Whitehill Bordon Delivery Board Meeting 15th March 2012 6:30pm – Bordon Junior School, Bordon Present: John Walker Daphne Gardner
Cllr Adam Carew Richard Nelson
Dr William Wain James Rowley
Cllr Andrew Joy
Cllr Glynis Watts
Apologies: Kevin Bourner
Cllr Melville Kendal
Also: Mandar Puranik
Susan Robbins Chris Youngs Lydia Forbes-Manson Simon Beach Peter Rabbett
(SR) (CY) (LFM) (SJB) (PR)
Chairman East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) Project Director Whitehill Town Council (WTC) MoD Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) Whitehill Bordon Town Partnership (WTP) Home and Communities Agency (HCA) Area Manager North Hampshire on behalf of Kevin Bourner Hampshire County Council (HCC) on behalf of Cllr Melville Kendal EHDC Portfolio Holder for Regeneration
Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Head of Area HCC Executive Member for the Environment
EHDC (Theme Lead – Planning and Urban Design) EHDC (Theme Lead – Environmental Sustainability) EHDC (Theme Lead – Eco-housing and Retrofitting) EHDC (Theme Lead – Economic Development) WTC (Eco-coordinator) EHDC (Communications & Marketing Officer) EHDC (Project Coordinator) Consultant to HCC
Welcome and introductions - Chairman The Chairman thanked Richard Nelson for his work on the project and made a presentation to him. His colleague, Robert Smith, will now be the representative for MoD Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).
Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising Minutes of the previous Delivery Board meeting were approved as accurate. Matters arising from the previous meeting are: Eco-town vision (minute no. 2, page 6): At the previous meeting, Delivery Board members agreed that the Eco-town vision should be taken back to their partner organisations for them to endorse. The Chairman asked each organisation representative for an update on progress of this. Responses are below: Whitehill Town Council (WTC) – support has been given. East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) – the Eco-town vision will be taken through due process alongside the revised masterplan. Hampshire County Council (HCC) – follow-up is needed to check if the vision has been endorsed. MoD, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) – David Olney is in the process of writing a letter to the project team on various points. Progress update on whether the vision has been endorsed will be included in this letter. Whitehill Bordon Town Partnership (WTP) – endorsing the vision will be incorporated into the agenda for the next meeting. Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) – had previously commented that it is important to emphasise the need for economic regeneration and job creation. Written confirmation on endorsing the vision will be given. Because the vision guides the work of the Delivery Board, it is important that each organisation endorses this document.
Development brief for demonstration scheme at Quebec Barracks (minute no. 8, page 6): Councillor Joy fed in some comments on the brief. Confirmation was given that there is a new zero carbon standard which is being used for some of the development at Quebec Barracks. Outcomes from Specialist Groups (minutes no. 11(a), page 7): It was noted that funding requirements still need to be identified to be able to carry out the recommended community facilities study. A committee has been established to begin the work on the assessment. Once an updated Masterplan document has been developed, one joint meeting of all Specialist Groups will be organised to assess the outcomes of the document. Because the Specialist Groups are open to anyone, all will be welcome to this meeting. Chris Youngs will be responsible for organising this meeting and will liaise with the project team to schedule the meeting.
Public Questions No public questions were received.
Verbal update from Ministry of Defence (MoD) This item will be covered later on the agenda. (Also, please see item one of the transition group meeting notes.)
Commercial strategy advice from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) The project director updated on progress. PwC are continuing with their work. And will be bringing their findings to the June meeting of the Delivery Board. PwC came to the December meeting with a current update at that point in time. Since then, further workshops with Delivery Board members have been held to get the Board investor ready. Part of this process has been to challenge the Board members which has been positive and constructive. This work has included looking at t options for the procurement of investment partners, reviewing the viability assumptions and working through this information. It is important to spend time to get a good result rather than rush the work. Therefore, another workshop will be held in April and an update given at the next Delivery Board meeting.
Transition Group update Richard Nelson introduced this item. Clarification of the position on the overall programme and implications for the release of land was given (item one of the transition group meeting minutes). Until the contract is let, there wonâ€™t be certainty over the precise timing of release of land. This will create a practical issue. Part of the bidding process for the contract is to evaluate the options for the release of land. Some areas of the Garrison are already vacant. This includes Louisburg Barracks. Where there are opportunities to start development early, these should be taken. But it is important that development of this (and any) site is carried out in accordance with the masterplan to avoid piecemeal development. The Eco-town team are working up a proposal for the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to bid for capital from the Growing Places fund. This proposal will take into account the costs of the infrastructure needs of Louisburg. The team will need agreement and support from DIO for the preparation of the bid.
HCA have held discussions with LEP. The bidding round is due to start in April. Board members ask for clarification about the process for closing sites. Richard Nelson explained the MoD have a duty of care for a whole site, therefore take health and safety issues, security and vandalism seriously. Sites are not left unprotected. This can therefore work against the wishes of keeping part of a site open. It is essential that these types of issues are identified early so that innovative solutions can be found. To begin the process of overcoming these practical issues, WTC have held a meeting with a representative from the Bordon Garrison. It was confirmed that most encroachment activities will follow the Garrison staff to Lyneham. Other encroachment activities such as the scouts will remain. A related concern is that if user groups of MoD facilities are required to move out, they will need to be notified, preferably with at least six months notice to allow them adequate time to find alternative venues. In addition to the transition group work, WTC are also holding meetings with the Garrison to progress work needed and are grateful to the assistance that has already been given by Chris Youngs and Major (Retired) Alan Johnson. The Town Council will need to complete a list of activities taking place on Garrison land and have requested that the WTP participate in this work. The Town Council do not have financial resources. If the Town Council decide to take this on and it is a benefit to the community, then a request for a slight increase in precept will be made.
Landowners update RN introduced his report and updated on the Land Equalisation Agreement and the preparations for a planning application. RN confirmed that the Landowners continue to meet and highlighted the three principal areas of work. These are: to understand the key objectives related to land releases to deliver the scheme; to build on the work being carried out by PwC to produce data that will attract an investor; and the work needed in order to be in a position to sign a landowners’ agreement. Early discussions for Quebec Barracks and Louisburg Barracks have also been progressing. Clarification was sought in relation to MoD’s responsibility in regards to contaminated land. Under the MoD’s duty of care, any contamination of land as a result of MoD’s specific occupation of the land, the MoD has a policy to remove this contamination. Types of contamination include ordinance, chemical and/ or biological components. Data relating to other forms of contamination will be made available so that the land can be priced accordingly. Clarification for the suitable alternative natural green space (SANGS) provision for the development of Quebec Barracks was sought. Part of
Bordon Inclosure will be needed to ensure adequate SANGS provision for the development on Quebec Barracks. The question was put to RN to ask whether Bordon Inclosure would come on line prior to the development of Quebec Barracks so that this site is ready before the Quebec Barracks building work is complete. This would be one of the many practical issues that would need to be addressed, but is not insurmountable. An assessment of the Garrisonâ€™s training needs would need to be carried out. In addition, PwC and GVA are working closely together to develop an informed and unified view.
Recruitment of a permanent Chairman to the Delivery Board. The Chairman stated his strong interest in continuing to be involved in the Eco-town project subject to it being exemplar. At this point the Chairman left the room and RN became acting Chairman. The project director introduced her report. Initially, JW was appointed as the interim Chairman. This contract was then extended until the summer of this year. The project director has spoken to each member of the Delivery Board individually. It was felt by all members that JW was now very familiar with the project and had a wealth of experience with previous work has made him a very able and helpful asset to this project. JW had proved his commitment to the project by carrying out a lot of additional work between meetings. The Delivery Board were being asked to endorse the continued appointment of JW as the permanent Chairman. Delivery Board members agreed unanimously to formally give in principle support to extend JWâ€™s contract until September 2015 or the demise of the current governance structure, which ever is sooner. The advantages of JW remaining in this role are that it will provide both continuity and certainty to the project. Because the Delivery Board do not have the powers to appoint the Chairman, his actual appointment will be made on behalf of the Delivery Board by EHDC.
Findings of the neighbourhood consultation There have been no changes made to the presentation or the report since the Standing Conference. Therefore, it was decided there was no need to show the presentation again. The Chairman introduced this report by stating that the consultation on the masterplan has been ongoing for a long time. It had been extensive and thorough and a lot of effort had been made to get people to respond. He felt that the consultation process had been a very useful and thorough exercise and the way it's been carried out has a lot to commend it. As with any consultation process, it is up to individual community members to participate and comment. The masterplan is an essential tool to ensure that the townâ€™s regeneration provides the best possible facilities and infrastructure and that development takes place to extremely high standards. Otherwise we risk a piecemeal approach, with no commitment to any particular outcomes. It was clear at the Standing Conference that all comments
received from the consultation have been carefully considered. The Delivery Board itself had been involved in the discussions. Such a large amount of public engagement is very unusual in this type of project and should be commended. The consultation process and resulting changes are seen as positive and had been well-received by WTC. Further discussions will be needed with the Eco-Housing and Retrofitting Project Lead for the Bordon and Oakhanger Sports Club (BOSC) in relation to housing density. Additional work is also needed to find alternative funding for retrofitting and refurbishment of existing homes. This work has already been recognised by the team and will be brought forward in September.
Proposed changes to the Framework Masterplan In addition to the presentation made at the Standing Conference, the same presentation was also made to WTC. The Town Council made the following comments: - The changes made on the Viking Park site are well received. The Town Council showed preference for the inner relief road to follow the old disused rail line and not to go through Viking Park. This preference has been noted, but both options will need to be included in the masterplan for now. - As mentioned above, WTC would recommend reduction of housing density on the BOSC site. - The proposals for the new learning campus are welcomed. WTC would like to see more certainty on where the learning hub or sports hub should be sited. - A triangular piece of land on Mill Chase Road near the playing fields has not currently been included in the masterplan. Therefore WTC have asked for clarity on this piece of land. If the area is to be redeveloped clarity is still needed on what will happen to the triangular piece of land. The recreation ground is under the ownership of the Town Council, therefore if the sports hub is to be included, the Town Council needs to be included in the discussions. - WTC understands that the Viking Park site is now to be 70 percent employment and 30 percent leisure. This should be 50:50. Confirmation was given that it is proposed for 55 percent employment and 45 percent leisure which is the original position. - Clarity was also sought regarding housing numbers. There are 4,000 new homes proposed for the masterplan area. The number in the Joint Core Strategy is 4458 â€“ which includes the 4,000 in the masterplan. But the Joint Core Strategy has caused some confusion because it includes 366 homes that have already been built, 13 homes that have planning consent but are yet to be built and a further 79 new homes which planners expect to be built. - Clarity was sought regarding Annington Property Ltd and the potential impact on housing numbers. There are no proposals to redevelop the site â€“ but if they did decide to redevelop then they will have to go through the normal planning process. It must be remembered that this site is already occupied by dwellings; therefore
it might not be a change in numbers of dwellings, but an upgrade to new homes. Any increase would have to pass strict environmental tests, which would appear to be prohibitive in the current circumstances.
Whitehill & Bordon â€“ a learning community The consultant to HCC introduced his report. It was noted that section 5.1 of the report should read County, District and Town Councils. This work is regarded as a special project which was confirmed at the Standing Conference and Specialist Group meetings. The paper sets out the challenge of how to take this work forward. The consultation process must include existing and future parents to show them what the learning village can look like. Two weeks ago a series of government proposals were released which laid out the future statutory responsibility of the local authority. This includes the engagement of young people in the debate. Therefore, young people must be included in this work. The project director explained that the paper had been discussed at the County Council where it was well received. The next step is for the County to take this proposal to their management team as a cross cutting topic. The County has indicated that they could put forward some funding to get the initial work done. The proposal is presently looking affordable and deliverable. It is recognised that once some funding has been secured, it is usually easier to gain the rest. This proposal would need a working group to steer this work. The work would have to come through to the Delivery Board from the Infrastructure, Education and Transport Specialist Group as this group already involved the relevant stakeholders. The Community Facilities and Amenities Specialist Group and project team would also be willing to give support to this work. The Delivery Board endorsed this report and suggested way forward.
Outcomes from Specialist Groups and Chairman/ Vice Chairman/ Lead Officers meetings The Chairman introduced the report on the work of the Specialist Groups. No comments or fundamental errors were noted. The work of the Groups was noted. Comments were received in relation to the work plan. These are: - The work outlined in the learning community paper above needs incorporating into the work plan. - Work already done regarding the skills centre needs incorporating into the education strategy. - The Eco-town parking strategy needs to be linked to the EHDC parking strategy. This will require internal EHDC discussions.
- Emergency services needs reprioritising to push this up the agenda. - Recommendation made in 2.3 of the report was noted and has been covered elsewhere. It was reiterated that the Delivery Board needs to support the retention of the sports facilities and buildings as in the masterplan therefore prioritising the retention of Edwardian buildings. The Delivery Board endorsed the work plan for the Specialist Groups.
Project progress report The project coordinator introduced the report on project progress. This version of the report is the same as the version that was taken to the Standing Conference. Appendix 4 (page 114) â€“ the project programme is an updated version. The work of the project team is continually being updated; therefore this plan can only be taken as a snapshot at any one point in time. The HCCâ€™s work on bus routes has now completed and the chosen bus route is the second option. This bus route has now gone out to tender. The Town Council is still waiting for the report on bus shelters to know if this needs to go out to tender. The presentation and tour to the LEP was very helpful. The project has a lot of support. It was commented that the colour coding used in appendix 1 (page 101) is very useful and shows that there are very few problems within the project.
Forward Programme The forward programme was reviewed. An item that need adding to the work plan included the refurbishment of existing homes (September 2012) Clarification regarding the work to be done on shop fronts for the High Street, Chalet Hill was sought. It was confirmed that the economic and development theme lead is working closely with retailers. Nine retailers have shown interest in improvements to shop fronts. Of these, seven have shown interest in eco-measures that could be implemented. Therefore, interest has been gathered, and the team will be going back to the retailers shortly to work with them. A request was made for the project team to assist in putting pressure on County to ensure bollards are installed at Lynton Road. Dates for future meetings were reviewed and confirmed.
Risk register report The Board members reviewed the risk register report. It is recognised that the risk register is a work in progress and is a working document. This iteration of the risk register includes the reviews that have been conducted from an investorâ€™s point of view.