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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting:  19th November 2012

 

Report of the Leader

 

Former Public Convenience at Slon Lane, Ogmore by Sea

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To seek authority to grant a lease of the former Public Conveniences at Slon Lane Ogmore by Sea to the Ogmore by Sea Village Hall Association for the purpose of them constructing and running a new Village Hall in Ogmore by Sea.

Recommendations

1.         That the Managing Director in consultation with the Leader and the Head of Legal Services grant a lease to the Village Hall Association on terms and conditions to be agreed subject to the conditions outlined in this report.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To provide the Village Hall Association with the necessary security of Tenure in order to seek and secure the necessary Grant funding to allow for the construction of a new Village Hall in Ogmore by Sea.

 

Background

2.         The Public Convenience at Slon Lane Ogmore has been closed since April 2000.  The building was closed along with others due to the buildings requiring considerable work (and resultant resources) to bring them back into beneficial use.  The Public Conveniences are shown hatched black on the plan at Appendix A.

3.         Cabinet considered a report of the then Director of Visible and Building Services in March 2011 (C1276 refers).  In that report it was resolved that the continued retention of this building would have resulted in ongoing operational and financial implications in terms of continuing maintenance and security.

4.         Cabinet resolved that the public conveniences at Slon Lane (and others) be declared surplus to the owning Departments requirements and that the then Director of Finance ICT & Property in conjunction with the then Director of Legal Public Protection and Housing Services be authorised to arrange for the disposal of the property by the most appropriate means.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         Following the resolution of Cabinet in March 2011, Auctioneers were appointed by the Council to dispose of the Public Conveniences by Auction. However prior to the August 2011 Auction, the Council was contacted by representatives of the Ogmore Village Hall Association raising certain lease issues.  These are referred to in the report included in Part II of this agenda as they relate to details of a business and financial nature involving a third party. The Village Hall Association also stated that the Vale of Glamorgan Council had historically supported a village hall development at this location and as such objected to the proposed auction sale proceeding.

6.         The Council subsequently did not proceed with the intended sale pending further investigation into the issues raised by the Village Hall Association.

7.         The Village Hall Association were asked to put together a business case for the proposed Village Hall and have estimated that the budget for the capital cost of a proposed building would be in order of £295,000.  They have also confirmed that they are able to run a viable Village Hall from a Revenue Budget point of view.

8.         The Village Hall Association has requested that the Council grant to them a lease of the Public Convenience site to enable them to further their aspirations to develop a new Village Hall in Ogmore.  They will require substantial funding to deliver such a scheme and it is usual in such circumstances for external grant providers to seek security through the property they are lending against and in this regard, funders would normally seek long leases (at least 25 years but usually longer depending on the amount of money involved).

9.         Given the local community support for this project, it is for Cabinet now to consider whether it wishes to support this proposal by granting a lease of the Public Conveniences site to the Village Hall Association.

10.      Should Cabinet be minded to agree to the Grant of a lease it is recommended that the grant of the lease should be conditional on:

(a) The Village Hall Association withdrawing all objections it has lodged at the District Land Registry in relation to the Councils Registration of its Freehold title in the Public Convenience site at Slon Lane (further details of this can be found in the supplemental Legal Implications included under part II of the agenda);

(b) The Village Hall Association securing the necessary capital funding required to deliver the Village Hall project via their own fund raising to cover all costs associated with the construction of the proposed Village Hall;

(c) The Village Hall Association securing a satisfactory Planning Approval for the constructions of the village hall;

(d) The Village Hall Association confirming that they will have the necessary revenue funding in place to run the Village Hall once developed.

11.      The terms and conditions of any lease will be agreed with the Leader and in consultation with the Head of Legal Services, however it would be anticipated that the lease for the site would be offered on a peppercorn ground rental basis. The timescales for the Village Hall to secure/confirm that the requirements referred to in a-d above are in place will be subject to negotiation in consultation with the Leader.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.      Any costs associated with the construction and running of a village hall would be met by the Village Hall Association.

13.      Should Cabinet agree to leasing the public convenience site to the Village Hall Association on a long lease at a peppercorn ground rent, a potential capital receipt from the sale of the site will be foregone.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14.      Effective Community facilities help promote Community cohesion, whilst at the same time reducing the need to travel further afield to access facilities and services that could be made available locally.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15.      The Council has both a Statutory and Fiduciary duty pursuant to S123 of the Local Government Act 1972 to secure best consideration for property disposals.  Any lease granted for a terms of years in excess of 7 years would be deemed as a disposal under the Act. However, there are exemptions and dispensations. Under the General Disposal Consent (Wales) 2003, where the asset to be disposed of has an ‘undervalue’ of less than £2million and the transfer helps to secure the promotion or improvement of the economic, social or environmental well-being of an area, the Council is able to transfer its land and buildings at ‘less than best consideration’, i.e. below market value.  The Council also has powers to support social well being in its area pursuant to section 2 of the Local Government Act 2000.

16.      The property is surrounded by common land and subject to a scheme of management under the Commons Act 1899. Therefore, as such, any future development of and access to the site will have to take account of the status of the surrounding land and the appropriate permissions and consents will need to be obtained or put in place in this regard.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.      Quality community facilities are now proven to assist in the reduction of crime and disorder.  The site at Slon Lane currently presents an opportunity for vandals and unlawful occupiers whilst it remains vacant.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.      There are no direct equal opportunity implications as a result of this report.

 

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.      To make best use of our assets and to procure good, sustainable services and facilities.

Policy Framework and Budget

20. This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20.      The Ward Member has been consulted on the report.  At the time of submitting the report, no comments had been received from the ward member.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22. Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Lorna Cross, Group Estates Officer ext 307

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager - Leisure

Operational Manager - Waste Management and Cleansing.

Legal Services - Team Leader Property and Contract Team

 

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Managing Director.

 

 

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