Meeting at Belfast City Council 9th Feb 2018

Edenderry Residents’ Association

Meeting at Belfast City Council 9/3/2018 9:30am

Present :

Neil Gowdy – Belfast Cily Council
Steve Malone – Edenderry Resident’s Association
Gavin Millington – – Edenderry Resident’s Association
Amy McCausland – Edenderry Resident
Eva McDermott – Edenderry Resident

At the meeting held on the Green Sunday February 25, 2018, it was agreed that Edenderry Residents’ Association would take the proposal for a community centre to the council and the promoters of this initiative would be invited to the meeting. These are the minutes of the meeting:-

Neil Gowdy presented a project time line and drew attention to the application submission to RDP must be made by Dec 2018. In his experience this means the project is very tight, with the number of activities needed to be completed before the submission. The presented project time line is for the currently approved council approach of providing a Marquee, marquee storage and environmental improvements.
Regarding a community centre; Belfast Council would need to reconsider their approach. This process would take 3 months to complete, only with approval would funds be made available to progress a community centre. The approval would be close to the start of July when the council does not sit. Neil felt that if pursued the grant money would be at a ‘very, very high risk’ of being lost, due to the Dec 2018 deadline not being meet. Neil also expressed the councils concerns about taking on another asset of a community centre, meaning that they may block a change of application.

Neil offered to look at reworking the time line to see if a community centre proposal would work in the time frame. It was noted that Hannahstown are concerned at the delays from Edenderry that they have uncoupled their funding application, to not risk their funding.

To ease the project time line, Eva proposed a parallel approach of gaining Pre-Aplication Discussions (PAD) before applying for full planning permission, giving the opportunity to progress a Community Centre project while Belfast City Council reconsiders its approach.

Some discussion was had about the total monies available, it was explained by Neil that there is a potential 75k from RDP, 25k match funding from the Council and 10k for professional fees. Totalling a potential 110k.

Eva offered to start the process of the Architect activities at no professional cost. She stated she would need help for some of the activities; later in the meeting it was stated that without Council approval for the change of approved council approach, no council funding would be available for these activities. The costs for these activities would run into thousands of pounds to cover; ground samples, site surveys, wildlife surveys etc. If these activities were needed to be carried out by a council appointed Architect, this council appointment would not happen until July as the council would need to approve the change of direction first (3 month process), it was noted that the council does not sit in July thus possibility for a further delay.

Some discussion was had over possible costing of a community centre and how not to let them get too high. Neil stated that council purchasing procedures and specification for the building would need to be to meet council minimum standards, pushing the cost up from an available off the shelf building, Neil said that in his experience 100K would not build a typical bespoke structure.

Neil stated that if the Association goes for the existing approved approach of marquee and environmental improvements, the project is ready to go, with an Architect appointment process starting next week. The marquee could be an off the shelf model and it would be for the appointed lead consultant to research and propose suitable marquees. They would also be responsible for investigating the feasibility of environmental improvements, which would be based on, but not limited to, those identified in the ARUP report.

He reiterated that if the council was asked to proceed with changing the approach to funding for a community centre and environmental improvement Edenderry would be at a very, very high risk of losing the funding altogether.

Neil will speak with his line manager to gauge whether it would be possible to bring the proposed community centre to Council and would let the ERA know the outcome of his discussion.

Steve and Neil had a discussion about the communications between the Edenderry Residents’ Association and the Council though the last couple of years.

It was agreed that the Edenderry Residents’ Association Committee should meet and discuss the next step.