Agenda item

Ashbourne Reborn Programme Update

This report summarises activity to progress the Ashbourne Reborn Programme and related quarterly monitoring reporting to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), highlights key programme risks and sets out next steps.


Laura Simpson, Principal Regeneration Officer (Derbyshire Dales District Council) introduced an updating report to Board Members which summarised the actions undertaken to progress the programme and the related quarterly monitoring reporting to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). The report also highlighted the key programme risks and set out the next steps.


Board Members were informed that both projects were progressing through design stages, having now completed stage 3 and moving forward to stage 4. The draft Terms of Reference for both Project Boards were presented to Members as appendices to the report, it was noted that these were due to be submitted to the next meetings of their respective Project Boards for approval. It was noted that the relevant planning applications had all been submitted for the projects, despite progress being made on the relevant grant funding agreements, these were not yet completed. It was noted that further discussions were to take place between the District Council and County Council regarding the Highways and Public Realm Grant Funding Agreements.


The details of the quarterly monitoring returns were presented to Members, it was noted that DLUHC’s request to review and provide the most realistic financial profile had been taken into account resulting in a ‘back stop’ of Q3 2025/26 for completion, but with an earlier completion target. The progress made with regards to the programme milestones for each of the two projects was also presented to the Board.


Board Members were provided with an overview of both programme and project risks, one of these such risks was noted in relation to the Market Place listed building consent (LBC) application. The police had responded to the application with recommendations that further safety measures be incorporated into the design, specifically in relation to the impacts of the soon to be introduced Martyn’s Law. The Vehicle As Weapon (VAW) analysis was presented to Members, as completed by Aecom, with proposals for alterations to the Market Place design specification.


It was proposed that, subject to further consultation with Planning Officers, the LBC application proceeds as it stands in order to mitigate any delays that could be caused by alterations at this stage. It was noted that it would be considered over the subsequent months how the recommendations of the police could potentially be accommodated and that the Project Board would be asked to consider appropriate proportionate mitigation measures.


Councillor Simon Spencer informed the Board of a personal interest in the potential alterations to the Market Place site plan, as the owner of a property on the Market Place with legal right of way that could potentially be impeded by the installation of bollards.


Members were updated on the current status of risk facing the Programme and the mitigation measures in place. Members were also updated on the progress relating to Programme communications and the development of the additional communications post as approved at the previous meeting. Regarding the delivery of projects, Sarah Dines MP requested consideration be given to local procurement opportunities.


Jim Seymour, Assistant Director for Regeneration and Major Projects (Derbyshire County Council) presented Board Members with an update on the Highways and Public Realm aspects of the Programme. Tony Walker, Ashbourne Methodist Church, gave Members an update regarding the progress of the Community Hub Project.


Councillor Simon Spencer queried the consideration of 20mph speed limits to tackle air quality issues in Ashbourne, Councillor Spencer informed Board Members that it would not be appropriate to deliver any such limit as part of the Ashbourne Reborn Programme, or further consider the implementation in advance of the outcome of related trials taking place in other areas of Derbyshire. This was acknowledged by the Board, it was explained by the Principal Regeneration Officer that the proposed enhancements for pedestrians and cyclists and associated prioritisation of road space through the detailed scheme designs should promote active travel, influence driver behaviour, and contribute to air quality objectives.


Councillor Anthony Bates requested clarification on how the public realm would be managed following the improvements, and how it was predicted that the construction works would impact on scheduled events. These issues were requested to be included on the agenda for the Highways and Public Realm Project Control Board on 7 November.


It was moved by Councillor Anthony Bates, seconded by Sue Bridgett and


RESOLVED (unanimously)


1.    That progress with the Ashbourne Reborn Link Community Hub Project Board Draft Terms of Reference and the Highways and Public Realm Project Control Board Draft Terms of Reference be noted prior to consideration at the November Project Board meetings and subsequent Programme Board, in accordance with Governance requirements.


2.    That the Board considers progress to date and the position regarding programme cost, deliverables and project level risks be received and noted.


3.    That the highlighted Programme risks and associated mitigation measures be received and noted.


4.    That, following consideration of the update report alongside presentation material at the Programme Board meeting, the information for reporting to DLUHC in the next quarterly monitoring return, including conditions that might lead to a Project Adjustment Request, be received and noted.


5.    That the tabled schedule of future meeting dates be approved.


The Chair declared the motion CARRIED.


N.B. Following discussion at the meeting and new information coming to light about challenges relating to the timing of planning determination for the Link Community Hub, it was requested that a further minor adjustment was made to the proposed funding profile to move £250k LUF grant into the 2025/26 financial year. This approach was agreed with the Chair and updated following the meeting for inclusion in the Quarterly Monitoring Return. The version on the presentation to accompany the minutes was also updated to include this amendment.


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