Our City Our River - Update

Our City Our River - Update


Attendees:  Paul Robinson  Neighbourhood Director
Chris Williamson    MP
Andy Hills   City Council OCOR Delivery Officer
Andries Bentley  OCOR Project manager on behalf of the EA and DCC
Adrian Perry   LCRA
Andrew Meehan  LCRA

Issues discussed:

1 The amount the government announced yesterday it was allocating to the OCOR plan is approximately £35 million. This represents almost a 50% increase in the govts initial allocation of £22million.  It still leaves a funding gap of £45 million which it is planned will be met through private sector contributions and additional public sector grants. A financial/funding strategy to meet this is being drawn up.    To secure the additional money a business case needs to be made for the complete project and accepted by the govt by the end of the calendar year,

2  £1.5million is secured funding, the balance is dependant on OCOR providing a business case to be approved by government in the following instalments:

2013/14    1.5m  Secured funding

2014/15    5.5m  £33.5m business case dependant
2015/16  14.2m    "
2016/17  10,7m    "
2017/18    3.1m    "

Announcements in the media reporting that Derby had received £80 million were totally incorrect.

3 The OCOR implementation phasing has been revised so that phase 1, hoped to commence in March 2015, will include Darley Abbey (from the weir) and Chester Green (down to St Marys bridge).

4 The owners of Aida/Bliss site are at the final stage of agreeing a preferred developer. The owners of Tomlinsons have architects working up plans for the site.  There was no information available about the nature of the developments that might be under consideration for these sites. We understand that Andries is working with the owners of the sites to develop suitable projects.  Some of the allocation made will fund the integrated flood defences in these developments.

5 Paul Robinson and Andries Bentley believed that any developments on those sites would meet the exception tests. All developments will need to go through the councils planning committee and Paul Robinson believed that "the greater good" would be a principle that informed any decisions made by the committee in relation to the National Planning Policy Framework.

6 Concerns were raised about the Living 21 development on the former Bath St Mills site regarding
the continuity of its flood defences with those that will be erected further along the river
the major objections submitted by the councils land drainage officer about the projects compliance with NPPF and health and safety of vulnerable residents
Officers said that continuity of flood defences would be ensured both on   a temporary and   long - term basis and that objections made by the council officer were not "major" and will be addressed. The funding allocated to the scheme by the council was not from the councils flood budget. but probably from the adult care budget but no amount was confirmed.

7 There was still no agreed plan for flood defences, culverts etc either on Duke St/Sowter Rd or beyond and around St Marys bridge.

8 Although it is likely that section 106 money will be available from any development on the Draka site Paul Robinson cautioned about too much optimism about this contributing to the flood defences.  Calls could be made on it to build local schools etc if for example there is a large residential development for families on the site,

9 There was no up date on any negotiations between the govt and the insurance industry regarding a new agreement although OCOR felt that this would follow this weeks announcement of new funding. The point about new builds being excluded from the current agreement was made and that the Chester Green OCOR flood defences was based on new builds.

10 There was a commitment to consult and inform on OCOR with quarterly newsletters and an invitation to contact Andy Hills for any further information etc.  We agreed we would meet again in 6 months but would continue dialogue in the meantime.

Some Conclusions

1 The new potential funding, the stage of development planning for Aida/Bliss and Tomlinson's sites and the reprioritisation of the OCOR implementation means that work on the flood defences around the Chester Green area are hoped to begin in March 2015 and could be completed within the following 3 years. This is still based on the wider state of the economy and its impact on property development and the acceptability of any developments to insurers within any future agreement between the insurance industry and the government.

2 The likelihood of any developments on the Aida/Bills and Tomlinson's sites being in keeping with the character of Chester Green and in line with the views expressed by local residents in our survey 2 years ago, is we  suspect rather remote. They are likely to be high density and therefore relatively high-rise. The danger is we will get flood defences on the developers terms. We have asked for consultation over any plans with the site owners, developers and architects.
                  The  masterplan document stated that Design and Development briefs for each location were to be agreed to provide detailed guidance on the form of viable development and the acceptable uses. This has not happened for the Bath St Mills site and there has been no resident input to Design and Development briefs for the City Rd sites.

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