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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 29th February 2012

 

Report of the Leader

 

Land at Junction of Tynewydd Road and Gladstone Road, Barry

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To update Cabinet on the current position with this land and to seek authority to dispose of the land by Public auction or any other appropriate mode of disposal if the property fails to sell by auction.

Recommendations

1.             That Cabinet notes the current position in relation to the land since the last round of marketing.

2.             That the Cabinet authorises the Director of Finance ICT and Property to dispose of the land located at the junction between Tynewydd Road and Gladstone Road in Barry, by Public Auction or by any other appropriate manner after consultation with the Leader.

3.             That the Director of Finance, ICT & Property is authorised to instruct the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing to prepare and enter into any legal agreements required to complete the disposal.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To update Cabinet.

2.             To enable disposal of the land in a timely fashion and in an appropriate manner.

3.             In order to effect the disposal.

Background

2.             The land in question was previously used as a play area prior to it becoming surplus to requirements by the Parks Section. The land is shown hatched on the plan attached at Appendix A. The loss of the public open space was advertised in accordance with Section 123(2A) of the Local Government Act 1972 stating the Council's intention to dispose of the public open space in 2009.

3.             Previous attempts to dispose of the site by informal tender have not been successful.  A report of the Director of Finance ICT & Property in June 2009 advised that due to the economic climate the preferred bidder at that time was unable to proceed to complete the purchase of the site.

4.             A later attempt to dispose of the site by informal tender in 2010 resulted in a number of bids being received, all of which were considered to be significantly below market value at the time.  As such, and following consultation with the Leader, it was determined that the bids were unacceptable and the bidders were advised accordingly.  It was agreed that the site would not be re-marketed until the market had shown signs of improvement.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             It had been hoped that the market for this type of site would have improved over the last couple of years however, it has remained relatively weak with no signs of real improvement in land values seen during this time. It is for this reasons that it is recommended that this site is marketed as widely as possible which will hopefully attract a number of interested parties with ideas on how best to utilise the site.

6.             The site continues to require expenditure in terms of its maintenance.  Residents have made complaints to the Council in respect of fly tipping, overgrown vegetation and have voiced general concerns regarding vermin and security.  With this in mind, it is felt that the Council cannot continue to hold the site indefinitely whilst waiting for an improvement in the market, which, may or may not materialise in the short to medium term.

7.             It is proposed therefore that an attempt to dispose of the site by Public Auction with an appropriate reserve set would test the market for the land and provide an opportunity for a quick sale should a buyer come forward at auction and make a bid which meets the set reserve.  Should bids fail to meet the set reserve then the Council would not be prejudiced by selling at undervalue and would then be in a position to consider its options and review other means of disposal at the appropriate time in consultation with the Leader.

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

8.             Auction fees will be incurred if the property sells at auction.  A competitive fee of 0.33% of the selling price plus an entry fee of £250 has been negotiated in respect of this matter should Cabinet be minded to agree to the recommendations of this report.

9.             A Capital receipt will be achieved on the disposal of the site.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10.        Pursuant to Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 the Council has an obligation to obtain best consideration for land disposals.  In offering the Property for sale by Public Action with an appropriate reserve the Council will fulfil this obligation.

11.        The Council has previously advertised its intention to dispose of the site in accordance with Section 123(2A) of the Local Government Act 1972 as it was previously classified as Public Open Space.

12.        Should a bid be received at Auction which meets the set reserve, exchange of contracts will occur on the drop of the hammer and completion will take place in accordance with dates stipulated in the contract.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.        The site may continue to attract fly tipping and other anti social activities whilst it remains unsold and vacant.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.        None

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.        To make best use of assets and to procure good sustainable services and facilities.

Policy Framework and Budget

16.        This is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.        Local members have been consulted on this report.  Cllr Alexander has responded as follows: "I am interested to know for what reasons anyone would wish to buy this piece of land.  I understand that housing is not an option, nor a car park because of the highways implications on that corner.  The site is a mess so I hope that it will be cleaned up before the auction in order to attract a purchaser, there must be some possible use in your minds to attract them.  It would be good if we could rid of it as at present it is an eyesore and the source of constant complaints.  But if it goes to someone who is going to leave it idle then it just transfers the complaints to the owner and eventually back to the Council".

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.        Corporate Resources

Background Papers

19.        None

Contact Officer

Lorna Cross - Group Estates Officer (Tel. No. 01446 709307)

 

Officers Consulted

Stuart Lyon  -  Lawyer

 

Responsible Officer: 

Sian Davies, Director of Finance, ICT & Property

 

 

 

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