Flood Wall - New Planning Permission Needed
S2S works - Wooden Bridge to Causeway Road (Part 2)
Last week we informed residents of the “official launch” of the incomplete cycle track and detailed the safety concerns that prevented us from attending that launch. (Click here)
Earlier this week updated residents in relation to a number of the incomplete aspects of the overall scheme including issues related to – the new public lighting, new footpaths, the Car Park in St Anne’s Park and parking bays, the “renovated” Tram Shelter, the defects and ponding issues with newly resurfaced road and the new water main. (Click here)
Yesterday’s update (Click here) covered the flood defence aspects of these works. Below is an update on the current position in relation to the planning application needed to reduce the height of the wall.
When the agreement to lower the wall was reached with DCC they advised that they would need Planning Permission (PP) to undertake the work. In September 2016, DCC advised that the PP would be issued for Public Consultation in mid-November 2016 and that the work would be undertaken in May 2017. Clearly, this timetable was not achieved.
There have been many delays with the PP, not least of which was the H&S issue detailed yesterday. The net effect is that the PP has not yet been issued for public consultation. This means that it may not be considered at the Council meeting in July but rather it will not be presented until the September meeting. Assuming PP is granted, DCC will then have to tender for the works to be undertaken. If PP is delayed until the September meeting and given the protection afforded to the overwintering birds in the Lagoon, there is a significant risk that these works could be delayed until 2018.
As a result of our actions in resolving the H&S issue on the majority of the flood defence wall the PP that is now required will once again only need to cover the lowering of the wall for the 480m from Causeway Road to the Lodge in the Park as per the agreement reached with the community groups.
Taking the new 500mm design specification into account we were left with three options:
Reduce the wall by 300mm and in areas where the finished wall height would be less than 500mm, install a railing to bring the top of the barrier i.e. wall + railing to 500mm. DCC would not agree to this option because the 500mm minimum barrier height acceptable only applies where the barrier is substantial e.g. the capping stone that is currently specified.
Reduce the wall by 300mm and install a railing to bring the barrier height to 800mm i.e. the minimum acceptable with a railing. This would result in a railing at a height of 800mm in areas where the wall was only marginally below the 500mm required. Many of the Community Groups did not feel this would give the community back the visual connection that had been lost.
The final option is to reduce the wall by 300mm subject to a final finished height including chopping off not less than 500mm over the finished footpath. This option was clearly favoured by DCC and having viewed it on site a majority of the community groups felt this was the best outcome that could be achieved in the circumstances.
In order to get the Planning Permission out for public consultation without any further delay and to keep things moving the community groups agreed that the PP would be drawn up on the basis of option 3 but that the other options would be detailed in the PP so that everyone in the community can see what is involved and the choices that were made.
While the community representatives did not all agree with this outcome and while we were conscious that not everyone in the wider community will be happy with the proposal we were strongly of the view that the important thing is to get the PP out for public consultation without further delay.
The public consultation on the new PP will be an open process and we will be encouraging everyone to look at what is involved and make their views known. If it becomes clear during the consultation process that the majority of residents would prefer the railing in option 2 the CRA can and will put that into our observations to DCC. Equally any individual who wishes to can make personal observations on the PP. The ultimate decision will rest with the CLLRs.