|It was reported that following Ruth Kelly's visit to the Tees Valley last May, the Tees Valley authorities were asked to prepare a City Region Business Case based on the City Region Development Programme produced last year to:|
a) set out an economic analysis of the Tees Valley;
b) from the analysis identify how the City Region could improve its economic performance;
c) identify any governance arrangements necessary to deliver this improved economic performance;
d) identify how Government can help the area improve its economic performance.
At the same time the Northern Way had asked the Joint Strategy Unit to produce a second iteration of the City Region Development Programme. Since the purpose of the CRDP was somewhat similar this document served both purposes:
There were three documents attached for Members consideration:
a) an Executive Summary which simply summarised the business case and set out the argument and key proposals;
b) the City Region Business Case and Development Programme which contained the detailed justification; and
c) an Economic Analysis of the Tees Valley City Region.
The Joint Strategy Unit was also preparing to accompany the submission an evidence base comprising:
a) an Investment Plan for the Tees Valley;
b) the case for Housing Market Renewal being prepared by Tees Valley Living;
c) a series of business cases/funding bids from the Department for Transport for infrastructure improvements, primarily the local bus and rail networks.
The reports were being progressed through the cabinets of the five authorities.
The response to the reports had been overwhelmingly positive. One NorthEast, Government Office North East and the North East Regional Assembly all endorsed the document. The Chamber of Commerce had expressed its support for the reports in the Evening Gazette. Durham and North Yorkshire County Councils, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Easington, Sedgefield, Durham City and Wear Valley District Council's all supported the concept of a City Region Policy Forum.
Informed discussions had taken place with officers from the Department of Communities and Local Government, Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Transport. DCLG liked the document and wanted to work with us to develop the detail of the governance proposals and the metropolitan area agreement post submission. DTI supported the approach the Joint Strategy Unit had taken but expected ONE to work with the JSU on the delivery of the development programme. The Department for Transport had expressed strong interest in the proposals and were taking them seriously. They particularly supported the proposal for a transport board.
Members complimented the Officers of Joint Strategy Unit on all the hard work that they had put into completing the report. Members felt that it was an excellent report which was both rational and coherent.
|Consideration was given to a report which outlined a development study for the A19(T),A66(T),A19(T).|
The report highlighted the fact that the Tees Valley City Region would be undergoing a major programme of economic regeneration that would continue over the next 15-20 years. This would lead to increased pressure on the transport network, particularly on the core A19/A66/A174 trunk road corridors where peak hour congestion often occurs at present.
A joint sub-regional approach was therefore required to ensure that all key partners including local authority organisations and other strategic transport stakeholders were made fully aware of the implications of this development on the transport network.
In order for this to be achieved a consultant study would be required to assess the precise development impact over this period and model a number of transport intervention packages that were likely to include public transport improvements, enhancements to the local road network and demand management measures to make more efficient use of the trunk road network. This work would make full use of the multi-modal transport models that covered the Tees Valley area.
The study would recommend a preferred package of transport measures that would best facilitate the required regeneration across the Tees Valley whilst satisfying the objectives of all study partners.
The study would be completed by July 2007 to fit with key timescales relating to the submission of business cases for public transport schemes in the Tees Valley. The scope of the study could potentially be extended, under the same timescales, if a separate bid by the Tees Valley Authorities for Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) support was successful. This bid would involve more detailed modelling work relating specifically to demand management but the A19/A66/A174 development study would continue in any event.
Members felt that the study should include junction of the A19 and the A689 and its environs. It was confirmed by Officers that this would be the case.
|It was reported that following discussions with the Northern Way, the Joint Strategy Unit had been preparing a Green Infrastructure Strategy for the Tees Valley. The Strategy was being prepared in response to the growing recognition that quality of place and quality of the environment were essential to creating and sustaining economic growth and developing sustainable communities where people want to live. Green infrastructure was widely defined as a network of multi-functional open spaces, including formal parks, gardens, woodlands, green corridors, waterways, street trees and open countryside.|
Green infrastructure was seen as a key element that could help to achieve the economic and sustainable vision for the Tees Valley. It offered a way of achieving closer links between environmental improvement and the major development projects being implemented and proposed in the Tees Valley. The draft Strategy identified a network of corridors and links based on existing green infrastructure assets, policies and proposals in inherited plans and strategies, and strategic, spatial priorities identified for the Tees Valley.
The Green Infrastructure Strategy was a work in progress' and further work would be required, particularly on the funding and implementation aspects.
|Consideration was given to a report that outlined that the first Tees Valley sub-regional housing strategy set out a clear strategic direction and priorities for all the main housing organisations in the sub-region.|
It was commissioned by the Joint Strategy Unit in 2005 as a consequence of the close collaborative working that was developing between the authorities, and of the growing importance now being attached to sub-regional working by the Department for Local Government and Communities (DLGC formerly ODPM) and the Regional Housing Board. The Tees Valley authorities now had the first sub regional housing strategy that had been completed in the North East.
The sub-regional housing strategy was structured around four key objectives which closely mirrored those set by the Regional Housing Board (RHB), namely the rejuvenation of the housing stock, ensuring the type and mix of new housing provided choice, securing the improvement and maintenance of existing housing, and addressing specific community and social needs.
During the next two years, the Tees Valley sub-regional housing strategy would be reflected in strong sub-regional programmes that take forward the priorities. An action plan to deliver the priorities was included as an appendix to the Strategy. It recognised that the private sector had by far the largest financial contribution and physical input to contribute to delivering this strategy.
Effective partnering arrangements with major house builders would be necessary to secure major redevelopment and new housing projects. Similarly detailed work would be necessary to promote investment by homeowners and landlords to secure improvement to the poorer stock. Across the Tees Valley local housing authorities a major investment programme was underway to improve all retained social housing stock. All five authorities had lost net population over the last decade. Halting the outflow was an objective for all.
The Executive Summary of the Strategy was attached for information.
|Consideration was given to a report that described the latest progress being made by the Joint Strategy Unit in its work with Tees Valley Living on developing the system for monitoring the sub-region's housing market renewal process. It covered redrawing neighbourhoods, developing a wide range of relevant indicators and a revised Vitality and Viability Index' covering each neighbourhood, and a website to illustrate and help monitor change affecting each area. It also noted how the work was helping the JSU's support to the Local Strategic Partnerships in monitoring their floor targets and the valuable experience being gained which would aid the monitoring needed for the Tees Valley's City Region Development Plan.|
|Consideration was given to a report which informed Members of developments since the last report (16 December) and the changes that had been made to delivery as a result of the new funding arrangements.|
The original European Legal Support Service operated only in the Tees Valley and, as reported previously, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) ended at the end of December 2005 but a time extension was agreed for Single Programme funding to be extended until the end of March 2006 to enable achievement of the remaining outputs. The service exceeded its outputs and feedback from those assisted was extremely positive.
It was always hoped that the service would be able to source funding to enable it to be delivered across the entire region, as it was a unique and well used service. The only possibility was to apply for funding via the META 2 project which was sponsored by the Regional International Trade Office (RITO) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).
A proposal was submitted to RITO and was included in the wider umbrella bid' which incorporated a number of other projects across the region. This was then submitted to Government Office for the North East as an application for ERDF. The total project cost was £335,065 and had now been approved. A Service Level Agreement was expected very soon.
The mechanics of the project would be quite different to what had gone before as the focus of the project would be on International Trade. Clients would be referred in to the service via the International Trade Advisers (ITAs) and so would only become clients if, following a diagnostic, the ITAs felt that the client was ready for or was already exporting.
The service would be UKTI branded and would be able to draw on UKTIs central resources for marketing and publicity which would allow more time to be dedicated to actual delivery. UKTI would produce an eNewsletter which would be replaced by a hard copy newsletter early next year. This would reduce the need for the service to produce its own newsletters again allowing more time to be spent on delivering tailored assistance.
Existing project staff (2 full-time members of staff) would continue to deliver the service but the finances were prepared to cover the possibility of employing additional staff if necessary. The service would be monitored closely throughout the first year to ensure that any necessary corrective action be taken at the earliest possible time and any additional staff can be phased in.
The new project, funded via the JSU and META 2 (UKTI and ERDF), went live on 1 July 2006 and was operating across the entire region based primarily on referrals from the ITAs. Activity would be closely monitored to ensure that the method of referrals was effective. If any corrective action was required it would be identified at an early stage and could be acted upon before problems arise.
Publicity would be done through UKTI and the Government News Network (GNN) reducing time spent on activities other than delivery.
Project staff would closely monitor outputs and report back to UKTI on a quarterly basis. UKTI would issue the project with a Service Level Agreement which would provide project staff with all the necessary information needed to enable them to maintain the relevant records to ensure that the project complied with the relevant agreements. Progress will be reported to Members on a regular basis.
|Consideration was given to a report that set out the recommendations of the report of the Panel examining in public the Regional Spatial Strategy. The Panel had supported for the most part the representations. There were however three areas of concern: housing allocation for Darlington, 2016 - 21, the deletion of the Faverdale site as a site for logistics and the failure to include Redcar as an urban centre. The Committee was asked to support making further representations on these issues.|
|Members were informed that the Joint Strategy Committee be consulted on a planning application for the erection of a proposed combined heat and power (CHP) plant on a 0.4 hectares site adjacent to Middlesbrough Railway Station. The proposed development related to provision of a CHP plant of a capacity up to 5 MW to generate energy to service the requirements of the phase 1 development at Middlehaven, Middlesbrough. The proposed CHP development would be completely enclosed by a high quality mesh and steel cladding and included:|
Energy Centre Building containing boiler and chiller units, stores, electrical switch rooms and ancillary office facilities - height 13 m
Thermal Store - height 9m
Chimney stack - height 37m
The proposal broadly conformed with the locational strategy of both the emerging Regional Spatial Strategy for the North East and the adopted Tees Valley Structure Plan. Middlehaven also formed a key site within the Stockton - Middlesbrough river corridor regeneration project outlined in the Tees Valley Vision. Current Government energy policy favours CHP plant.
While all the elements proposed were broadly acceptable the Borough Council would need to ensure that the CHP energy centre development complements other high design regeneration proposals for development at Middlehaven, and that the design and operational noise element does not affect the setting of the immediately adjacent Middlesbrough Station Conservation Area.
|It was reported that the Joint Strategy Committee had been consulted on a planning application for mixed use development at Coatham Enclosure, Redcar comprising:|
A major leisure centre, including sports hall, swimming pools and football pitches
Visitor centre and observation tower
An Extreme Sports Village
Retail/medical block and children's nursery
Enhanced public open space
359 new houses and apartments
The proposal conformed with the locational strategy in the Regional Spatial Strategy for the North East, and the strategy of sustainable urban growth in the adopted Tees Valley Structure Plan. Coatham Enclosure was a key project within the Coastal Arc' concept for regeneration and investment outlined in both the Tees Valley Vision and the Tees Valley City Region Development Programme. The proposal would help to develop and reinforce the tourism potential of Redcar, contribute to providing a vibrant housing market, help to maintain the vitality and viability of Redcar town centre, and bring about significant environmental improvements.
In attendance at the meeting were 5 Members of the public. The Chairman gave them the opportunity to outline their concerns about the application. The Director of the Joint Strategy Unit outlined that the Joint Strategy Committee were a consultee on the application and the concerns that the public had raised were not issues that could be address by the Committee and therefore the concerns should be made to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.
Councillor V Smith proposed the following amendment to the recommendations:-
The Joint Strategy Committee whilst wishing to support the regeneration and prosperity of Redcar, feel that they are unable to support this development at least in its current form. The reasons for this decision are-
1. The committee note with great concern the objection of the Environment Agency in regards the submitted Flood Risk Assessment in light of the amended Flood Zone area which places an increased part of the site at a greater risk of flooding.
2. The proposed development is contrary to the draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS 25), which states that the most vulnerable uses (including housing) should not be permitted in the Flood Zone. Leisure uses and commercial use, providing there are is no sleeping accommodation, meanwhile come under the less vulnerable classification and are determined as appropriate for the Flood Zone.
3. The Coatham Enclosure lies close to South Gare and Coatham Sands SSSI. This area of land also forms part of Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast SPA and Ramsar site. English Nature and the RSPB object to the application because the Local Planning Authority needs to ascertain that the proposal will not adversely affect the integrity of the site. This has not been proven due to insufficient information and also in that none of the four bird surveys undertaken took place during the winter months even though the SPA/Ramsar site is partly designated for its winter assemblage of birds. The applicant Persimmon Homes have therefore failed to submit a thorough Appropriate Assessment under the Conservation (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1994.
4. The further objection from English Nature to the application, as currently constituted, on the grounds that it will adversely affect UK Priority BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) habitats and species, namely the Linnet, two pairs of which were observed onsite in the breeding season. The Linnet is a red-listed species of Conservation Concern.
5. The Committee note the level of opposition from local residents to the scheme who wish the site to be solely used for leisure and recreation purposes and the growing calls for an Independent Public Inquiry into the proposed development.
6. Concern over the contamination of the site within the proposed residential area that contains Arsenic, Lead, Nickel, Copper and Zinc over the safe SGV (Soil Guideline Values) levels. The remaining possibility of UXO (unexploded ordnance) and the subsequent amount of remediation measures needed before any development can safely occur.
Note also that the Visitor Centre and Observation Tower along with the Extreme Sports Village are not firm commitments due to funding pressures and comment that these facts along with the loss of seafront parking, and open amenity space will not contribute towards developing the tourist potential of Redcar.
The amendment was not seconded and therefore fell.
|Consideration was given to a report that outlined that the fourth Congress Meeting of the European Chemical Regions Network would be held on 9th and 10th November 2006 in Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain. This would be a high level, important meeting that was expected to attract attendance from European and National Politicians, Industrialists and Local Authority Members and Officers from the European Chemical Regions Network.|
The fourth Congress Meeting of the European Chemical Regions Network would be based on the theme of Managing Change Together'. Workshops would be held on current areas of change, including innovation, sustainable development, public communication and development of better regulation. Congress discussions would assist in determining a future work programme for network members. It was expected that the Congress would continue to attract the same high level of support from politicians, industrialists and local government officers as those held previously.
|Members were presented with the Review of Arriva Service Provsion that had been carried out by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's Main Overview and Scrutiny Committee.|
|Members were presented with a list of meetings that had been attended by Officers of the Joint Strategy Unit from 28th July 2006 to 27th September 2006.|