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Agenda item

York Community Woodland Community Co-design Vision and Process for Selecting Capital Funding and Delivery Partner

The Director of Governance to present a report which summarises the outcomes of engagement work to inform the final design of the York Community Woodland and sets out a recommended process for agreeing the final design plan, the external capital funding source to support the creation and management of the woodland, and the appointment of a delivery partner.

Decision:

Resolved:  (i)      That the views of residents and stakeholders gained through community consultation be noted, and that the community woodland vision and woodland name be approved.

 

Reason:     To ensure that the York Community Woodland project fully reflects the views and priorities of local residents and stakeholders.

 

                   (ii)      That authority be delegated to the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change to approve the final woodland design, select the source of external capital funding to support the woodland creation and approve the carrying out of a procurement process to appoint a woodland creation delivery partner.

 

Reason:     To ensure a timely decision regarding woodland design in order to meet the 2021/22 tree planting season (October to March).

 

                   (iii)     That authority be delegated to the Director of Governance to take such steps as are necessary to enter into the funding agreement and to procure, award and enter into the resulting contracts for the appointment of a woodland creation delivery partner should the Executive Member for Environment & Climate Change select the White Rose Forest Trees for Climate fund as the external capital funding source to support York Community Woodland delivery.

 

Reason:     To ensure timely entry into the lease to meet project deadlines.

 

                   (iv)    That authority be delegated to the Executive Member for Environment & Climate Change to approve the publication of any necessary ‘open space’ disposal Notice under s.123 of the Local Government Act 1992 and to consider any comments received from the public in response to such Notice should the Executive Member for Environment & Climate Change select Forestry England as the external capital funding source to support York Community Woodland delivery, in return for the council granting Forestry England a long term lease of the land.

 

Reason:     To ensure timely entry into the lease to meet project deadlines.

 

                   (v)     That authority be delegated to the Director of Governance to take such steps as are necessary to enter into the resulting lease with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs for the York Community Woodland site at Knapton should the Executive Member for Environment & Climate Change select Forestry England as the external capital funding source to support York Community Woodland delivery.

 

Reason:     To ensure timely selection and appointment of a woodland creation delivery partner to meet project deadlines.

Minutes:

The Corporate Director of Place presented a report which summarised the outcomes of engagement work to inform the final design of the York Community Woodland and set out a recommended process for agreeing the final design plan, the external capital funding source to support the creation and management of the woodland, and the appointment of a delivery partner.

 

Since consideration of the vision and objectives of the project by Executive on 27 August 2020 (Minute 31 of that meeting refers), land near Knapton village had been purchased with funding from the Northern Forest budget and revenue grants secured from White Rose Forest (WRF) and the Forestry Commission, as set out in paragraphs 5-9 of the report.  The report had been developed in consultation with partners in WRF and the Community Forest Trust. Public consultation had also taken place aimed at reaching a wide and diverse audience across the city, as detailed in paragraphs 10-15.  Feedback from this co-design process was included in the ‘Community & Stakeholder Engagement Response Report’ at  Annex 1, along with official responses from The Woodland Trust, Natural England and other bodies.  Pegasus Planning Ltd. had been appointed to draw up a proposed woodland design masterplan and offers of capital funding had been secured from both the WRF and Forestry England.

 

In commending the proposals to Members, the Executive Member for Environment & Climate Change thanked the stakeholders and partners involved in progressing the project so rapidly.  In response to comments made under Public Participation, she confirmed that these concerns would be taken into account in finalising the design details.

 

Resolved:  (i)      That the views of residents and stakeholders gained through community consultation be noted, and that the community woodland vision and woodland name be approved.

 

Reason:     To ensure that the York Community Woodland project fully reflects the views and priorities of local residents and stakeholders.

 

                   (ii)      That authority be delegated to the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change to approve the final woodland design, select the source of external capital funding to support the woodland creation and approve the carrying out of a procurement process to appoint a woodland creation delivery partner.

 

Reason:     To ensure a timely decision regarding woodland design in order to meet the 2021/22 tree planting season (October to March).

 

                   (iii)     That authority be delegated to the Director of Governance to take such steps as are necessary to enter into the funding agreement and to procure, award and enter into the resulting contracts for the appointment of a woodland creation delivery partner should the Executive Member for Environment & Climate Change select the White Rose Forest Trees for Climate fund as the external capital funding source to support York Community Woodland delivery.

 

Reason:     To ensure timely entry into the lease to meet project deadlines.

 

                   (iv)    That authority be delegated to the Executive Member for Environment & Climate Change to approve the publication of any necessary ‘open space’ disposal Notice under s.123 of the Local Government Act 1992 and to consider any comments received from the public in response to such Notice should the Executive Member for Environment & Climate Change select Forestry England as the external capital funding source to support York Community Woodland delivery, in return for the council granting Forestry England a long term lease of the land.

 

Reason:     To ensure timely entry into the lease to meet project deadlines.

 

                   (v)     That authority be delegated to the Director of Governance to take such steps as are necessary to enter into the resulting lease with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs for the York Community Woodland site at Knapton should the Executive Member for Environment & Climate Change select Forestry England as the external capital funding source to support York Community Woodland delivery.

 

Reason:     To ensure timely selection and appointment of a woodland creation delivery partner to meet project deadlines.

Supporting documents:

 

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