Call to order
A meeting of the Management Group of Hoylake Vision Community Planning Forum was held at Monte Carlo Restaurant on 11.11.21.
Attendees: Nigel Blacow (NB), Mark Howard (MHo), Jon Caswell (JC), Julian Priest (JP), Maureen Hanson (MHa), Bryony Parsons (BP), Sue Cooper (SC, guest), Julie Hunter (JH, guest)
Members not in attendance
Alex Woods (AW), Jade Wright (JW), Jon Morgan (JM)
Approval of minutes
The minutes of the October meeting were approved.
Management Group Meeting Reports
- Welcome and introductions
The Management Group of the forum had invited Julie Hunter and Sue Cooper to discuss the first item on the agenda. Julie does not live in Hoylake but does a lot of volunteering work, notably with Hoylake and Meols in Bloom and Hoylake Lawn Tennis Club. She has had a particular interest in the promenade and beach for many years and has concerns about how coastal processes are impacting drainage along the foreshore and beach more generally. She is interested in exploring ways to improve engagement on the issues. Sue lives on North Parade and shares the same concerns.
- Promenade remodelling: Flood and coastal resilience innovation programmeIt is important to consider the issues in the following context: The NDP boundary stops at the promenade wall. However it is not possible to entirely separate out the promenade and beach as the historic, cultural, economic and environmental importance of both are inextricably linked. Any proposals for the promenade must therefore be set within the wider context and decisions made by the LA and Natural England on future beach management will be relevant. The current NDP states: “The Council’s Beach Management Plan should be supported and followed, with a regular review of practices for monitoring development.” This refers to the 2010-2015 Beach Management Agreement, which included measures to retain the amenity beach using techniques including raking and application of herbicides. However, that agreement has now expired and WMBC are therefore applying for consent for individual activities. The review of practices for monitoring development and subsequent process of public engagement being undertaken therefore aligns with this NDP priority. The Masterplan lists as an opportunity [page 48] “With Natural England assent potential to retain an “amenity beach” area while allowing natural succession along the rest of the foreshore”.
- The paper Promenade remodelling: Flood and coastal resilience innovation programme was circulated for reference.
- In August 2020, management group member Nigel Blacow had published this article about the Forum’s efforts to lobby the council to investigate the issues and explore potential solutions.
- It was widely accepted in the meeting that there are a range of interconnected problems that require solutions, for example: High groundwater levels; Increasing sand levels; Poor beach drainage; Sand blocking surface water outlets along the promenade wall; Windblown sand blocking drains and potential misconnected drains and leakages.
- In March 2021 the government had awarded 25 Local Authorities an average of £6 million each for similar projects through its Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation programme.
- There was concern expressed as to why Wirral Council had not taken up that opportunity at the time.
- The forum hope that by bringing some ideas forward from the community via public consultation, via the Masterplan and emerging design code and ultimately via objectives, priorities and policies in the next iteration of the NDP, that the council would be much better placed and under greater pressure to seek funding and resolve the issues in a shorter timeframe than might otherwise be possible.
- The opportunity exists to ‘kill two birds with one stone’. If major works are required to resolve the drainage issues, it could be an ideal opportunity to simultaneously remodel the promenade to become a much more attractive, accessible, pedestrian friendly and sustainable environment for residents and visitors.
- It is considered that the Local Authority could be eligible for such funding given the funding criteria.
- The need to improve public engagement in order to achieve “buy-in” and more ideas from the community were discussed. These included: Newspaper coverage; Public meeting when possible; Schools involvement; could students put forward ideas? Social media coverage (although potentially problematic) Jon C would have conversations with local media outlets including West Kirby Today, the Hoylake Messenger, The Lake Magazine, the Wirral Globe and Echo etc.
- Sue and Julie were thanked for their valuable input.
- AECOM Design Guide progress
MHo reported that the draft of the Design Code is near completion. AECOM were aiming to send through within the next two weeks.
- Planning applications of note (NDP reference attached for items 1-3)
- APP/21/01630 | Application for planning permission on a retrospective basis for the erection of a marquee. | The Ship Inn, MARKET STREET, HOYLAKE, CH47 3BB
- APP/21/01861 | Application for variation of Condition 3 on planning permission (APP/20/01924) to extend opening hours of bistro from 08:00 to 20:30, Monday to Sunday to 08:00 to 22:00, every day and to allow staff access outside these times. | 6 MARKET STREET, HOYLAKE, CH47 2AE
- COMX/21/01327 | Change of use of Betting Office to a Coffee Shop (Class A3), providing hot/cold beverages, sandwiches, salads and cakes with a small variety of baby/sensory toys available for play and purchase. | 90C MARKET STREET, HOYLAKE, CH47 3BD
- APP/21/01977 | Demolition of existing building and erection of a residential apartment building (Use Class C3a) with associated access, parking and landscaping. | The White House, 34 MEOLS DRIVE, HOYLAKE, CH47 4AN
JP declared an interest in item 1 and therefore would not comment as he is the agent for the application.
The management group would respond to items 1-3 with supporting representations referencing alignment with relevant NDP objective, priorities and policies, albeit with particular reference to residential amenity as a key factor in item 1.
MHo would speak to Chris Moore at the Conservation Areas Association to liaiase over any response to item 4.
- Carr Lane Consultation
It was decided that surveys and forms would be delivered by hand to residents and businesses in the Carr Lane area, with a note that they will be collected shortly afterwards. Mho would bring a proof to the next meeting and on approval arrange for printing and distribution. Management group members would volunteer to distribute.
- Update on PLACED online survey access
MHo had not been able to speak to Jo Harrop at PLACED but would follow up asap.
- Broader consultation; next steps
- Facebook; need someone to populate and manage responses
It was decided that social media, especially at present, was a complex and perhaps unhelpful environment for consultation, and would require too much time and energy to manage. Traditional engagement is much preferred however COVID does present ongoing challenges. Media and PR are the best options at present.
- Local media coverage in Messenger, Lake etc
Jon C will speak to Jade W and get further coverage underway.
- Target dates for AGM Spring 2022
A commitment to prepare for hosting an AGM in the Spring was made, noting any further pandemic developments may impact.
- Facebook; need someone to populate and manage responses
Date of next meeting 9 December 2021