Loftus Frequently Asked Questions – June 2022
We’re being asked lots of questions about the progress of the Loftus Masterplan.
We’ve put together the answers to more frequently asked questions below and hope that this lets you know exactly where we are in terms of delivering on the Loftus Masterplan.
Governance and Finance:
How much money has been awarded?
In total, over £10million has been allocated to delivering the Loftus Masterplan from various funding sources, as detailed below;
|Loftus Future High Streets||£ 5,833,550.00|
|Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) Indigenous Growth Fund (IGF)||£ 3,000,000.00|
|TVCA Welcome 2 Redcar and Cleveland Grant||£ 150,000.00|
|Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council||£ 1,127,050.00|
‘Allocated funding’ is agreed funding that is committed from the various funding sources, but has not yet been paid in full to the Council, i.e. it is not sat in Council bank accounts. This is because funding is released from funders at intervals, based on performance and delivery targets, and is evidenced through Business Cases and delivery invoices.
To date, all funders are satisfied with progress made and the current programme for delivery. The allocated funding is also fixed as to what it can be spent on, in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the grant award. The Council has agreed project outputs across all interventions within the Loftus Masterplan that must be adhered to in delivery, including project costs.
Why aren’t we seeing lots of construction?
Funding was awarded in summer 2021 based on concept design. Since then, a significant amount of development work has gone into the projects before they are deliverable on the ground, such as: feasibility and engagement with users, appoint design teams, undertake extensive surveys, work up designs, pre-planning consultations, planning applications, submission of business cases, other statutory approvals such as Council Cabinet and procuring contractors. All funders are satisfied with progress made to date and the current programme for delivery.
What stage are the projects at?
|Project||Delivered / Completed||In Progress||Still to Come|
|High Street Support Grants||11 businesses assisted including overnight visitor accommodation|
|Zetland/West Road Improvements||Engineering Consultants commissioned||Burial of overhead NPG powerlines ongoing. Streetscape improvement plans in development||Public Realm Improvements 22/23|
|Handale Car Park||Complete and open|
|Temperance Square||Buildings acquired||Design Teams developing plans for public consultation||Planning submission and regeneration of the site|
|United Reformed Church||Building acquired||Urgent maintenance ongoing. Refurbishment plans in development||Planning submission and refurbishment of site|
|Zetland Road Townscape||Uplifts programmed from Autumn 2022 onwards, following dialog with business owners|
|Duncan Place Community Hub||Consultants commissioned, surveys completed, Planning Application submitted||Procuring a contractor ongoing||Aiming for a start on site late summer 2022|
|Coronation Park||Consultants commissioned, surveys completed, pre-planning consultation completed||A planning application to be submitted around July 22||Works start on site March 2023|
|Existing Library site||Surveys and procuring a design team in development.||Demolition of the library in late 2023. Building of a new car park at Hall Grounds in early 2024|
|Lighting up Loftus Town Hall||Lighting designers commissioned. Lighting trials held.||Designs complete and orders placed for materials.||To be completed for Christmas 2022|
|Loftus Market Place||Consultants commissioned, surveys completed, Business workshops held.||Design Team finalising plans. Construction teams reviewing||Start date to be finalised once lead-in times for materials determined|
|Barclays Bank||Building acquired||Refurbishment work to Barclays Bank, which is near completion|
|Arlington Chapel||Building acquired||Urgent maintenance ongoing. Marketing of building ongoing||Planning submission and regeneration of site|
|A174 Highway Improvements||Consultants commissioned, surveys, traffic data collection and safety reviews completed||Consultation with emergency services and Arriva to be concluded.||To shortly advertise public consultation|
Is there a time limit on when the money needs to be spent by?
Funding is provided up to and including 2024. All projects within the Masterplan are on track to be delivered within the funding timeframes.
Not everyone has social media, are there any other plans to inform residents?
Quarterly leaflet updates are produced and distributed amongst the community. These can be found at Loftus Library and Loftus Town Hall. Officers at Loftus Library are also on hand to guide residents on how to access the Loftus Masterplan website.
Are plans and measures in the pipeline for the shops in Loftus to get rid of their metal shutters?
Yes, where possible. This is named Zetland Road Townscape project. This project aims to uplift building facades and shop frontages not in-keeping with the historic character of the High Street, and will provide decoration and shutter removal (including additional security) grants. This is programmed 2022-2023.
Are we resurfacing Millbank?
Millbank is not part of the Loftus Masterplan scope, which focuses on the area immediately around the High Street. General resurfacing will be reviewed as part of the Councils Highway routine maintenance.
Can we get rid of the boarded-up shops?
This is part of the Zetland Road Townscape project.
Will the public toilets be upgraded?
Yes, this programme will see some minor improvements made to Water Lane toilets. We are also creating new event only toilets within Duncan Place, to service events and markets within Coronation Park.
Shouldn’t the High Street be priority over Coronation Park?
One key outcome of the Loftus Masterplan is to increase footfall on the High Street. Coronation Park is one piece of a bigger jigsaw, which includes investment in High Street (via Zetland Road Townscape project) to improve vibrancy, footfall and dwell time for visitors in and around the town centre.
The park was gifted to the people of Loftus by Lord Zetland, is it protected by a covenant?
The park is owned and maintained by the Council on behalf of the community. The planned improvement works are not in breach of any historic agreements and are allowed subject to the statutory planning permissions; and this complies with all the legal requirements.
The flower park is already lovely, why are we improving it?
The proposals build upon the heritage and existing focal aspects found within the park, such as the flower beds, but also improve it so that more people can enjoy the public spaces in different ways, including for events and markets.
Through the series of public consultations, including the recent pre planning application consultation (May 2022), the proposed improvements have been well received with 72.4% of returns endorsing the changes. Within the returns, there was strong feedback from the local community that they believe the current park requires improvements and the proposals will be a benefit to the local community; by updating and encouraging new multi uses.
Why is there going to be a coach drop off point?
We’ve included a drop off point for mini-buses only. We anticipate a higher number of visitors through school visits and organised events, such as walking tours, to the new Loftus Library and remodelled Community Hub at Duncan Place. The new primary public access to the Duncan Place facility is via Coronation Park along a new boulevard. The current access via Duncan Place is not sufficient and will be used predominately by staff of Duncan Place. Also, the Park will host events and markets once redeveloped, so a small minibus drop off point will be of benefit to these new activities.
Why can’t we put CCTV up in the car park to reassure residents?
CCTV provision is to be installed within the park and follows advice from the Police and the Community Safety Team at the Council in terms of locations. The Council will regularly review the CCTV requirements once the Park is reopened.
Why is there scaffolding up but nothing happening?
Scaffolding has been erected to both provide access for surveys, and to enable essential repair and maintenance work to preserve the fabric of the historic building. Intrusive surveys and resulting designs are required to inform the extent of repair work needed to the roof structure. This is currently ongoing.
Full refurbishment plans are being developed, with a view to commencing these works towards the end of 2022.
Arlington Methodist Chapel:
What is happening with the dilapidated Chapel?
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council remain committed to the regeneration of the Arlington Chapel site which has been brought into Council ownership. The Council submitted an application to the planning authority to demolish the building in preparation for potential future development. After consideration of comments received during the consultation period, the Council has decided to withdraw the application to allow further consideration of the long-term use for the site.
The Council will undertake further feasibility including marketing activities to fully understand the desire and capability of third parties to develop the site. It is likely to take 3-4 months to complete these activities. The outcome of this further feasibility will then inform the best next steps for the Authority, on behalf of the Loftus community. The Council also plans to undertake some minor urgent maintenance over the next few weeks. Further updates will be provided in the months ahead.
Will the sandstone blocks with writing on from the Methodist Church be saved and used elsewhere?
It is the intention of the Council to reclaim as many of the feature blocks as practically possible, for reuse around Loftus, depending on what is determined as the final long-term use of the building.
Why has the removal of the overhead cables not gone ahead as planned?
Delivery of this project is outside of the control of the Council. Northern Powergrid (NPG) has encountered delays in delivery, partly due to having encountered engineering constraints, that has resulted in a change in approach to excavation in the Highway; along with resourcing issues. NPG has reworked their programme to provide a more consistent presence on site moving forward.
How long will the work last for?
The next phase of work is due to start on West Road, around 20th June (may be subject to change) heading to Zetland Road over the crossroads for completion early August. As works near the crossroads, 4-way traffic lights will be required. Local residents and businesses affect will be contacted directly by NPG. If you have any concerns, please contact NPG’s 24/7 General Enquiries team on 0800 587 8865.
How badly will this affect the coming & going around Loftus, will there be a diversion?
As works progress on the A174 specifically, some delays should be expected from all estates accessing A174. No diversions are to be put in place, as the works will progress behand traffic management such as barriers, cones and give way priority, for the most part and where possible. Traffic lights will only be used as a last resort and where required for the safety of the operatives.
Will the green CCTV post at the traffic lights be coming down as well?
Initially this column will remain. But as part of both the streetscape improvements and Temperance Square scheme, a declutting exercise will be undertaken and this column reviewed.
Will Coronation Road be done as well?
Coronation Road is not part of the scope for cable removal works.
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