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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 23rd July, 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

 

Marketing of Hydraulic Pumphouse, Innovation Quarter, Barry Waterfront

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To provide an update on the progress with facilitating the marketing of the Hydraulic Pumphouse.

Recommendation

1.             That Cabinet notes the content of this report for information. 

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             To update Cabinet on progress with facilitating the marketing of the Hydraulic Pumphouse.

Background

2.             The Hydraulic Pumphouse (Appendix A) is a grade II Listed industrial building constructed during the 1880s.  It comprises two buildings or ranges and measures circa 1,014 Sq Metres in terms of floorspace.  The property sits in the heart of the Innovation Quarter a 19 acre mixed use development managed by the Council as part of a Joint Venture with the Welsh Government. Other completed and ongoing development projects in the Innovation Quarter include: the Premier Inn and Brewers Fayre Restaurant, Business Services Centre, Skills Training Centre, and West Quay Medical Centre etc.

3.             As reported to Cabinet at its meeting of 2nd November 2011 the Hydraulic Pumphouse property was recently “enveloped”, i.e. externally restored by John Weavers Contractors Ltd via a circa £1.4 Million works contract (overseen by conservation architects Acanthus Holden Architects).  This was funded by the Council and Welsh Government.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             At its meeting of 2nd November 2011 Cabinet authorised the marketing and disposal of the Hydraulic Pumphouse as per Cabinet Minute C1495, which resolves:

“THAT authority be granted to market and dispose of the Hydraulic Pumphouse site in consultation with the Director of Finance, ICT and Property and the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Leisure, subject to the consent of the Welsh Government.”

5.             Formal consent from the Welsh Government was secured on 23rd Sept 2011 confirming the Council can proceed to market the Hydraulic Pumphouse on the basis of a 999 year lease.   The view of the Welsh Government was “…the marketing disposal process set out by the Council... is the most appropriate way to proceed given the need to achieve the best possible regeneration outcomes for the Pumphouse scheme.”

6.             The said Cabinet report was called in by Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 2nd December 2011 following at which it was resolved:

“T H A T the resolutions of Cabinet be endorsed” 

7.             In accordance with Cabinet approval Savills have been appointed as property agents for the Council and over the past few months have worked with officers from the Council in liaison with the Welsh Government preparing the technical documentation to facilitate the marketing of the property.  This documentation has taken time to prepare with the Welsh Government to ensure it accommodates a wide range of potential bids from both the community to commercial sectors.  Savills advise the marketing should commence  the first week of September this year rather than July or August as these are traditionally very quite months in the property sector.

8.             In view of the advice of the property agents the formal launch of the marketing of the property will be the start of September 2012.  In the meantime the officer project team as well as preparing for the launch is exploring in liaison with Savills and the Welsh Government the means by which the marketing process will be facilitated to encourage bids from a wide range of potential sectors, whether from the third sector/the community or from the commercial sector etc.  It is also hoped the council will receive creative and innovative proposals for the reuse of this important historic building.  However, the major challenge of securing a viable end use at this point in time will be the ongoing difficult economic conditions.  All bids will be required to demonstrate by submitting a business plan that they are proposing a financially sustainable end use. 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

9.             As reported to the Cabinet meeting of 2nd November 2011 it is intended that the costs associated with the marketing and disposal of the Hydraulic Pumphouse site will be funded from the capital receipt. 

10.        The Legal section has reviewed the terms and conditions of the Welsh Government grant awarded to envelope the Hydraulic Pumphouse and the marketing and disposal of the site will not result in any clawback of the £800,000 grant.  The Welsh Government have also written to confirm this point.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.        The Hydraulic Pumphouse site was originally purchased by the Council with 100% WDA grant aid and as a result a joint venture legal agreement exists between the Council and Welsh Government in respect of the Innovation Quarter.  In accordance with this joint venture agreement the Council must (a) obtain formal written consent from the Welsh Government for any disposal of land, and (b) share with the Welsh Government the capital receipt generated by a disposal. The share of the capital receipt is based on the ratio of investment made by both parties within the Innovation Quarter at the time of the disposal.   The Welsh Government has been consulted and is supportive of the Council marketing the Hydraulic Pumphouse site on the basis of a 999 year lease disposal.

12.        The disposal of the land is subject to Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.        The aim will be to address issues of crime and disorder in the design of the project.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.        The project will be delivered in accordance with the Council’s equal opportunities policies and ethos.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.        The disposal of the Hydraulic Pumphouse will assist the Council to continue the redevelopment of the Innovation Quarter and deliver its Corporate Plan Priority under “Regeneration”.

Policy Framework and Budget

16.        The report is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet save for Recommendation 5 which is a matter for Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.        At the time of writing this report Ward Member consultations were being carried out, any comments, will be reported at the Cabinet Meeting.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Mark White (Major Projects Manager) Tel. 01446 704698.

 

Officers Consulted

Director of Development Services

Principal Lawyer (Legal Public Protection and Housing )

Estates Group Manager, Strategic Property

Senior Accountant, Accountancy

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services