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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 16 December, 2013

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services

 

Disposal of surplus land at Evenlode Primary School

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To request Cabinet approval to sell land forming part of the school site, which has previously been declared surplus, and use the capital receipt to fund the construction of a new school hall at Evenlode Primary School, Penarth.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet gives authority to sell the surplus land which has outline residential planning consent.

2.         That Cabinet approve that delegated authority be given to the Chief Learning and Skills Officer in consultation with the Director of Resources and the Cabinet Member for Children's Services to market the land on the most appropriate basis and accept the most beneficial compliant bid for the sale of the surplus land.

3.         That Cabinet approve that the construction of a new school hall at Evenlode Primary is included within the 2014/15 Capital Programme to be funded by the capital receipt achieved through the sale of the land.

4.         That the Head of Legal Services in consultation with the Director of Resources be authorised to prepare, complete and execute the necessary legal documentation associated with the sale of the land and construction of the hall.

5.         That Cabinet refers this report to Council to amend the Capital Programme 2014/15 to include the construction of a new school hall at Evenlode Primary which will be funded by the capital receipt achieved through the sale of the land.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1/2.      To ensure best value is obtained by the Council on the disposal of the site.

3.         To allow the construction of the hall to proceed.

4.         To effect completion of the disposal of the land and construction of the hall.

5.         To allow Council to consider this matter.

 

Background

2.         Evenlode Primary school has been significantly extended since it opened in the early 1970's to increase capacity from around 200 to 420 pupils. The school hall has not been extended to meet the increased pupil numbers and is a substantial weakness of the school. This has been highlighted in the previous two school Estyn inspections in 2004 and 2010. The hall measures 120m2 compared to current recommendations of a main hall of 150m2 and an additional small hall of 80m2 for a 420 place primary school.

3.         On 8 June 2011 Cabinet approved the disposal of surplus land at Evenlode Primary school and the construction of a new hall for the school funded from the capital receipt (minute C1338 refers). The location of the surplus land is shown on Appendix A.

4.         The process previously approved by Cabinet required that a minimum of three compliant bids were received for the land in exchange for the construction of the new school hall. This process was to be progressed by the school Governing Body with approval from the Authority at each stage.

5.         The Governing Body has previously tried to sell the land in exchange for the construction of the new hall but have been unsuccessful, hence the proposal for the Estates Section to market the land with the capital receipt received being ring fenced for the construction of the new hall.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         The Learning and Skills Directorate and Evenlode Primary school are still supportive of the principle of selling the declared surplus land and constructing a new hall with the funding achieved through this sale. However it has become apparent that the existing process approved by Cabinet would be very difficult to comply with and may not provide best value for the Council. An alternative procurement approach is therefore being proposed for consideration by Cabinet which separates the sale of the land from the construction of the new hall.

7.         The school Governing Body have gained outline planning consent for a single house on the surplus land. The land will be sold through independent property agents appointed by the Estates Section.

8.         The Capital receipt, less professional fees associated with the sale, will be transferred to the 2014/15 Capital Programme to fund the construction of the new hall.

9.         Property Section will oversee the construction of hall and will appoint the consultants currently developing the scheme on behalf of the Governing Body to project manage the project. The consultants have agreed that there will be no fee incurred for their work, although other fees may be payable in association with this project if Property Section determine that specialist advice is required.

10.      There is no additional funding available for this scheme from the Council. If the sum received for the land is not sufficient to fund the hall Property Section will agree variations to the scheme to bring it within budget. If it is not possible or desirable to reduce the scheme to the available budget additional funding will be provided by the school Governing Body from the reserve held by the school for this purpose. If additional funding is required to achieve the scheme and this funding is not available via the Governing Body the scheme cannot progress.

 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.      Evenlode Primary school Governing Body have maximised the value of the land by successfully obtaining outline planning consent for a single house on the site. (Planning Application 2012/00027/OUT).

12.      The full sum received from the sale of the site, less fees associated with the sale, will be retained centrally to fund the construction of the new hall. If the lowest compliant tender, plus associated fees, exceeds the sum available additional funding will be provided by the school from the budget which has been reserved for this purpose. No additional funding will be provided by the Council towards the construction of the new hall in addition to the capital receipt realised through the sale of the site.

13.      Professional fees associated with the oversight of the construction of the new hall will be met from the capital receipt received from the sale of the land.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14.      The new hall will meet current energy efficiency requirements resulting in low levels of carbon emissions.

 Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15.      The land will be disposed of pursuant to a formal contract and the transfer is to be approved by the Head of Legal Services.

16.      The Council has a statutory and fiduciary duty to obtain best consideration for any land sale pursuant to S123 of the Local Government Act 1972.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.      There are no crime and disorder implications arising from this matter.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.      The existing school hall is too small for the needs of the school resulting in a detrimental impact on the delivery of the national curriculum and difficulties in allowing full access to wheelchair users. The new hall will improve the learning environment at the school and will be fully accessible for the whole community.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.      The construction of the new school hall at Evenlode Primary progresses objective LS1 of the Corporate Plan 2013-2017 to ensure that 'citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan have the skills, knowledge and abilities required to maximise their opportunities.'

20.      This scheme also contributes towards the completion of Outcome 3, Objective 9 of the Learning and Skills Directorate Service Plan 2013/17 to ensure 'Learners have access to an appropriate range of high level provision.'

Policy Framework and Budget

21.      This report is a matter for Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.      Local Ward Members have been consulted.  No adverse comments have been received.

23.      The school Governing Body fully support the sale of this surplus land to fund the construction of a new hall.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

24.      Lifelong Learning

Background Papers

Cabinet report, 8 June 2011 - Disposal of surplus land at Evenlode Primary School

Contact Officer

Mark Haynes                                    School Organisation and Buildings Manager

Officers Consulted

Paula Ham                            Head of Strategic Planning and Performance

Victoria Davidson                Operational Manager, Legal Services

Sian Cornwell-Shaw           Estates Officer

Gemma Jones                      Accountant

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill                          Chief Learning and Skills Officer