In order to answer some of the questions raised concerning the RDP grant, and to let the village know the current status of the project the following is a summary of the project to date:
- In Autumn 2016 ARUP were employed by Belfast City Council (BCC) to facilitate the delivery of the Edenderry Village Renewal Plan. After a full and extensive consultation process with the village they provided a final report to the Edenderry Residents Association (ERA) in November 2016. The report was distributed to the village shortly after. The report identified a number of priorities, including community facilities on the green. The summary recommendations were that: engagement with BCC planning department should proceed, and that supporting information should be prepared and submitted for the funding application. The full report is available in the RDP grant section of the Edenderry residents website.
- The ERA continued to review options up to October 2017 when a further survey was submitted to the village by the ERA. This survey indicated support for a community space and a path to the riverbank, with a small majority indicating support for construction on the green.
- The ERA reviewed the survey and in February 2018 ruled out the community hall due to no suitable locations outside of the green being found. The ERA stated at this time that only environmental improvements would be pursued.
- Subsequently a public village meeting was held and the ERA agreed to review all options again. BCC shortly after informed the ERA that it was too late to secure planning approval for a permanent community structure, and as such this avenue was no longer pursued. A working group was formed to create an environmental improvement long list based on the results of the October 2017 survey. The full survey is available in the RDP grant section of the Edenderry residents website.
- The long list was presented to BCC in April 2018 and they then used this to form the final list of proposals to be submitted for the grant application. Should you wish to review it the full long list is available on the Edenderry website posting – Environmental Improvements Long list, dated 24 April 2018
- In May 2018 BCC tendered for a landscape architect, this was unsuccessful, and a second tender was run in June which led to an appointment in July. A preliminary meeting occurred late July between the ERA, BCC and the Landscape Architect. It was made clear by BCC at this meeting that a number of the items on the long list could not be brought forward due to cost, insurance, ongoing maintenance, or requirements for planning approval which could not be achieved within the timescale remaining. These items are as follows:
- Make a feature of the water pump in Front Row. Restore and improve surrounding area – Required planning approval and there was not enough time to have this passed
- New signage for the street in the village using old local names i.e. Bride’s Row, Front Row etc. This could also incorporate house numbers – rejected as causes issues of change of postal address and applications to other statutory bodies
- Reinstatement of path down to river (phase 1) with gravel path and bank planted with flowers/shrubs. Provision of some picnic tables – Not deemed viable due to H&S concerns and insurances and ongoing maintenance, concerns of cost to remove landfill, ownership issues
- Potential liaison with developer to help design boundary wall (potential artistic improvements) at bottom of hill – Not in BCC ownership, no permission from landowner
- “Slow, children playing” signs, using artistic design.– BCC can’t approve as it is part of DFI roads responsibility, not valid for grant application
- Painting facades of houses in big street (approx. 19 houses) – not feasible as in private ownership
- Replace street lamps with the more traditional style already bordering the roundabout.– BCC can’t approve as it is part of DFI roads responsibility, not enough time to secure agreements
- A sheltered area with potentially some seating which could be used for by residents waiting for bus and/or residents using park. Could perhaps be sited amongst trees at roundabout end of park so that it does not impact on usable green space of park. In visible spot so it is not magnet for antisocial behaviour. – BCC can’t approve as it is part of Translinks responsibility, needs planning permission
- Phase 2 of river path development: develop riverside space – Not deemed viable due to H&S concerns and insurances and ongoing maintenance, concerns of cost to remove landfill, ownership issues
- Edging and mulch for flower beds – under review with parks department, BCC say it’s a maintenance rather than grant item
- Restore and preserve whatever length is possible of the original fence bordering the new development and Front Row – Not in BCC ownership, no permission from landowner
- Tree House for the park for kids to play in – Cannot be considered due to H&S concerns
- The BCC project sponsor was then on leave until mid-august.
- The draft recommendations from the landscape architect were submitted to the ERA in mid-September. These were not in line with the various feedback and surveys already given to the ERA and was deemed to be over developing the green space. This first draft is available on the RDP grant section of the Edenderry residents website.
- Subsequently the landscape architect was asked to provide an updated plan for presentation to the village. The new set of proposals were not returned until 19th October (already on Edenderry residents website), these were approved for release for public consultation by BCC shortly after. The landscape architect, however stated that they would not accept any further additions to the scheme and that the drawings are locked and items can now only considered for removal.
- The ERA prepared a feedback form, organised the consultation and delivered notification to every house in the village prior to the consultation on the weekend of the 26th-28th The plans were on the ERA website from the 22nd October. ERA made themselves available for the afternoon of the 28th to discuss the plans and a number of members of the village engaged with the ERA at this meeting. The landscape architect stated on the 22nd October that
- Subsequently 22 feedback forms (2 in email form) were returned by the requested deadline. One additional form was returned after the requested date (available in the RDP grant section of the Edenderry residents website). The feedback showed that there was not enough support for the basketball net, and this (and its associated court) has been removed from the proposal. This allowed us to request a reduction in the size of the hard standing. All other items received a majority positive response and will be going forward. These items are as follows:
- Provide visual representation of the village’s history, whether through art or text. Use local knowledge to shape this, in the form of interview with local residents – to be incorporated into seating area and notice boards
- Improvements to area of park used for football: permanent nets and improved drainage/surface – has been approved, however ball stop net requires planning and this cannot be obtained within the grant timeframe. ERA will be pursuing this as an independent project and planning application.
- Basketball net for park – After further village consultation this was not supported by a sufficient majority of respondents and has been removed from the plan.
- Extra picnic tables for park – additional seating will be provide within the grant
- Signage and/or sculpture on right hand side when entering village – Signage and new village totem will be done on BCC property, final design has not been realised
- Replacing border of Big Street and “The Field” with a new wooden fence and stile, and planting a native hedge (assistance likely from Woodland Trust with provision of plants) – Approved, estate fencing to be built along with kissing gate entrance. Woodland trust to be consulted once grant application has been completed by BCC.
Additional suggestions (yet to be prioritised)
- Landscaping (hard surface) and design of area where additional picnic benches are to be sited in park- incorporated into the design
Additional suggestion (not part of long list)
- as part of discussions between ERA, BCC and the landscape architect toddler play equipment was added to the scheme for review by the village – This was approved in the survey.
- The landscape architect will complete the grant application on the villages behalf and will update the ERA on progress.
- The ERA will provide updates whenever we have them.
While we will post notices of events on Next Door we would appreciate if any queries were posted on the Edenderry Residents website, or emailed to the residents association mailbox Edenderry.firstname.lastname@example.org This is because Nextdoor is not a suitable format for questions and answers and lends itself more to a short comment response, lengthy posts are particularly difficult to respond to due to the layout and formatting of the app. While the ERA committee will endeavour to answer questions promptly we would remind residents that we all have our own families and jobs to attend to so we ask for patience in waiting for a response, especially as some queries may not have a simple
The Edenderry Residents Association