conveniences and Eastern Shelter. The Eastern Promenade also lies within the wider Barry Marine Conservation Area and Countryside Council for Wales will need to be consulted as part of the site lies within the Barry Island geological SSSI. Ecological surveys will need to be carried out for bats, reptiles and any significant plant populations that may be affected by the works.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.             In accordance with Minute No. C1783 the Director of Resources, in consultation with the Leader and Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation and Director of Development Services have been granted delegated authority to utilise the Project Development Fund for progressing feasibility studies and to obtain external advice.

9.             Given the time required for a concept plan to be developed by LDP/Collins Leisure Consultants for the Nell’s Point site it is also necessary to appoint external consultants to progress the range of regeneration options outlined above as part of a twin track approach. This will enable the Barry Regeneration Area Partnership Board and Cabinet to assess both issues following the necessary project development stages.

10.        Given the nature of the tasks a number of engineering practices will therefore be invited to submit fee bids. Stage 1 of the commission i.e. to be funded from the Project Development Fund would involve feasibility, sketch design and costings. Topographic and structural surveys together with ground investigation and ecology reports are also required to inform the initial design process and the overall cost is estimated at between £70-80K.

11.        The consultants would also be in place to organise a public consultation event prior to submission for planning consent. Early involvement of the Council’s structural and highway engineers in assessing design proposals would be key to successful delivery of the major work elements. Discussions would also be held to second a Council Clerk of Works to the project to provide liaison and quality control.

12.        Investment in this project will substantially improve a range of public assets. The Eastern Shelter and promenade are currently in poor structural repair, detract from the tourism offer and inhibit inward investment. Overhauling street furniture, re-surfacing roads and footways and carrying out structural repairs could not normally be carried out on such a scale. The combined improvements will help to assist current cleansing and grounds maintenance operations and offset increasing revenue costs for abortive repairs to buildings and outdated street furniture. More importantly there will be significant benefits to the local economy and tourism generally resulting from this level of regeneration activity. All relevant Operational Managers have been consulted regarding the proposals outlined in this report.

13.        Contractors employed for the project will provide individual statements regarding the works, materials and maintenance requirements. The Council will seek to maximise local employment benefits for the various work packages involved.

14.        Procurement will be undertaken in accordance with the Council's Procurement Guidance and Financial Regulations as appropriate.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

15.        Overall the sustainability and climate change implications associated with this report are considered to have positive effects. Examples include re-cycling concrete slabs, more energy efficient lighting and improved life expectancy of listed buildings and structures.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

16.        Where projects have been successful in securing external funding it will be necessary to ensure that all conditions attached to the external funding offer are complied with and to notify the funding provider of any variations.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.        Consideration of the crime and disorder implications, where applicable, will be commensurate with the design and implementation requirements of the project.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.        The project will provide a range of facilities to help give children and families better access to healthy outdoor activities. Use and enjoyment of the proposed new facilities will enable the community to improve their health and well-being, increase their independence, choice and control.  

19.        All associated activities and printed material i.e. signage, interpretation boards, information leaflets and publicity surrounding the proposals will be produced in accordance with the language policies of the Council and Welsh Government.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.        The project will enable the Council to address a number of corporate objectives relating to regeneration, tourism, community well being and safety.

Policy Framework and Budget

21.        The report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.        Local Ward Members have been consulted.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

23.        Economy and Environment

Background Papers

Indicative plans and photographs will be displayed at the meeting.

 

Contact Officer

Malcolm Drysdale Principal Landscape Architect

Tel: 01446 704745

 

Officers Consulted

Director of Visible Services and Housing 

Operational Manger Highways and Engineering

Operational Manager Parks and Grounds Maintenance

Operational Manager Waste Management and Cleansing

Operational Manager Countryside and Economic Projects

Operational Manager Leisure and Tourism

Major Projects Manager

Group Estates Officer

Senior Accountant

Tourism and Marketing Manager

Senior Planner (Conservation and Design)

Legal Services - CommitteeReports@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

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