Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lavery Room (Room G05), City Hall

Contact: Mr. Barry Flynn  Tel: 028 9027 0610

No. Item



Minutes of the meeting of 16th January


            The minutes of the meeting of 16th January were taken as read and signed as correct.  It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 4th February, subject to:


(i)   the omission of the minute under the heading “Shaftesbury Community/Recreation Centre” which, at the request of Councillor P. Maskey, had been taken back to the Committee for further consideration; and


(ii)  the omission of the minute under the heading “Draft Crumlin Road Gaol Masterplan” which, at the request of Councillor C. Maskey, had been taken back to the Committee for further consideration.



Shaftesbury Community/Recreation Centre pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To consider further the minute of the meeting of 16th January under the heading “Shaftesbury Community/Recreation Centre” which, at the request of Councillor P. Maskey, was referred back to the Committee by the Council at its meeting on 4th February (extract herewith) (oral report of Director of Legal Services)

Additional documents:


            (Mr. C. Quigley, Director of Legal Services, attended in connection with this item.)


            The Committee considered further the minute of the meeting of 16th January under the heading “Shaftesbury Community/Recreation Centre” which had been taken back by the Chairman at the Council meeting on 4th February at the request of Councillor P. Maskey.  An extract of the minute in this regard is set out hereunder:


      “The Director reminded the Committee that, at its meeting on 12th December, it had agreed that the Lower Ormeau and Markets Community Forum could surrender its current lease agreement with the Council in respect of Shaftesbury Community/Recreation Centre and that the facility be leased for a period of twenty-five years to the Lower Ormeau Residents’ Action Group, subject to the Members of the Committee being provided with further information regarding the membership of the Lower Ormeau and Markets Community Forum, the Lower Ormeau Residents’ Action Group and the Inner South Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership, prior to the Council Meeting on 7th January.  However, in the event that information had not been provided.  Accordingly, a report, together with various appendices which contained the requested information, had been circulated with the papers for the current meeting.


      The Director advised the Committee that, following a decision of the former Client Services Committee, Shaftesbury Community/Recreation Centre had been leased by the Council to the Lower Ormeau and Markets Community Forum for a period of ten years, commencing in October 2000.  The lease agreement had included a sports pitch adjacent to the Centre.  She explained that under a Service Level Agreement the Lower Ormeau Residents’ Action Group delivered on behalf of the Forum a programme of activities in response to community needs.  She explained further that the Group had been awarded funding of £2.3 million, £1,925,000 of which would be provided by Sport Northern Ireland, to undertake improvements to the Centre, including the upgrading of the sports pitch.


      The Director pointed out that a Sport Northern Ireland condition required the lease for Shaftesbury to be held by the Lower Ormeau Residents’ Action Group, since that organisation would be responsible for all the work being undertaken to the facility and for the efficient and effective operation of the Centre.   Hence the request from the Forum for permission to transfer the lease for the facility to the Group.  In addition, Sport Northern Ireland had indicated that the Group would be required to meet stringent funding requirements regarding openness and accountability.


      Following a lengthy discussion, it was


Moved by Councillor P. Maskey,

Seconded by Councillor Hartley,


      That the Committee affirms its decision of 12th December to transfer the lease for the Shaftesbury Community/Recreation Centre from the Lower Ormeau and Markets Community Forum to the Lower Ormeau Residents’ Action Group. 


      On a vote by show of hands five Members voted for the proposal and six against and it was accordingly declared lost.


Further Proposal


Moved by the Deputy Lord Mayor (Councillor Kelly),

Seconded by Councillor McCarthy,


      That the new Management Committee for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Draft Crumlin Road Gaol Masterplan pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To consider further the minute of the meeting of 16th January under the heading “Draft Crumlin Road Gaol Masterplan” which, at the request of Councillor C. Maskey, was referred back to the Committee by the Council at its meeting on 4th February (extract herewith)



            The Committee considered further the minute of the meeting of 16th January under the heading “Draft Crumlin Road Gaol Masterplan” which had been taken back by the Chairman at the Council meeting on 4th February at the request of Councillor C. Maskey.  An extract of the minute in this regard is set out hereunder:


      “The Committee considered a report and a proposed response from the Council regarding the draft masterplan for the Crumlin Road Gaol/Girdwood Park site in North Belfast.


      The Committee agreed that the undernoted comments be submitted as the Council’s official response to the Draft Crumlin Road Gaol Masterplan Consultation Exercise, subject to it being amended to indicate that the Council acknowledges that the Advisory Panel could not reach a final decision on the housing issue:




1.1    Belfast City Council welcomes this ambitious proposal. For a long time the Crumlin Road Gaol has been a derelict site located in a contentious community area. In general the plan brings a significant opportunity for balancing development and regeneration across the city; given the ongoing development in the East of the City at Titanic Quarter and the Sirocco Quays concept Masterplan.


1.2    Our general comment would be at the lack of detail of the drawings in the   documents. Overall the drawings do not seem to offer enough detail to comment on, especially the ones illustrating the whole site. Layout of some proposed spaces and buildings have been detailed in the main document, some areas omitted.


1.3    The Council is currently targeting regeneration efforts along Belfast’s arterial routes. The Crumlin Road is one of the priority routes identified as requiring targeted regeneration and therefore we are very supportive of the development of the Gaol site.


1.4    A significant proportion of the draft Masterplan has been based around UK best practice case studies, which the Council strongly supports. We would also recommend to DSD to look at the development of Oxford Castle project that received Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Project of the Year Award 2007.


1.5    In terms of more specific comments we have shaped our response around the sustainable communities concept.  The Sustainable Communities agenda has become pertinent to Belfast as we are all working towards the common goal of creating “Places where people want to live and work now and in the future”.


      This means:


·         Balancing and integrating social, economic and environmental components of their community;

·         Meeting the needs of existing and future generations;

·         Recognising the cross cutting nature of issues affecting communities;

·         Working in a coordinated way with a wide range of interests and organisations;

·         Respecting the needs of other communities in the wider region or internationally; and

·         Recognising that sustainable communities are diverse and reflect their local circumstances.  There is no standard template to fit them all. 


1.6    In the last six months the Council has been devising the Community Support Plan for Belfast for which it had to gather evidence on needs in Belfast. The Council focused on Belfast’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Date of March Meeting

Oral report of Committee Administrator


            The Committee Administrator reminded the Committee that the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman, together with the Director and the Head of Economic Initiatives, would be travelling to the South by South West Festival in Austin, Texas to showcase the talent and creativity of a number of groups from Belfast and to undertake a visit to the Council’s Sister City of Nashville.  The Lord Mayor and the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure would also be participating in the trip.  Since the monthly meeting of the Committee in March was scheduled to be held whilst the party would be in America, the Chairman had agreed that the meeting would be held on Friday, 7th March, commencing at 10.00 a.m.





Departmental Plan Update pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee noted the contents of a report which provided information on the current status of projects, initiatives and events being carried out by the Department.



State of the City Conference pdf icon PDF 135 KB


            The Director reminded the Committee that, in recent years as part of the Belfast: State of the City Initiative, an annual Conference had been held.  Proposals to hold the next such event on 20th May in the Belfast Waterfront Hall had been included as part of the Departmental Plan which had been approved by the Committee at its meeting on 8th August, 2007.  The event would focus on the economic development research which had been carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on behalf of the Council.  Accordingly, she sought the Committee’s approval for the holding of the Conference.


            After discussion, the Committee approved the theme of the State of the City V Conference, noted that a budget of £25,000 had been allocated in respect thereof and agreed that any Member of the Council who so wished be authorised to attend the Conference.



Quartiers en Crise pdf icon PDF 133 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“Relevant Background Information


      This report deals with the transfer of the Quartiers en Crise network from the Belfast Trust to BelfastCity Council.


      Quartiers en Crise


      Quartiers en Crise (Neighbourhoods in Crisis) was established as a European cities network in 1989.  Under the leadership of the then North and West Health Trust, Belfast was one of the ten founding members.  The network was set up to:


-     Promote integrated approaches to urban regeneration and local residents’ involvement in that process


-     Develop programmes and projects which facilitate the exchange of experience and practice


-     Support initiatives based on greater participation of target groups


-     Promote joined up working and thinking between local authorities and other key agencies, especially local communities and NGOS


-     Undertake research and evaluation in order to impact on existing and future urban regeneration policies/programmes


-     Represent the views and needs of disadvantaged areas/groups within EU and EU groupings and networks


-     Create a network which constitutes a European ‘think tank’ regarding the issues of diversity, integration, social and economic exclusion and urban regeneration


      The strength of the network has always been its three pillared approach involving elected members, officials and local residents in influencing policy and project delivery on the ground.


      The normal approach to membership of Quartiers en Crise is that the city municipality takes the lead, as the city is the member.


      In Belfast however, this function has historically been undertaken by the Belfast Health Trust although the success of QEC in Belfast has been a multi agency approach. BelfastCity Council has been active in the network through officer engagement and elected member activity.  The current Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Kelly participated in the recent AGM held in Italy in November 07.


      The Quartiers en Crise headquarters in Brussels has a team of 11 led by a Director and managed by an Executive Bureau. The Executive Bureau meets four times a year and ensures the implementation of the membership programme as agreed by the General Assembly.


      Executive Bureau members are usually officers acting by proxy for the leading politician in each city with a remit for European affairs, in Belfast that is the Council's Chair of The Development Committee.


      At a local level each city stakeholder contributes an annual subscription of £2,500, which totals £20,000 or approximately €25,500. From this subscription, €7,800 is paid to the Brussels secretariat as a membership fee and contribution to the staff and running costs of the Brussels office. The balance is used to cover the costs of the Belfast Co-ordinator, travel costs for attendance at meetings and match funding, where possible, for new projects for Belfast.


      Each city has a local Quartiers en Crise structured membership with Belfast’s as follows:


-     Belfast Health Trust

-     Belfast City Council

-     NI Housing Executive

-     Department of Education & Learning

-     Belfast Education & Library Board

-     Belfast Regeneration Office

-     Arts Council

-     Probation Board

-     Belfast Area Partnership Boards


      The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


European Union Training for Councillors pdf icon PDF 126 KB


            The Director advised the Members that, as result of discussions between the First and the Deputy First Ministers and the European Commission President, a taskforce had been established to create economic growth, innovation and methods of improving Northern Ireland’s engagement in Europe.  It would, therefore, be important for the Council to expand its knowledge of European Union systems.  Accordingly, the European Unit had arranged a training and awareness event for Members and officers to be held on 28th March.


            The Committee noted the information provided and authorised the attendance at the European Union training event of any Member of the Council who so wished.



Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships 2009 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:




      In the last ten years, Belfast has built a strong reputation for hosting major events. Prior to 1999, the visit of the Tall Ships was perhaps the one stand out major event to be hosted by the City. However, with the changes in the political climate, the City has had a renaissance in major event management. It began with the World Cross Country Championships in 1999 and gradually bids for major events became more ambitious. The next eight years saw Belfast host many significant major events such as the World Irish Dancing Championships, the World Amateur Boxing Championships, the U19 European football Championships, the Special Olympics Ireland Games, and the U-19 Rugby World Cup.


      More recently Belfast City Council has agreed to support the return of the Tall Ships in 2009, the bid to capture the World Transplant Games in 2011, and support the World Police and Firefighter Games 2013, which will be easily the largest event ever to come to Northern Ireland. An approach has now been made by British Fencing and UK Sport to seek funding support from Belfast and the other surrounding local authorities to bring the Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships to Northern Ireland from 4 to13 April 2009.


Relevant Background Information


      Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships 2009


      The Junior and Cadet World Championships (U20 and U17) are held annually in April and have been in place since the late 1950s. They are run under the auspices of the world governing body, the Federation Internationale d’Escrime (FIE) and are viewed as an important milestone in the elite player pathway, with many athletes seen at these events going on to perform in the Olympics.


      Event Specifics


      There will be nine days of competition with over 1,000 athletes expected from approximately 85 countries. The venue for the event would be University of Ulster High Performance Centre at Jordanstown. In addition to the athletes, there would be a significant number of officials and family members in attendance. This would result in over 10,000 bednights, the vast majority of which would be in Belfast.


      The event is also preceded by a Congress to which all international fencing federations are invited. This is an ideal opportunity for the promotion of Belfast as a city and Northern Ireland as a whole as a potential host of holding and training camps in the lead up to London 2012.


      The Core Objectives of hosting the Junior and Cadet World Championships in Belfast in 2009 would be to:


-     Increase the profile of Belfast as a first class venue for international sporting events.


-     Raise the profile of the region through major sports events within the media and visitor economy and get significant return on investment in the form of economic impact for the region.


-     To position Belfast as a potential training camp venue for teams in the lead up to the      2012 Olympics and to capitalise on the political  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Interim Revision of Support for Sport Criteria pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee deferred consideration of a report regarding an interim review of the criteria which applied to the Support for Sport scheme to enable briefings to be held for the Party Groupings represented on the Council.



Pricing Policy pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee considered a report in respect of the prices which were to be charged for the hire of facilities within the Belfast Waterfront Hall and the various Community Centres during the 2008/2009 financial year and for the Ulster Hall from February 2009 till March 2010, which represented a 3% increase compared to those charged currently.


            During discussion in the matter, the Director informed the Members that reports would be submitted to future meetings of the Committee in connection with additional means of generating income from both the Belfast Waterfront and the Ulster Halls.


            The Committee agreed to the price increases as outlined in the report, a copy of which is available on and noted the information which had been provided by the Director.



Waterfront Hall Cleaning Contract pdf icon PDF 116 KB


            The Managing Director of the Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Halls advised the Committee that the current cleaning contract for the Waterfront Hall was due to expire on 30th April.  Accordingly, he sought approval to undertake a procurement exercise to secure a new cleaning contract for a three-year period, with an option to renew for a further two years.  He sought approval also to extend the existing contract until 31st July.


            The Committee granted the approvals sought and agreed to delegate authority to the Director of Development, in conjunction with the Chairman, to accept the most advantageous tender received.



Branding Belfast pdf icon PDF 194 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“Relevant Background Information


      To update Development Committee on progress towards developing a brand for Belfast and the proposed roll-out of the new brand.


Key Issues


      New Belfast Brand


      The process behind the creation of a new brand for Belfast commenced in June 2007 with the appointment of Lloyd Northover, international brand consultants. It was clear at this stage that the formal “Smiley Face” logo developed in 1997 was largely redundant.  Many new logos had been developed on an ad hoc basis which had led to multiple messages being given out about Belfast.  In an increasingly competitive city market it was agreed that the time had come to renew the Belfast brand. 


      Visioning Phase


      At the crucial ‘visioning’ stage all the learnings from Primary Research and work sessions were coalesced into 3 options for a vision for Belfast - the basis of the new Brand – that is both inspiring and authentic, rooted in reality but representing people’s aspirations for the city These options were explored in terms of developing a unique proposition for the city, a set of values and qualities associated with it that people think are important and to be preserved/promoted.


      The distinctiveness, value, credibility and sustainability of these options (for all audiences) were tested through further interviews, steering group and reference group sessions, a Belfast City Councillor briefing session and wider reaching activities including a web based survey and a programme of research for external audiences (from visitor and investor markets). The following proposition is the distillation of the central message which will be conveyed through the brand.




      A unique history and a future full of promise have come together to create a city bursting with energy and optimism. This is Belfast’s moment.


      The time is right for us to create a thriving, vibrant city. Bringing together our strong sense of identity, our resilience and enterprise, and our renowned warmth and wit, we are seizing this opportunity with both hands. Proud of our heritage, we embrace the future to build an even better Belfast, providing a warm welcome For visitors, an attractive, exciting environment For investors and a great place to live.


      This is the core message for the brand, the foundation and framework for further development.


      Creative Development Phase


      This is the current phase in the brand process its main purpose being to create the visuals for future campaigns. Options for the creative visual and verbal expression of the brand will be explored and tested in further presentations and work sessions including steering, reference group and Belfast City Councillor meetings and focus groups with the local community.


      At the same time, the practical implications of the new brand will be thoroughly explored across a broad range of possible physical, cultural and policy manifestations for how the brand will affect people’s real, tangible experience of the city – the ‘brand experience’ that builds over time to help attain the vision of Belfast.


      Tangible outputs of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Tourism Development Update pdf icon PDF 124 KB


Community Tourism


            The Committee was reminded that in 2002 an application had been submitted to the Belfast Regeneration Office in connection with the implementation of a programme of community tourism initiatives in each of the Area Partnership Board localities.


            The Head of Economic Initiatives informed the Members that this project had been delayed for a number of reasons.  However, following a meeting in January between representatives of the Belfast Regeneration Office and the Area Partnership Boards, the Regeneration Office had indicated that it would announce shortly whether the funding for the project would be approved.


            The Committee noted the information provided.


Café Culture


            The Head of Economic Initiatives indicated that the adoption of a café culture by the hospitality sector had been curtailed by the Roads (Northern Ireland) Order 1993, which covered the obstruction of roads and pavements and was enforced by the Department for Regional Development.  The situation had been exacerbated by the introduction of legislation which prohibited smoking in all enclosed workplaces and enclosed public places.  Accordingly, in 2006, the Tourism Unit had established a Café Culture Steering Group involving representatives from all interested organisations.  Subsequently, in July 2006 the Chairman of the former Tourism and Promotion of Belfast Sub-Committee had written to the Minister for Regional Development requesting that the 1993 Order be re-examined in order to accommodate café culture in Belfast.  However, no reply had been received. 


            The Head of Economic Initiatives recommended that, since the matter required to be resolved, both the Minister for Regional Development and the Minister for Social Development be requested to meet with a deputation from the Committee to discuss the matter.


            After discussion, the Committee adopted the recommendation.


Conference Subvention


            The Committee agreed, under the terms of the Council’s Subvention Policy, that £500 be allocated to the “Many Core and Reconfigurable Supercomputing” Conference and £1,000 be provided to both the “Second European Mediation” Conference and the “ARMO Global” Conference.



Economic Development Update pdf icon PDF 188 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“Relevant Background Information


      Co-financing for European Social Fund (ESF) applications


      At the January 2008 meeting of the Development Committee, members received an update on European funding.  They were reminded of council’s successful application for funding from the European Social Fund (ESF).  It aims to provide training to help those not currently in employment to find jobs within the hospitality and retail sectors.  ESF projects are 65% funded and project promoters are expected to find the 35% co-financing from other sources.


      BelfastCity Council has been approached to provide co?financing to a number of other organisations who have made applications under the European Social fund programme.


      Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT) Social Economy Event


      At the December 2007 meeting of the Development Committee, members asked that consideration of a report on the proposal for sponsorship of the UCIT All-Island Social Enterprise Trade Show be deferred for consideration at a future date.


      Collaboration with Northern Ireland SciencePark (NISP)


      Members will be aware that the Northern Ireland SciencePark (NISP) delivered a range of activities last year which were co?financed by Belfast City Council.  NISP has now submitted a proposal for additional activity in the next financial year and has asked Belfast City Council to make a financial contribution towards this work. 


      BITES (Business Improvements through Environmental Solutions) Tender: Request for delegated authority to accept tender


      At the 8 August 2007 Development Committee, members approved an action plan for the development of the environmental industries in the city.  This included the second phase of a programme to support business improvements through environmental solutions (BITES).  A tender for the development and delivery of this programme was issued in January 2007. 


      Shopmobility – request for support


      Members will be aware that the Shopmobility scheme has been supported by council since 1995 as part of its local economic development plan.  A proposal for financial support of £25,000 for the current year of operation has been submitted for consideration.


Key Issues


      Co-financing for European Social Fund (ESF) applications


      The European Social Fund (ESF) provides funding for training measures to help people get into employment and enhance their career prospects.  In October 2007, a call for projects under Priority 1 of the Northern Ireland ESF Programme – Helping People into Employment – was launched.  The call closed in November 2007. 


      A number of organisations approached council to ask for support in advance of making their submissions.  These were:


-     LEAP (north Belfast): project to enhance employer and client engagement in north Belfast with a view to increasing employability of local people.  The project aims to place around 300 local people in employment over the three year period of the programme.


-     Stepping Stones (east Belfast): project to enhance employer and client engagement in east Belfast, focusing on addressing the needs of small businesses. The project aims to place around 220 local people in employment over the three year period of the programme.


      Both organisations are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Response to Ligoniel Neighbourhood Renewal Action Plan pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Additional documents:


            The Committee was reminded that twelve Neighbourhood Renewal Partnerships were operating currently within Belfast and that they were all developing Action Plans for their areas.  Each Plan detailed a series of actions and identified the organisations which the Partnership believed could assist them.  In a number of cases the Council had been identified as the lead partner.


            The Director reported that the Council had replied to five such Capital Plans and that a response had been prepared recently to the Action Plan submitted by the Ligoniel Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership, a copy of which had been circulated and was available on


            The Committee endorsed the contents of the Council’s response to the Ligoniel Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership’s Action Plan.



Strategic Regeneration Frameworks pdf icon PDF 112 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“Relevant Background Information


      Under the Renewing Communities Programme each Area Partnership Board (APB) has been resourced to, and tasked with, producing a Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF) for their area by the Department for Social Development.  Each APB has engaged a consultancy team to support them in this work which is due for completion in  June - September 2008.  Whilst each APB is at a different stage in development, efforts are being made to co?ordinate activity across the frameworks.


      Members will also be aware of the local masterplans being produced for Inner East, Lower Shankill, Lower Falls, Crumlin Road and Shore Road.  These plans are being developed by DSD as part of Renewing Communities also.  It is intended that the SRFs for each respective area will take account of these local plans.


Key Issues


      Engagement with councillors in each partnership board area has been pursued directly by the APBs.  Some councillors are participating on the steering groups of the SRFs whilst others input through the APB meetings and consultation processes.  Ministers and MLAs have been engaged to a varying level dependent on the approach taken by the APB and the stage of development of their SRF.


      BelfastCity Council has not yet been formally invited to engage at political level on the SRF process.  Senior officers have recently been invited by each APB to join the steering group of each SRF.  This is an essential step in ensuring co-ordination with Council’s own development processes including the preparation of an Asset Management Plan, a City Development Plan, and refreshed Capital City Strategy.  Members will also be aware of the Council’s production of a City-wide masterplan in 2003 which, although becoming a little dated, remains an extremely valuable document in setting out the context for the SRFs for each area.


      DSD’s approach to pursing regeneration frameworks on a partnership board by partnership board basis presents a number of issues.  Whilst increased scope for analysing issues particular to North, South, East, West and the Shankill exists, there is the inherent danger of losing sight of the critical mass of the City as a whole.  Without co-ordination and an assessment of the strengths and deficiencies of the City as a whole there can be no agreed Strategic Regeneration Framework for the City overall.


      Council must be mindful of its approach to City-wide development and regeneration and the on-going process to develop a City Investment Fund which is fundamentally underpinned by a City Development Plan.  The issues analysed and opportunities identified under the SRF process need to be integrated with the City Development Plan being drafted by Council.  Similarly, active engagement by Council in the SRF process is wholly necessary to ensure that the resultant SRFs are meaningful and connected to the City Development Plan.  Emerging out of these discussions there may be the need for a co-ordination framework to attach the SRFs to the City Development Plan.  This may necessitate the refreshing of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Response to Draft Planning Policy Statement 18 - Renewable Energy pdf icon PDF 244 KB


            The Committee considered the undernoted report:


“Relevant Background Information


      Draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 18 - ‘Renewable Energy’ was published for public consultation by the Planning and Environmental Policy Group of the Department of the Environment, on 23 November 2007. This policy is intended to supersede Policy PSU12 of the Departments ‘Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland’. The consultation period for Draft PPS18 closes on Friday 21March 2008.


      The aim of PPS 18 is to encourage and facilitate the provision of renewable energy and heat generating facilities in appropriate locations within the built and natural environment. PSU12 is considered insufficiently detailed to take account of the different forms of renewable energy development. More explicit guidance is required by the public to allow planning proposals to be better tailored to requirements of the Planning Service.


      At present the NI Planning Service is undertaking a review of permitted development rights for small scale renewable development (micro-generation). This review could potentially remove the requirement to apply for planning permission for many small domestic renewable energy schemes. This review is expected to complete before the adoption of PPS18.


Key Issues


      Draft PPS18 – ‘Renewable Energy’ has two policies Renewable Energy 1 and Renewable Energy 2. Policy RE1 relates the general principles of development and additional assessment criteria for wind energy development. Policy RE2 relates exclusively to passive solar design and the necessity for all new public sector development, large-scale urban development and dwellings in the countryside to demonstrate what consideration has been given to Passive Solar Design principles in the layout, siting and design of their proposals. Annex 1 and 2 provide information and best practice guidance for each form of renewable energy development. Annex 3 discusses in detail the community benefits arising from renewable energy development.


      BelfastCity Council recognises the importance of a comprehensive planning policy for the future of renewable energy development. Renewable energy developments are vitally important in limiting environmental damage and the promotion of such development is supported by BCC. Such development should however, be rigorously assessed to limit the impact upon residential and visual amenity.


      Belfast City Council would be concerned with any attempt at piecemeal legislation, which will deal solely with renewable energy in the narrow context of planning; as such legislation could detrimentally impact upon other industries such as construction and eventually on the end-user or consumers/ residents.


      Draft PPS18 provides an opportunity for the Planning Service, District Councils and other interested parties to undertake a comprehensive review of all issues surrounding climate change, renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions. The Council is of the view that Draft PPS 18 provides a good basis for more substantial debate inclusive of all parties regarding what we can all do to improve the built and natural environment in response to the threat of Climate Change.


      The draft Council response relates to a number of issues including;


-     the development plan process


-     air quality monitoring


-     methodologies for the acoustic impacts of development


-  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


Renewing the Routes - Update on Antrim Road and York Road pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Additional documents:


            The Director reported that it was anticipated that both the public artwork to be erected at Carlisle Circus and the Gateway Piece for York Road would be completed in March.  Following completion of the commercial shop frontage scheme in York Road the potential for an additional local signage project had been identified under funding which was available from within the existing budget.


            She indicated that the Antrim Road scheme had been allocated an additional £80,000 and York Road scheme an additional £60,000 under the Urban II Programme and she outlined the potential projects which would benefit from the additional funding.


            The Committee noted the information which had been provided.