Report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection.
The Committee considered a report on the Draft Code of Practice for Deconstruction and Construction Sites Eighth Edition 2017. The report highlights the Code's aim to set out simply and clearly what constitutes acceptable site practice within the City, and to assist developers, architects, engineers and construction professionals to prepare Schemes of Protective Works required for the planning process, to plan, cost and manage the environmental issues which arise in the industry.
A detailed discussion took place during which the following comments were made:
· Members noted the volume of papers as part of this report and asked whether such a high number of documents was necessary.
· Members noted that the report sought approval for a dedicated resource at construction sites for monitoring purposes and commented that this would be helpful, it was noted that the final approval on this would sit with the Planning and Transportation Committee.
· Members who are residents of the Barbican and Golden Lane Estates commented that there had been increased Saturday and Sunday working from construction sites which was extremely noisy for residents, and asked that the City Corporation’s position on Saturday Morning Working be reconsidered.
· Members noted that the report stated 13 comments had been received by residents and this report did not take into account the views expressed by the Barbican Association, which represented all residents.
· Members raised their concerns on the factual evidence within Appendix Three and the validity of the legal advice, which had been provided on the basis of this evidence, it was further noted that a second external legal opinion could be helpful in this situation.
· A Member suggested that a working group could be set up to examine how the issue of Saturday Morning Working could be taken forward.
· Members noted that the London Boroughs of Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea were most comparable with the City with regard to works being carried out in proximity to residents, explaining that both of these Boroughs had banned noisy working on Saturdays.
· A Member noted that whilst there had been an impact on residents, the City Corporation also had a responsibility to the developers and it was important to listen to both sides.
In response to the comments raised by Members, both the Director of the Built Environment and the Director of Port Health and Public Protection explained that:
· The Boroughs of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea are not directly comparable as their rules focus mainly on residential properties, and the Barbican have more quiet hours than residents in Westminster.
· That there are some works which can only take place on a Saturday due to various reasons such as the safety implications if crane works were to be carried out during the week.
· There is a need for balance and the City is a place with constant development.
A Member proposed that a decision should not be taken at the meeting, but moved that a further evidence based study be undertaken on Saturday Morning Working and the impact this has on both Barbican residents and those in the other residential wards, and the effects on the developers along with the legal implications. It was suggested that consideration be given on whether standard hours should exclude Saturday Morning Working. It was noted and agreed this would take at least six months.
The Comptroller and City Solicitor explained that if the City Corporation were to ban Saturday Morning Working, it would be vulnerable to a legal challenge if a consultation were not to have taken place. The Comptroller and City Solicitor further agreed that a second legal opinion could be sought if necessary.
RESOLVED – That the recommendations be agreed subject to undertaking a consultation and an evidence based study:
a) the Code be approved and published on 3 October 2017;
b) the introduction of the proposed monitoring contribution fees set out in Appendix L of the Code be approved with effect from 3 October 2017;
c) although the final authority lies with the Planning and Transportation Committee, the Port Health and Environmental Services Committee endorse the amendments to the Standard Panning Conditions as shown in Appendix Four; and
d) a further evidence based study on Saturday Morning Working and the impact this has on both Barbican residents and those in residential wards, and the effects on developments along with the legal implications. It was noted and agreed the study would take at least six months.