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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 29th February, 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure

 

St. Paul's Church, Penarth

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             The purpose of this report is to seek approval for works at the former St. Paul's Church in Penarth subject to new Licences being agreed with Penarth Gymnastics Club and Penarth Boxing Club and to any consultation being undertaken under the agreed S106 procedures..

Recommendations

1.             That a sum of £250,000 be included in the Council's 2012/13 Capital Programme to allow occupation of the former St. Paul's Church in Penarth by Penarth Gymnastics Club and Penarth Boxing Club.

2.             That £250,000 be contributed from the Penarth Heights S106 funding at a future date subject to satisfactory consultation under established S106 procedures.

3.             That prior to the commencement of any works the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing in consultation with the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration and the Director of Finance, ICT and Property, complete new Licences with both organisations with an agreed annual rental fee.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To allow occupation of this facility by both Clubs.

2.             To ensure that S106 procedures are adopted.

3.             To ensure appropriate arrangements are in place in relation to the premises for the benefit of both the Council and the Clubs.

Background

2.             St. Paul's Church in Penarth has been vacant since early 2011 when the condition of the building was deemed dangerous for use by the Council's Building Control Section. 

3.             Prior to the closure of the building, it had been hoped to refurbish the premises for the continued use by Penarth Boxing Club and to allow Penarth Gymnastics Club to occupy the main area of the facility, as their Agreement to use the Pier Pavilion was ending.  Details about these proposals were reported to Cabinet 22nd April, 2010 (Minute C862) and a further report was also discussed by the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee 8th March 2011.  Following the Scrutiny Committee, the Clubs were invited to present their own report on the feasibility of restoring the building for their own use as there was disagreement on the cost estimated by the Council to restore the building.  Following receipt of this report, which was produced for the Clubs by Arups and the involvement of a specialist Project Manager who has assisted the Clubs, a further independent report was commissioned by the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration  in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, as the differences between the various reports were significant. 

4.             The independent report was undertaken by Austin Smith:Lord LLP.  This report has given three different levels of repair costs for the building and demonstrates how the differences in the previous estimates have probably arisen. 

5.             For the building to be usable, to be in a condition to keep the weather out, to be a safe and secure environment and to comply with essential legislation, such as planning, building control and the Disability Discrimination Act, the report estimates it would cost approximately £220,000. This is very much around the £250,000 that the Clubs' own specialist Project Manager had estimated.  For the building to be truly usable, a pleasant environment to occupy and a series of spaces catering to specific or varied uses, the report estimates a cost of £540,000.  For a full building upgrade, focused on long-term conservation and bringing it partially back to its former glory, the report estimates a cost of £775,000, which is nearing the original figure estimated by the Council's structural engineer.     

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             In order to progress matters, it is recommended that £250,000 be spent on the building to make it habitable by both the Gymnastics and Boxing Clubs.  Clearly, the sooner the work can start, the less chance there is for any further deterioration of the building.  Whilst it is acknowledged that more money could be spent on the building, it is generally accepted that this sum would allow the Clubs to occupy the premises and enable them to apply for grants to further improve the premises in the future.  

7.             It is also proposed, prior to any works, to negotiate new leases with both organisations, which will require the surrender of the existing Boxing Club lease.  New leases will require a new rental fee to be agreed and would permit the Clubs to apply for grants to enhance the facilities for their own benefit in the medium to long-term.   

 

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

8.             The Council's capital programme would need to be increased by £250,000 for these works to progress. It is intended that an equivalent sum be contributed to the Council's capital programme at a future date from the S106 funding to be made available from the Penarth Heights development.  This would be subject to existing S106 consultation procedures.  £800k is potentially available for 'community facilities' from the Penarth Heights development at the beneficial occupation of the 200th dwelling.  Should this £250k be committed therefore a substantial sum would continue to be available for other community facilities in the area.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.             New leases for the premises will clearly set out the rules and regulations in which the Clubs must operate.  It is expected that these will centre upon the need for both Clubs to demonstrate their community focus.  New fees for the leases will also need to be agreed. 

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.        Positive sport and physical activities are now proven to assist in the reduction of crime and disorder issues. 

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.        Both Clubs will be expected to operate an equal opportunities policy in line with the Council's objectives.

Corporate/Service Objectives To provide opportunities and incentives to attract businesses to invest in the Vale and good quality support for local businesses.

12.        The Council recognises that good community facilities can improve the health and wellbeing of the resident population in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Policy Framework and Budget

13.        This is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet

Consultation including Ward Member Consultation 

14.        Ward Members have been consulted.

Further Ward Member Comments received as part of this report

Relevant Scrutiny Committee .

15.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Report by Austin Smith:Lord LLP.

 

Contact Officer

Dave Knevett - Tel: 01446 704817

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager, Property

Operational Manager, Legal

Director of Finance, ICT and Property

Operational Manager, Strategy and Support

Estates Officer

Project Manager

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick - Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration

 

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