Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting 9th January 2018

1. Attendance
Present: Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Alan Doig, Margaret Jefferson, Brendan McKeown, Malcolm Reed, Jean Rogers, Simon Squires, Ann Stokes, Sarah Wilkinson
Cllr Liz Brown, Cllr Richard Ormerod, Cllr Elizabeth Scott
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Ann Evans, Grenville Holland, Paul Jefferson, David Ramsden
3. Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.
4. December PACT meeting
Ann Evans had attended the meeting, and had passed on a brief report, which was discussed. She had been asked to take up the question of the North Road "bus gate": it appears that there is a police policy of low to zero enforcement on this issue. The police say they do not have the resources to police this. Members thought that the "bus gate" was quite successful in driving traffic up Neville Street, though this was not, in itself, without problems (there was now congestion at the top of Neville Street; one drinks lorry had got stuck). Cllr Elizabeth Scott suggested that we invite a traffic officer to one of our meetings to discuss a range of issues (also including the introduction and enforcement of 30 mph speed limits, and this suggestion was gratefully accepted.
Ann also reported that the police are "struggling" to find an effective way to control anti-social behaviour (including rough sleeping). In relation to noisy student premises, 235 warning notices have been issued this term with 11 of these raised to the next level. "Moving noise" from groups of merrymakers moving along streets and pavements is a problem and so far without solution.
Ann would be unable to attend the next meeting, but Cllr Liz Brown will be there.
5. 24 Nevilledale Terrace
Sarah Wilkinson reported that she had received an update from Council Enforcement Officer David Chong: the applicant, having been refused permission to convert the property into an HMO, and having lost an appeal against this refusal, now intends to appeal the Inspector's decision. This is out of time, and the appeal is therefore unlikely to be heard, but the case goes to the Planning Court in Leeds on 7th February. Meanwhile, there will be a site visit to ascertain whether the house is currently let (despite refusal of change of use).
6. Renewal of membership of NORA - the National Organisation of Residents Associations
The meeting agreed that the Partnership should renew our membership of this organisation.
7. Consideration of Accounts
The accounts for the year 2016 - 17 had been circulated by the Treasurer, Simon Squires; since he will be unable to attend the AGM next month, he took questions on the accounts now, after which, the accounts were approved.
8. Report of DURF meeting
The draft minutes of the meeting of DURF which took place on 13 December (the Durham University / Residents Forum) had been circulated.
  1. Jean Rogers queried the item "Article 7 Regulation has been delayed due to the unexpected workload for the General Election.". She will ask Mike Costello whether he can clarify this.
  2. Liz welcomed news of the appointment of a University Community Liaison Officer, but Alan Doig, who had been at the meeting, explained that this is a purely internal University post.
  3. Alan had also asked how many students had been disciplined for Anti-Social Behaviour; these figures will not be disclosed.
  4. There was also a discussion about the funding of policing costs associated with the University.
9. Neighbourhood Plan
The consultation process had resulted in a large number of responses; and most of those from individual members of the public were in favour of the Plan. Those from statutory bodies were more mixed, and in particular the County Council had raised issues which would have to be addressed. There is likely to be a disagreement over the policy on Student Accommodation.
When the Plan has been revised (about April) it will go to the County Council to pass on to the independent Examiner, whose task is to report to the Council on what changes to the Plan are needed to make it meet the legal requirements. The Plan will be amended and Council must then put it out to a referendum.
10. Licence applications for new developments.
Brendan McKeown had seen licence applications for Turtle Bay (in the Riverwalk development) and the Everyman cinema (in Milburngate): he was concerned about licensed premises being so close to the river. He was also surprised that licences were being applied for before the properties were actually built. The closing date for objections to Turtle Bay had already passed, but Brendan agreed to visit the Licensing department and look at the plans.
11. Proposed sale of North Road toilets
Malcolm Reed complained of the lack of transparency: the notice on the toilets simply says 'closed for repair'. The toilets are apparently 'surplus to requirements', and there was some discussion whether this was the case. Cllr Richard Ormerod pointed out that the closing date was technically today, though officers would take submissions for the rest of the week. He would ask the officers to put the sale on hold.
12. Reports from local Councillors
a) Liz was seeking a 20 mph speed limit.
The developers of the County Hospital (or 'Rushford Court') had donated a notice board for the use of the 'Viaduct Area'.
Planning Officer Henry Jones confirmed that the electricity substation on Waddington Street was "very slightly displaced from the plan". The wall had been demolished without consent, and the meeting felt that it should be reinstated.
Malcolm pointed out that water was being discharged across the pavement, and Liz promised to raise this with Henry Jones.
b) Elizabeth has been looking into the best way to limit traffic speeds, and had learned that although residents tend to speak about '20 mph zones', the word "zone" has a technical sense in this context. Such zones are normally around schools, are purely advisory and apply only at certain hours. The bend by Durham School is dangerous, and requires an actual speed limit.
She has written to Mike Barton (Chief Constable) about Anti-Social Behaviour in the North Road, and is having a series of meetings to ensure all the interested parties are talking to each other.
c) Richard reported that the Central and East Planning Committee had today approved the application to construct a glass box on the terrace of the Bishop Langley / Coach and Eight (now Revolution). There was general disappointment at this news.
13. Other Business
Roger had discovered from a report to the Council's Cabinet that a site had been chosen for the new County Hall, on the Sands Car Park.
14. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting will be our AGM, on Monday 5th February.