Agenda and minutes

Castle Community Meeting - Monday, 12 January 2015 6:00 pm

Venue: St Andrews Church, Gateway Street, Leicester LE2 7DP

Contact: Angie Smith 

No. Item



The Chair will introduce those present and make any necessary announcements.


The Chair and any other Councillors who are present will make any declarations as required by the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.


Councillor Clayton in the Chair. Councillors Kitterick and Senior also present.


Everyone was welcomed and introductions given.




Apologies were received from Castle resident, Rosy Dickinson.




Councillor Senior declared that her partner was employed by the Council and that his role involved advice on transport matters when planning applications were being considered. She advised that she, therefore, would not comment on any such applications if they were discussed.


Councillor Kitterick declared he was Chair of the Council’s Planning and Development Control Committee, and that he would be open minded on the planning application for the Leicester Royal Infirmary multi-storey car park that would be discussed at the meeting, and any other applications should they be raised at the meeting.


ACTION LOG pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Attached for information and discussion.


The Action Log from the Castle Community Meeting held on 4 September 2014 was noted.


The Chair informed those present that there would be a variation to the agenda order for the meeting, and the following item of business was taken as an addition to the agenda.




·         A letter and questionnaire had been delivered to local residents and businesses from Leicester City Council and DSM, which provided details on evacuation procedures for the morning of Sunday 22nd February 2015. There would be a second letter drop in a few weeks with useful information.

·         Two plans available to those present at the meeting outlined the exclusion zone of 200 metres, and was also advertised on the Council’s website and posted to people in the exclusion zone.

·         The plan was colour coded to inform people of exit routes from the zone.

·         Emergency services would be given priority traffic routes, and diversions would be in place, implemented through the traffic management scheme.

·         Diversions would commence at 6.00am, and people and businesses would be evacuated at 8.00am.

·         A respite centre would be made available at Leicester Tigers Football Ground for residents and businesses, where the demolition would be shown via a big screen at the ground.

·         Evacuees would be given a token that would activate technology when they left the evacuation zone. This would provide information on who had not left the area, and they would be visited. There would be approximately 25 police officers assisting security staff on the day.

·         New Walk Centre would be demolished using a controlled initiated collapse.

·         A one-minute warning would be given once demolition experts were satisfied the area was fully evacuated and sterile.

·         All asbestos and contaminants are removed. The spread of the dust cloud will depend on wind speed and direction. Cleaners and jet washers would be sent into the area to clean down and remove debris. Cleaning of gutters, etc. would take place in the days following demolition. The Police helicopter or drone would be used to see dust cloud spread.

·         Buildings around New Walk Centre would be photographed to show condition prior to demolition.

·         Sensor receptors would be placed on listed buildings in the area.

·         There were a few things that could prevent demolition going ahead, and these included fog, scene of crime or gas leak.

·         Ward Members said they would also attend the respite centre to assist on the day.



An update will be provided at the meeting on the Council’s policy on Letting Boards.


·         The Council introduced a voluntary code of practice for To Let Boards for letting agents.

·         To Let boards should be removed no later than 14 days from the date of the tenancy being granted or when the property was taken off the market for the next academic year.

·         Not to comply was a criminal offence, and Leicester City Council has powers to prosecute.

·         During a survey of the area between January and February 2013, there were 627 boards on display in 24 streets in Castle ward.

·         Further surveys were undertaken in April and November 2014 had shown the voluntary code of practice had not had the effect Leicester City Council had hoped for.

·         Consultation would take place with residents and letting agents to see if they approved of the proposal to develop a submission to Central Government for a Regulation 7 direction to remove To Let boards (but did not include For Sale notices).

·         If legislation was obtained, planning application would need to be sought to install To Let boards, and action will be taken to remove boards where consent had not been given. Guidance would be sought as to what sort of sign would be acceptable.

·         It was a lengthy process and a lot of work would need to be undertaken prior to submission of the request to Central Government, and the Council would need to prove it had followed all necessary steps.

·         The results of consultation would be analysed, and the results would be brought back to a future Community Meeting.

·         The Regulation 7 direction would cover the same area as the Article 4 Direction.

·         It was agreed burglars targeted house with To Let boards, which were often student accommodation.

·         New Walk was a conservation area and an area of special advertisement control.


It was requested a draft Policy be brought to the next Community Meeting.







An officer from the Planning Team will be present to provide information on the Leicester Royal Infirmary’s planning application for a new multi-storey car park.


·         At a previous meeting, concern was raised over staff eating and smoking outside nearby residential properties.

·         The hospital had introduced smoking shelters for staff and visitors on the hospital sites. There had been a clean-up of the residents area.

·         Residents had concerns regarding congestion at the Havelock Street car park.

·         A multi-storey car park was planned, three options for the site of the car park had been looked at, as follows:


1/ Junction of Havelock Street and Walnut Street

2/ Welford Road, Walnut Street in front of Osborne building

3/ Aylestone Road


·         Analysis of the sites had shown the Aylestone Road site would cause the least disruption, and a planning application had been submitted, with development f the site commencing in April 2015, with anticipated completion by December 2015.

·         The development would be for a five storey care park with 430 spaces.

·         Staff parking has been moved off site.

·         Barriers to the car park had been moved back so congestion would be on site and not outside of the Infirmary.

·         Information could be found on the Council’s website, with formal consultation ending 16 January 2015.

·         30 spaces for disabled parking would be placed as close to the Infirmary as possible.

·         Construction would be coordinated with the Leicester Tigers development to avoid disruption.

·         Patients were encouraged to use public transport when hospital letters were sent.

·         The entrance to the car park would remain on Havelock Street, but cars could exit onto Aylestone Road.



An officer from the Planning Team will be present to provide information on the Walnut Street Mosaic.


·         The mosaic and mural work, at over 20 years old, was looked tired and faded. Some of the render had come away.

·         Parks maintained the shrubbery, but it was not known who owned the mural/mosaic.

·         There were a few tasks that needed to be considered: painting, repair of plasterwork, re-commission the mural/mosaic with community input, tidy the pocket park.

·         All options would cost money, and officers could look at Section 106 monies from planning applications in the area. There were also some small pots of funding.

·         Residents were asked for their input, and designs would be brought to the next meeting.



A council Landscape Development Manager will be present to discuss the Mandela Park play equipment.


Developer contributions had been received to enhance Nelson Mandela Park. Two requests for equipment had been made as follows:


1/ Outdoor gym similar to Victoria Park. Take up on this park was good.


2/ Street fitness equipment, such as dip bars, upper body strength, sited near to the ball court.


Officers were requesting feedback from residents on the two options, and a letter drop to residents would be made. Further details on the two options would be brought to the next Community Meeting.


Plans were being progressed to develop a small space at Bede Park, with a designated BBQ area, outdoor gym, and free running area, and the project was part of the programme to improve the provision of outdoor gym equipment. The play area would be improved once other work was complete.


Positive feedback had been received from across the city on outdoor gym equipment, with a wide cross range of people using it.



There will be an update on policing issues in Castle Ward.


The Police provided the following statistical information:


·         2013 – 14, 7650 crimes were reported across all categories.

·         Figures were on target to be reduced to 7100, with 17.5% less burglaries, 17% less violent crimes, 17% less theft from persons.

·         Shoplifting was down 19%.

·         Robberies had increased by 20.3%, to 180.

·         Cycle crime had increased to 668 offences, and the Police were working with the Council in relation to the issue, for example, supplying better cycle racks.

·         Satisfaction in policing had gone up by 3% to 81.5%.

·         There were two 2 main issues around anti-social behaviour, and begging had seen a large increase in the city. People are asked not to give money to beggars, but to charities who support homeless people instead. People were also encouraged to report issues around begging so appropriate action could be taken.

·         Police were working on the issue of prostitution around De Montfort Street.

·         Street drinking had reduced because of the weather.

·         From 5 January 2015, the Public Spaces Intervention Programme was in place. It was not a street drinking ban, but a ban on drinking relating to anti-social behaviour.

·         There was an issue with students of Regent College coming out and using drugs. The Police were working with the college.



The local City Warden will provide an update on work within the Castle Ward.


·         Residential and business premises could be prosecuted for poor storage of and waste disposal. City wardens had intervened with the issue of waste outside two student blocks in the city, and the problem had now been resolved.

·         Several businesses had very poor storage methods and legal action was taken.

·         Work was ongoing in clearing alleyways of litter.

·         There were various ways of dealing with issues: interviews under caution, abatement notices, fixed penalty notices, legal notices.

·         One waste contractor had been prosecuted for using a street in the city centre as a waste transfer station.

·         Information had been delivered to students at an event in Clarendon Park Road in conjunction with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

·         City Wardens had been involved in a couple of events: Christmas Lights switch-on and Fresher Events at the universities.

·         Looking forward, preparation works were underway for the King Richard III event in March 2015.

·         Residents were asked to telephone reports through to the Council’s Customer Services team, or use the Love Leicester App that could be downloaded to smart phones, from Google Place, Windows Market Place, or Apple Store.



Councillors are reminded that they will need to declare any interest they may have in budget applications.


An update will be given at the meeting on the Ward Community budget, and applications received.


Applications Approved under the Fast-Track Process


Sue Ryan – Art House - £500

Alison Woods – Clarendon Park Traders Association - £500

John Fowler – Wild Honey Project - £360


Applications Considered at the Meeting


Su Tucker – Stars Performing Arts School (ref 5048). Application amount £880. The applicant was present. Members requested further information on the numbers of Castle residents attending the event.


Chris Richardson – Clarendon Park Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair (ref 1272). Application amount £3,750. The application was SUPPORTED IN PART to the value of £3,250.


Annie Merton – Clarendon Park Arts Festival Committee – Art Beat (ref 5063). Application amount £2,000. The application was SUPPORTED IN FULL to the value of £2,000.


Applications Not Supported


Pamela Campbell-Morris – Akwaaba Ayeh Mental Health Project – Application amount £500.





The meeting closed at 7.58pm.