Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting 6th June 2019

1. Attendance
Present: Cllr Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Lesley Aers, Robert Banks, Steven Bell, Ann Evans, Margaret Jefferson, Ann Lockhart, Brendan McKeown, Pat Mussett, Dot Patterson, David Ramsden, Malcolm Reed, Jean Rogers, Ann Stokes, Kevin Turrington, Sarah Wilkinson
Louise Fowler (Unite Students); Will Levington, Lyn Preston, Keith Evans (John Snow College) Cllr Liz Brown, Cllr Richard Richard Ormerod
Cllr Esther Ashby, Cllr John Ashby, Cllr Alan Doig
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Simon Priestley, Simon Squires,
Cllr Elizabeth Scott.
3. Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.
4. Move of John Snow College into Rushford Court
It was the intention of John Snow College that at least one of the four representatives present should continue to attend CCP meetings until the move in is complete, and possibly beyond.
  1. Move in / arrivals: Students arrive starting at the weekend of Saturday 28th September (most students arrive on the Sunday). The college encourages students to arrive by train, but has no power to enforce this. A one-way system will be in force, with a drop-off point, and the plan is to provide parking at St Leonard's School / County Hall.
  2. Local engagement: Will Levington (JCR President) had been looking for projects in which students could involve themselves within the immediate vicinity of the college, such as Wharton Park and the Waddington Street Centre. THey would aim to use local venues rather than University premises. His successor is committed to continue this policy.
    Lyn Preston added that she hoped to open a Continental Café in the college, which would also be open to local residents.
  3. Catering / bar: student accommodation is fully self-catering. There is no bar, and the college is not applying for a license. There is limited communal space, so social functions will be held elsewhere. Kevin Turrington asked that local residents be given advance warning of these events, especially if students were being bussed to venues (and also that students be warned that Domino's close at 10.30 for on-sales).
  4. Site staffing / security / key contacts: There would be a substantial increase in the number of staff on site over the year 2018-19. There is a 24-hour security / call-out rota for key officers. Louise Fowler hoped that people had been satisfied with management over the past year, but anticipated she would have greatly increased backup under the new regime. The 24-hour contact number is public information (posted outside the front gate of the college).
  5. Noise monitoring / management: Keith Evans reiterated what he had told a previous meeting, that although since its move from Stockton-on-Tees John Snow College has been located at Howlands, its Stockton premises had been in the centre of a residential area, ten minutes from campus, and the college has experience of coexisting with full-time residents. Neighbours should also see an advantage over the past year in that all resident students belonged to a single college.
  6. Parking / travel / transport: After arrival day, there is no parking at the college except for students with disabilities. Students are actively discouraged from bringing cars to Durham, but this cannot be prevented. Cllr Roger Cornwell pointed out that cars are not the only source of traffic problems: Durham has many narrow pavements which can easily be overloaded by groups of students. This was recognised, but since students all attend different courses, they would at least not be travelling in a single mass. Brendan McKeown suggested that students be encouraged to use footpaths (and that some contribution might be made towards the improvement of footpaths), but this was only really feasible in summer. Bob Banks asked that students be asked to cycle, and to use lights while doing so: the college already does this.
  7. Lumiere: Louise added that it had been suggested that Rushford Court would be a suitable location for a Lumiere installation, and this possibility was welcomed.
5. Leaflet for Livers Out
Lesley Aers had, as promised, drafted a text, and this would be considered at the forthcoming DURF meeting, which Simon Priestley would be asked to attend on our behalf.
6. Proposed New County HQ on the Sands
a) Judicial Review update: Roger explained the the Parish Council has now lodged documents with the court. Durham County Council has acknowledged receipt, and are defending their position. The papers must now be considered by the court, and this could take some time.
b) The Crowdfunding appeal had made its initial target very rapidly, and donations were continuing to arrive.
c) Common land: The County Council appeared to have overlooked this issue initially. They had offered "alternative" land near Rivergreen, but since this is currently a Nature Reserve, it was not an acceptable substitute.
7. Planning Applications
a) DM/19/01673/FPA erection of two-storey extension, 22 Allergate Durham Bob Banks explained that this is a further application in respect of the Grade II Listed building, very similar to the previous (unresolved) application, but detatched from the existing building and with no pretence that it was not an HMO. The CCP supported Bob's objection, and suggested he also seek the support of the Parish Planning Committee.
b) DM/19/00855/FPA Erection of detached bungalow adjacent to Flass Bungalow, Flass Vale goes to the County Council planning committee on Tuesday, with the officer's recommendation to refuse. Cllr Liz Brown will also speak against the application.
c) DM/18/03785/FPA Erection of 4 dwellings goes to the same planning committee, but with the officer recommending approval.
8. Unauthorised sign at Revolution bar
Roger had followed up last month's letter to the Council's enforcement department, and received a reply from David Chong, that "enforcement proceedings have been unexpectedly delayed, due to Pam [Glaister] having to cope with a family bereavement, which is likely to see her away from the office until the back end of this month. In her absence, Officers have now managed to put proceedings back on track, and a formal Notice has been prepared, which is awaiting authorisation and ownership verification, prior to service." The meeting expressed its sympathy for Pam, but was disturbed that the Council had no contingency arrangements for circumstances of this kind. Roger and Liz would liaise about how best to convey this to the Council.
9. Reports from County Councillors
a) Cllr Richard Ormerod reported that salt bins had arrived.
He had been asked to pursue a 20 mph limit, but this did not look promising.
b) Liz reported a planned closure of the A167 Northbound (notified by Ann Evans). Planters for the A167 should arrive imminently.
An application to convert 3 Juniper Way from C3 to C4 would be considered at the following day's Parish Planning Committee.
Suggestions were invited for locations within the City of Durham Parish which might be suitable for large scale tree planting.
10. Reports from Parish Councillors
a) Cllr Alan Doig: no report.
b) Cllr John Ashby had previously circulated the summary of key decisions prepared by the Clerk to the Council.
The Parish Council felt that DCC was undercounting the number of student HMOs when considering planning applications, and was prepared to fund a researcher to compare data from the various available sources.
c) Cllr Esther Ashby reported on a Northern Echo story that cleaning work was to be undertaken in the North Road: the Parish Council was prepared to pay for treatment which would make surfaces more resistant to dirt in future.
No applications had been received in response to the Council's advertisement for an odd-job person.
d) Roger reported that he had been losing cases at the County Licensing Committee, but since opposition nonetheless resulted in conditions being imposed, he felt it was worthwhile.
There was still time to respond to the Neighbourhood Plan's final consultation.
11. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 2nd July.