Hampshire County Council

Executive Member - Recreation and Heritage Item 7

21 September 2005

Tile Barn Outdoor Centre, Brockenhurst - Access Roadway Improvements

Report of the Director of Recreation and Heritage

Contact: Stuart Nundy Ext: 5015 stuart.nundy@hants.gov.uk

1. Introduction and background

1.1 This report presents details of the proposed improvements to the Tile Barn Outdoor Centre access roadway, incorporating new turning and parking facilities for large coaches.

1.2 Historically, school groups using the centre have utilised their own minibus transport. However, with the increasing success of the centre in attracting large year groups, especially from primary schools, there is an increasing use of large 50+ seater coaches. The centre does not have sufficient internal access or turning space for such coaches. Increasingly, coaches are opting to park just off the main A337 to off load young people. This has been determined to be a major risk to safety. However, the department has no power to stop this practice and no suitable alternatives to offer coaches.

1.3 In addition, the Leader (as local member for the Brockenhurst area) has received several representations from a member of the public commenting on the poor actions of schools and coach companies in terms of this practice. The Leader is aware of the key issues as the Local Member, and this draft report has been sent to him for consultation. On his behalf, the department has undertaken to ensure the issue is dealt with effectively.

1.4 In late 2004 it was decided to develop sufficient facilities within the site to avoid the necessity to off load young people outside the centre. The project has been designed by engineers in Property, Business and Regulatory Services (PBRS) to meet the technical specifications required for large coach access, turning and parking, together with an increased area for general car parking. In addition, the project will significantly improve the appearance and environment around the access roads into the centre completing the overall development of the centre which saw the new bunkhouse and office completed in September 2004.

1.5 The start date for the work is 26 September. This fits well with the current bookings at the centre and should ensure the work is completed before the winter weather sets in.

1.6 This project achieves those outcomes associated with Corporate Objectives Four (Building strong and safe communities) and Five (Improving Services).

2. Schedule of works.

2.1 The existing entrance between the highway and entrance gate is to be widened by 4m (see attached map). The current gravel turning area is to be increased to provide two coach parking bays with associated walkways in Road Area B, and laid with materials to meet the specifications needed for coach turning and parking surfaces. New kerbs are to be installed at road Area C, with pre-cast concrete edging to divide the road from the car park. Road Area D will be upgraded to provide better access to the office and storage areas. An overflow car park will be created along the top field by laying Ground Guard materials, with timber section dividers to these areas. Landscape works will leave the site visually enhanced.

3. Legal Implications

3.1 Although schools are technically responsible for the health and safety of their pupils during the journey to and from the centre, the County Council has overall responsibility. Recreation and Heritage clearly have a responsibility to react to this identified risk management issue.

4. Financial Details

4.1 This scheme will be funded from the Outdoor Service revenue budget allocation for minor capital works. Initially, the scheme was anticipated to cost less than £50,000 and was not included in the capital programme as a named scheme. However, the final scheme as designed, was in excess of this limit and the lowest tender to meet the specifications required of the materials and construction was £87,786. This tender has been recommended for acceptance by PBRS. It is necessary to add this scheme to the 2005/06 capital programme and transfer funds from revenue to capital to cover it. There are no additional ongoing revenue costs associated with this scheme.

5. Impact Assessment

5.1 Race and equality impact assessment has been considered in the assessment of this application. No adverse impact has been identified.

Recommendation

That the Access Roadway Improvements Scheme at Tile Barn Outdoor Centre, Brockenhurst be approved at a cost of £87,786 and that a similar sum be transferred from the Outdoor Service revenue budget to the 2005/06 capital programme.

Section 100 D - Local Government Act 1972 - background papers

The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.

NB the list excludes:

1. Published works

2. Documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.

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