BOROUGH OF BARROW-IN-FURNESS


                      ECONOMY AND REGENERATION

                                         Meeting, 5th October, 2004
                                         at 2.00 p.m. (Committee Room No. 4)


      PART ONE

       1.   To note any items which the Chairman considers to be of an
            urgent nature.

       2.   To receive notice from Members who may wish to move any
            delegated matter non-delegated and which will be decided by a
            majority of Members present and voting at the meeting.

       3.   Admission of Public and Press

            To consider whether the public and press should be excluded
            from the meeting during consideration of any of the items on the

       4.   Disclosures of Interests and any declarations under Paragraph 16:
            Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules (Party Whip).

       5.   Apologies for Absence/Attendance of Substitutes.

       6.   Confirmation of Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny –
            Economy and Regeneration held on 7th September, 2004 (copy

       7.   Matters Arising.

(D)    8.   Disabled Access.

(D)    9.   Planning Enforcement.

(D)   10.   Urban Design Framework.

(D)   11.   Derelict Land.

(D)   12.   Community Plan Priorities.

(D)   13.   Tourism in Barrow Borough, Key Trends and Performance.
(D)   14.   Keeping Our Future Afloat Campaign – Minutes 16th August, 2004.

      NOTE (D) - Delegated
           (R) - Referred

      Members on Committee


      Garnett (Chairman)
      Irwin (Vice-Chairman)
                                                                             Part One

OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –                                               (D)
Economy and Regeneration                                                    Agenda
Date of Meeting:            5th October, 2004                                  8
Reporting Officer:          Policy Review Officer

Title:         Disabled Access
Summary and Conclusions:

The draft report for this review has been completed.


Review the report and agree any changes.

Scrutiny review into accessibility for disabled people

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee- Economy and Regeneration have identified
Barrow Borough Council’s performance against BVPI 156 and their preparation for
revised guidelines for Disabled Discrimination Act apply from 1st October 2004 as an
area of concern.
They discussed their concerns with the Director of Regeneration who updated them
on the current position and current proposals for delivering improvements. A number
of issues were identified and the Director of Regeneration developed proposals to
address these issues.


The Overview and Scrutiny Committee- Economy and Regeneration have identified
Barrow Borough Council’s performance against BVPI 156 as an area of concern.
Although the value of 26% is in the mid-fifty percentile it has not improved during the
last four years and is below Barrow Borough Council’s own target of 40%.
In addition revised guidelines for Disabled Discrimination Act apply from 1 st October
2004 and the Overview and Scrutiny committee believe that it would be appropriate
to review Barrow Borough Council’s approach to disabled access at this time.
The Chairmen of the committee proposed that instead of identifying a work group,
the whole committee should be involved in the review and the other members
supported this.


Councillors Garnett, Irwin and James met with the Director of Regeneration and the
Building Control Manager to agree a scope for this review.
The Director of Regeneration outlined Barrow Borough Council’s approach to
preparing for the new Disabled Discrimination Act legislation that comes in to effect
in October 2004. He emphasised that the new guidelines are focussed on
reasonableness and that the Council is currently taking that approach.
The committee supported this approach and agreed that appropriately qualified
officers should make the decision as to what is reasonable. The outcome from this
review should be that Barrow Borough Council has policies in place to support the
decision making process and that there is a mechanism in place for resolving any
issues that may arise. In addition there should be a commitment by the Council to
improve performance against BVPI 156.


Interview staff to identify the officer with accountability for assessing disability
Determine Barrow Borough Council’s current arrangements for improving
accessibility for disabled members of staff and members of the public.
Co-opt a member of the Barrow and District Disability Association onto the
committee to obtain a more a balanced view.
Examine the Council’s current procedures relating the Disability Discrimination Act.


Councillors Garnett, Irwin and James met with the Director of Regeneration and the
Building Control Manager.

The Chairman asked the Director of Regeneration what the Council’s position was
regarding the new DDA legislation?
The Director of Regeneration informed the Members that a number of steps had
been taken to upgrade existing buildings; most significantly the Council had
commissioned a specialist audit of Barrow Town Hall. The report from this audit had
identified and prioritised some improvement suggestions, a number of which have
been implemented resulting in a significantly improved level of access to services for
disabled people.
An audit of the other Council owned, public buildings were conducted in 2000 and a
list of the status of those buildings was prepared, however, since then a number of
improvements have been implemented.
He agreed to review this list with the Building Control Manager and the Design
Services Manager to determine the current position. A identify a proposal for
improving that position.
Members raised concerns that it is not clear which officer currently has specific
responsibility for disabled access, the Director of Regeneration agreed with this
stating that since the recent retirement of the former Building Control Manager the
Council did not have a formal disabled access officer.

Members asked how the Council supported disabled members of staff?
The Director of Regeneration replied that each case would be dealt with on an
individual basis and that measures would be put in place to accommodate their

The Members also raised concerns regarding the Council’s performance against
BVPI 156 (The % of authority buildings open to the public which are suitable and
accessible to disabled people) this is currently 26%. The Director of Regeneration
believes that the current improvements being made to the Town Hall and proposed
changes to a numbers of community centres will have a positive impact on that


The Director of Regeneration reported the following proposals to the Overview and
Scrutiny Committee – Economy and Regeneration at their meeting on 7 th September
2004; Margaret Burrow from the Barrow and District Disability Association attended
this meeting.

      The Building Control Manager should made access officer and being given
       appropriate training to support the role.

      A formal and recorded access philosophy be developed for Barrow Borough

      Access statements for all public buildings owned by Barrow Borough Council
       are prepared. An access team comprising of the Director of Regeneration,
       the Building Control, the Designs Services Manager and the Estates Manager
       supported by the specific venue manager and a representative from the
       Barrow and District Disability Association should develop the access

      In advance of Capital Programme project being agreed, Disability
       Discrimination Act issues are reviewed and appropriate solutions be
       incorporated into the project design.

      The access team will prepare quarterly progress reports and submit them to
       the Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Economy and Regeneration.

      Service managers and “frontline” staff continue to be updated with changes to
       DDA legislation and Barrow Borough Council’s approach to providing access
       to the public.
Margaret Burrows from the Barrow and District Disability Association supported in
principal Barrow Borough Council’s approach based on reasonableness and
supported the proposals made by the Director of Regeneration.


Having reviewed the available information the Committee were satisfied that Barrow
Borough Council employ a sensible approach to disabled access, although this isn’t
always visible.

They were pleased with speed with which the Director of Regeneration responded to
issues and support the proposed actions.


The Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Economy and Regeneration agreed to
support the proposals made by the Director of Regeneration and recommend to the
Executive Committee that they are implemented.

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Economy and Regeneration agreed to
receive quarterly reports from the access team, monitor the impact of the proposal
and review them if necessary.
                                                                          Part One

OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –                                            (D)
Economy and Regeneration                                                 Agenda
Date of Meeting:            5th October, 2004                               9
Reporting Officer:          Policy Review Officer

Title:         Planning Enforcement
Summary and Conclusions:

The scope for this review has been agreed and is described below.


Note and comment on the scope for the review. Confirm attendance at the training


Councillors Garnet and James met with the Assistant Director of Regeneration and
the Development Control Manager to agree the scope for this scrutiny review.

The Develop Control Manager stated a fact that is often misunderstood

“ It is not an offence to carry out development without first obtaining planning
permission”, however, if subsequently an Enforcement Notice is served then it is an
offence not to comply with the enforcement notice.
He also informed the work group that there were a number of alternative steps that
could be taken before serving an Enforcement Notice on a development that had
been carried out without planning permission.

In view of the information provided by the development Control Manager the work
group agreed the following scope for the review.

1: Study the available documentation relating to planning enforcement, this includes

        “Enforcing Planning Control” from the Planning Policy Guidance Document.

        The Enforcement Concordat

        The Annual Enforcement report to the Planning Committee

This information has now been circulated to members of the work group
2: Review recent enforcement cases to understand how the guidelines are applied.

3: Interview officers to understand the processes used to determine the course of
action taken if an unauthorised development is identified.

4: Attend an enforcement training session for members of the Planning Committee
that is being delivered on 12th October.
OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –                                               (D)
Economy and Regeneration                                                    Agenda
Date of Meeting:            5th October, 2004                                  10
Reporting Officer:          Policy Review Officer

Title:        Urban Design Framework
Summary and Conclusions:

The draft report from Gillespie’s will be available in mid-October.


Agree to review the draft report and identify a date for scoping this review.


The draft version of the Gillespie’s report defining the Urban Design Framework will
be presented to the Director of Regeneration and the Local Plans Officer at a
workshop on 14th October.
The report will then go out to public consultation during the first week in November
prior to a final report being published at the end of the year.

I have requested a copy of the draft report, which I will circulate to this committee
upon receipt. I suggest that we review the report and arrange a meeting to agree the
scope of this scrutiny review in advance of this committees next meeting scheduled
for 9th November.
OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –                                              (D)
Economy and Regeneration                                                   Agenda
Date of Meeting:           5th October, 2004                                  11
Reporting Officer:         Policy Review Officer

Title:         Derelict Land
Summary and Conclusions:

The draft report for this review has been completed.


Review the report and agree any changes.


The Overview and Scrutiny Committee: Economy and Regeneration recognises the
benefits of Barrow’s ambitious regeneration programme in terms of sustainable
employment and better quality of life. They feel that by developing a better
understanding of regeneration as a whole and by reviewing specific parts of the
regeneration strategy that they can support the programme.
One of the key elements for the success of the regeneration strategy is ensuring
that the derelict land reclamation programme is aligned to the regeneration priorities.
For the purposes of the review the phrase derelict land would include Derelict
Underused and Neglected Sites (DUNS).
A work group from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Economy and
Regeneration comprising of Councillors Williams and Forbes supported by the
Assistant Director of Regeneration and the Principal Officer – Overview and Scrutiny
carried out a review into the derelict land programme. The Policy review Officer was
co-opted into work group part way through the review.

The objectives of the review

1: To assess the effectiveness of the current programme for reclamation of derelict
land in the Borough.

2: Assess the contribution of derelict land reclamation to public sector capital
regeneration programmes in the town and if the current reclamation programmes
can deliver sufficient land to meet these strategies.

3: To make recommendations on how the current programme and working
arrangements for reclamation of derelict land in the Borough can be improved.

Scrutiny approach

At the scoping meeting it was agreed that the review should focus on the processes
and agencies involved rather than the individual parcels of land and their potential

It was established that
     Cumbria County Council was the statutory authority for land reclamation
     Reclamation can be undertaken for “hard end usage”, residential or industrial
       purposes or
     “soft end usage” parkland or leisure areas with no commercial value.
     Potential sites had to be included in the County Council’s land reclamation

Barrow Borough Council’s main role is as a landowner and to access funding
through the Heart of Barrow partnership.

To enhance the work groups understanding of derelict land reclamation Mike Baker
from West Lakes Renaissance gave a presentation on the role that Urban Renewal
Companies play in land reclamation and the types of funding that were currently

The work group also met with Richard Moore, a Development surveyor for Cumbria
County Council who answered questions on the role that the County Council played
in derelict land reclamation. This reaffirmed that once a regeneration project had
been approved the County Council was the driving force for land reclamation and
that Barrow Borough Council only played supporting roles, which is typically that of
the landowner.
Mr Moore also explained the approach to accessing funding for land reclamation
emphasising the in order to qualify for funding the land has to be in the ownership of
the local authority (external funding is available for this purpose) and has to be
defined as derelict (not capable of beneficial occupation without a significant amount
being spent on improving it).

The work group visited “hard end use” sites at Channelside and the proposed Dock
Redevelopment site to develop an understanding of work that had already been
completed and the potential issues for proposed land reclamation.

The work group also visited “soft end usage” sites including a proposed sports field
on Mill Lane (Walney), a conservation area on West Shore and woodland walks at
Sowerby Wood. The work group were impressed with scale and the quality of the
work that had been completed and were unaware that a number of these projects
were being undertaken.

During these site visits the Assistant Director for Regeneration highlighted the
issues associated with these sites including shared ownership and potential
    The work group visited Halton Borough Council who has an excellent record for
    reclaiming land that had previously been used by a number of chemical and heavy
    industries. It is acknowledged the Halton Borough Council is leading the way
    nationally in the use of alternative Technologies to reclaim sites that are so highly
    contaminated that they are unviable using traditional reclamation techniques.
    Halton’s Urban Renewal Programme is co-ordinated by the Major Projects
    Department, which was set up by Halton Borough Council to drive forward urban
    renewal activities.
    A significant amount of reclamation and regeneration work is conducted through
    Widnes Regeneration Ltd, a joint venture company formed by Halton Borough
    Council and St Modwen Developments Ltd.
    The Urban Renewal Programme benefits from Halton’s position as Unitary Council
    as there are fewer barriers to driving forward improvements. It was clear throughout
    the presentation and site visits that this was a key factor in Halton’s successful
    regeneration programme. In addition Halton’s position adjacent to Northwest
    England’s major transport routes was a major contributory factor in Halton’s ability to
    secure private sector funding.

    It was clear throughout the review that there were major factors relating to the
    purchase and reclamation of derelict as shown in figure 1.

    Figure 1

                                                 Relocation of existing businesses

    Purchase of land
    for reclamation                              Reluctance to sell

                                                 Shared ownership

                                                 Industrial contamination
Suitability of land
for reclamation
                                                 Planning approval for

    Some pockets of underused land may be occupied by small businesses and the
    relocation of these businesses can be an issue particularly if they are low profit
    margin businesses that cannot afford the financial burden of relocating to more
    expensive sites. Some funding is available to support the relocation, however, some
    business are reluctant to move.
Some landowners are reluctant to sell derelict land for a number of reasons, which
include personal planned future use of the land or retaining the land until it increases
in value.

In instances where large tracts of land are in joint ownership the purchase of
strategic pockets of land may be difficult because the landowners become aware of
the potential increase in value of their land and are reluctant to sell.

Once the land has been purchased there may be issues relating to obtaining
planning permission particularly if it is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

The Assistant Director of Regeneration produced a table of key derelict sites, which
form part of the Regeneration programme; this is detailed in table 1.
Table 1: Currently being updated


1: The work group recognised that a number of very successful derelict land
reclamation programmes had been completed within the last 10years although
these had not been well advertised.

2: That the derelict land reclamation programme was a key factor in the delivery of
the major Regeneration programmes in the Borough. There would be little value in
reviewing the reclamation of derelict land as a separate entity and that progress of
land reclamation should be viewed in the context of the regeneration project as a
whole. The selected regeneration company manages these projects and these
arrangements are currently working successfully.

3:Although Barrow Borough Council’s status as a second tier District Council means
that we only play a supporting role in land reclamation, it was agreed that we should
take responsibility for monitoring the progress of the land reclamation programme to
ensure that it is aligned to the public sector regeneration programmes.

4: There are a number of sensitivities relating to the purchase and reclamation of
derelict land and these have a significant impact on the ability to define clear
timescales for regeneration projects.


1: The Overview and Scrutiny Committee Economy and Regeneration receives
progress reports from the regeneration partnerships on a 6 monthly basis and
reviews them in line with other Regeneration Partnership reports to determine the
progress that is being made. Any concerns will be forwarded to the Executive
                                                                      Part One

OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –                                        (D)
Economy and Regeneration                                             Agenda
Date of Meeting:          5th October, 2004                             12
Reporting Officer:        Policy Review Officer

Title:       Community Plan Priorities
Summary and Conclusions:

The Council is committed to improving it’s performance management arrangements.
This includes provided the Overview and Scrutiny committees with project
management milestones for key projects.
Attached are the 2004/05 milestones for Regeneration and Life Enhancement


Review the information and agree to monitor progress.


See graphs below
                          BARROW REGENERATION PROJECTS 2004-2005 MILESTONES

Project             Funding   Quarter 1                        Quarter 2                  Quarter 3          Quarter 4

Barrow Park         HLF       1. Agree Phase II tender   3. Bandstand              6. New Steps              9. Cenotaph
                              2. Let Contract            4. Pavillion              7. Soft Landscaping       10. Playground
                                                         5. Lake works             8. Paths

Pye Motors          WLR       Acquire Site

Town Quay           WLR       1. Agreement with ABP      3. Complete Civil and     4. Maintenance
                                 and Morrisons              Landscape Works           Contract
                              2. Public Access

Urban Design        WLR       1. Issue Baselines         4. Final Framework
Framework                     2. Present Options         5. Issue Draft
                              3. Draft Framework         6. Final Report

Gap Funding         URF                                  1. Practical Completion   4. Re-pay NWDA
Travelodge                                               2. Hotel open
                                                         3. Complete land

Gap Funding         URF       1. Erect Steel Frame       2. Complete shell         3. Fit out                4. Open Store

Furness Business    URF       1. Complete Civil Works    2. Market Properties      3. Let 10% of factories   4. Let 50% of
Park Phase I & II                                                                                            factories
Project             Funding    Quarter 1                        Quarter 2                Quarter 3           Quarter 4

Astra Cinema        URF        1. Tender work             3. Remove Asbestos       4. Demolish Building
Demolition                     2. Let Contract                                     5. Erect hoardings

Astra Cinema        URF        1. Assess Designs          2. Display and           4. Appoint Design
Design Group                                                 Presentations            Team
                                                          3. Report to Executive

Astra Cinema        URF                                   1. Submit Funding        2. Appoint Team           5. Issue Tender
Design                                                       Application           3. Submit Planning           Documents
Development                                                                           Application
                                                                                   4. Working Drawing
                                                                                      and Specification
Barrow              URF/NWDA   1. Complete Site works     2. Market Sites          3. First Private Sector   5. Complete First
Employment Site                                                                    Development               Private Sector
                                                                                   4. Agree Site             Scheme

Market Offices      URF/ERDF   1. Relocate shop tenants   3. Open Main Entrance    4. Complete Works         5. Market Offices
                    BBC        2. Start on-site

76 Duke Street      URF        1. Examine tenders         3. Monitor Contract      5. Complete Works         6. Let Offices
                               2. Let Contract            4. Market Offices

Purchase Pontoons   URF        1. Place Order
                               Install Pontoons
Bells Acquisition   URF        1. Complete                                         3. Agree relocation of
                                   Negotiations                                    Fax-a-Snack
                               2. Complete Sale
Project         Funding    Quarter 1         Quarter 2               Quarter 3           Quarter 4

Entrepreneur    URF/ERDF               1. Implementation       3. Submit Applications    5. Acquire
Centre                                    Group Approval          for URF and ERDF          Waterside House
                                       2. Agree terms and         funding                6. Tenders for work
                                          valuation of         4. Agree Design and       7. Agree
                                          Waterside House         Specification             management with

A590 Junction   URF                    1. Agree details with   4. Submit URF
Improvement                               CCC – Highways          application to Board
                                       2. Commission H.A. to
                                          Design Scheme
                                       3. Implementation
                                          Group Approval
                                       TARGETS FOR LIFE ENHANCEMENT PROJECTS

Project                      Quarter 1                        Quarter 2                  Quarter 3          Quarter 4

Hindpool Urban Park          1. Complete consultation   2. Prepare Summary         5. Complete sketch       6. Appoint CCC to
                             exercise. Prepare          Report.                    scheme and cost          implement scheme and
                             proposals for Public       3. Commission Initial      estimate.                make funding
                             Exhibition                 Design                                              application for Land
                                                        4. Carry out site survey                            Reclamation Grant.
                                                                                                            Prepare Tender
                                                                                                            Documents and obtain

Furness Business Park                                   1. Prepare Planning        2. Circulate Brief to
Development                                             Brief F.B.P.               interested developers.

Abbotswood                                              1. Ground Investigation    2. Prepare scheme        3. Obtain Funding
                                                        Report.                       and submit LRP        Approval
                                                                                      Funding application

Urban Design                 1. Issue Baselines         4. Final Framework         7. Submit Report to
Framework                    2. Present options         5. Issue Draft Report      Executive Committee
                             3. Draft Framework         6. Issue Final Report

Refurbish artificial pitch   1. Obtain Tenders          3. Complete work
at Leisure Centre            2. Let Contract

Partnership for              1. Finalise Brief          3. Appraise tenders
Composting                   2. Invite tenders          4. Report to Executive
                                                        5. Let Contract
                                                                          Part One

OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –                                            (D)
Economy and Regeneration                                                 Agenda
Date of Meeting:           5th October, 2004                                13
Reporting Officer:         Assistant Director (Regeneration)

Title:       Tourism in Barrow Borough, Key Trends and
Summary and Conclusions:

The report contains an overview of the trends in economic growth to the Borough
through tourism over the past 4 years which has proved to be consistent and
sustainable. The report also recommends adoption of a local performance indicator
for tourism.


That the report and statistics contained therein be noted and the suggested LPI be


All of the Local Authorities in Cumbria and Cumbria Tourist Board require
information on tourism performance. This data is achieved through a tourism
economic activity monitoring system (STEAM) which provides an indicative
assessment of the volume and value of the tourism economy, although it should not
be taken as an exact measurement of the size of the tourism sector. Thus STEAM
quantifies the local economic impact of tourism, both from staying and day visitors.
Information on occupancy percentages each month for each type of
accommodation, bed stock for each type of accommodation within the areas to be
surveyed, attendance at attractions/major events by month and TIC visitor figures by
month are collated and fed into the model. STEAM figures are produced a year in
arrears therefore the 2003 figures have just been received.

Cumbria has adopted the STEAM model for many years and set out below are
graphs showing economic trends for the four year period 2000 –2003. For members
information, Barrow is compared to the other districts in Cumbria.

Over these four years Barrow has shown steady growth in tourism across all

The first graph shows tourism revenue. Revenue includes visitor spend on
accommodation, food and drink, recreation, shopping and transport.
The next graph identifies the annual number of visitor days spent in each area.
Visitor days are calculated by multiplying staying visitors by average length of stay
and adding day visitors.

Tourist numbers is a count of all visitors annually without taking into account the
length of their respective length of stay.
                                           % Change in Tourist Numbers between 2000 & 2003


               20.0                                 19.2

    % Change

               10.0                  9.1                                    9.0


                       Allerdale    Barrow         Carlisle     Copeland    Eden     South Lakes   LDNPA        Cumbria


Employment trends are provided in the form of full time equivalents. The
employment indicated in this report is only that generated by estimated visitor spend
and does not include residents’ spend.
                                             % Change in Em ploym ent betw een 2000 & 2003


               12.0                                    10.9                                11.2

                 8.0                                                           7.1                        7.0
  % Change

                 6.0        5.1



                        Allerdale    Barrow          Carlisle    Copeland     Eden        South     LDNPA         Cumbria
                -2.0                                                                      Lakes

The outputs in the graphs are shown as percentage increases/decreases since
2000. Appendix A shows the numeric values of the different measurements of the
volume and value of the tourism sector in Barrow for 2003.

Tourism Local Performance Indicators

Much of the regeneration funds being invested in the area are geared towards
increasing the tourism sector of the economy. Trend information on the volume and
value of the sector is therefore an important indicator of the success of regeneration
programmes and the STEAM figures give the Borough Council an opportunity of
developing a measurable local performance indicator. Of the suite of information
published by STEAM, I recommend the LPI should be the annual percentage growth
in tourism revenue and the target should be an annual growth of 1%.

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