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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Welsh Church Act Estate Committee 25th July 2012

 

Report of the Director of Finance ICT & Property

 

Land to the Rear of Church Road, Cadoxton, Barry

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To update Committee of the recent works commenced at the land at the rear of Church Road to clear the lane of rubbish/fly tipped materials and overgrowth.

2.             To seek a way forward in relation to the reinstatement of the wall between Church Road lane and Bastian Close and the future maintenance of the lane.

Recommendations

1.             That Committee notes the work commenced to clear the lane to the rear of Church Road Cadoxton.

2.             That Committee consider the way forward for resolving the long term maintenance issues in the lane and also considers the options for providing a replacement barrier between the lane and Bastian Close.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             In order that Committee are aware of the works commenced to remove fly tipping and over growth to the lane to the rear of Church Road Cadoxton

2.             In order to seek a resolution in order to deal with the issue of the unstable wall and ongoing maintenance issues.

Background

3.             The lane to the rear of Church Road, Cadoxton is owned by the Welsh Church Act Estate Committee at the location highlighted in the plan at Appendix A.

4.             The lane is located to the rear of houses along Church Road and abuts land in third party ownership at Bastian Close.

5.             In recent years residents have made complaints to Council Officers in relation to the overgrown nature of the land and the fly tipped rubbish accumulating in the lane.  The lane has been cleared of rubbish on a number of occasions over the years; however it appears that this is not sufficient to alleviate the long term problem for the local residents.

6.             Following a number of recent complaints concerning the state of the lane, a site meeting was arranged to discuss possible options for the land.  It was noted on site that the lane was extremely overgrown and was littered with fly tipped rubbish.  The access to the rear gardens along Church Road were in places completely blocked.

7.             It was concluded following discussions at Committee that the residents should be consulted on whether they would be interested in purchasing the strip of land to the rear of their respective properties.  Letters were dispatched to each of the house owners at Church Road requesting their in principle views.  The results of this consultation were reported to the Committee meeting of 26 March 2012. The results of the consultation reported a lack of interest from residents in purchasing the land behind their homes and instead highlighted their requests again for the lane to be cleared and the wall to Bastian Close reinstated in the places where it had been knocked down. 

8.             As a result, Committee resolved that officers seek offers of assistance to clear the lane.  Officers consulted with the Councils Visible Services Section to ascertain whether this would be something that the Probation Service would be interested in assisting with.  Officers were advised that the lane was too overgrown and offered a potential Health and Safety issue for the Probation Service and therefore they would be unable to assist on this occasion.  As a result Officers sought quotations for clearing the lane.  Three quotations for the clearance work were sought.  The lower of the three quotes was £3,520. Due to the state of the lane it was agreed with the Chairman of this Committee that the work to clear the lane would be commenced without further delay.  This work has commenced.

Relevant Issues and Options

9.             Whilst the work to clear the lane has commenced, it cannot be completed until the issue of the wall at Bastian Close has been discussed by this Committee and a way forward resolved.

10.        The wall between Bastian Close and the Lane has in places been knocked down and in other places is dangerously loose.  Officers are concerned about the safety of the wall and feel that the whole length of the wall will need to be demolished in order to make safe.

11.        Should the wall be removed, this will leave a significant drop in levels from the Bastian Close side of the wall to the cleared lane side.  Therefore it will be necessary for the wall to be replaced with some kind of barrier to stop cars and pedestrians from potentially falling into the lane from Bastian Close. 

12.        The options for replacing the wall are as follows could be to:

(i) Replace the wall with a similar block wall to the full length of the lane

(ii) Replace the wall with a similar block wall to the full length of the lane with protective barriers stopping cars hitting the wall when parking.

(iii) Replace the wall with a metal fence running the whole length of the lane.

13.        It is also suggested that a regular maintenance contract should be entered into to ensure that the lane is cleared on a regular basis so that it is not allowed to revert to the overgrown condition which it was in before the clearance works commenced. Quotations will be sought for this ongoing maintenance and it is suggested that the maintenance contract for this work be awarded at the appropriate time in consultation with the Chair of this Committee.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14.        Quotations for each of the options in para 12 above will be reported verbally to Committee.

15.        The cost to clear the lane is as detailed in the body of this report.

16.        Quotations will be sought for the ongoing maintenance of the land and the contract awarded as appropriate in consultation with the Chairman of this Committee.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

17.        The options for the replacement of the wall at Bastian Close should be consider in this context.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

18.        The responsibility for the wall at Bastian Close has previously been confirmed by the Legal Officer to be that of this Committee.

Crime and Disorder Implications

19.        As it exists, the lane has been attracting fly tipping and has caused a general nuisance to local residents.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

20.        There are no direct implications as a result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

21.        The sole concern of the Trustees is to act on the best interests of the Trust.

Policy Framework and Budget

22.        None.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

23.        Whilst the members of the Committee are acting as Trustees independent of other Council resolutions, consultation has taken place with the local residents of Church Road as the condition of the lane and wall directly impacts on their properties.  In addition, local ward members have been consulted on this matter as their constituents are being affected by the condition of the lane and wall.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

24.        None

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Lorna Cross, Group Estates Officer

 

Officers Consulted

Mike Walsh, Legal Department

 

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Director of Finance ICT & Property

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