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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 26 January, 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools

Eagleswell Primary School, Llantwit Major

Purpose of the Report

1. To seek Cabinet's approval to formally declare Eagleswell School as a surplus site in view of the pending relocation of the staff and pupils to Llantwit Learning Community in September 2016 and to obtain the necessary authority to undertake demolition works, to dispose of the site and to increase the capital programme accordingly.

Recommendations

1. That Cabinet formally declares Eagleswell School as a surplus site.

 

2. That Cabinet authorises the marketing and disposal of Eagleswell school site shown edged red in Appendix A for a mixed use (retail and residential) development (subject to planning) in consultation with the Leader, Cabinet Member for Children Services and Schools and Managing Director.

 

3. That Cabinet authorises the appointment of property agents/consultants to assist with the marketing and disposal of the site.

 

4. That Cabinet authorises the Head of Legal Services to prepare, complete and execute the appropriate legal documentation required to dispose of the site.

 

5. That Cabinet authorises the demolition of the superstructure of the buildings subject to statutory requirements and following the staff and pupils vacating the site.

 

6. That Cabinet authorises the appointment of specialist contractors/consultants to implement geotechnical/ground condition and topographical surveys of the site.

 

7. That Cabinet authorises a £300k increase to the Capital Programme for 2016/17 to cover the estimated cost of demolition.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To declare Eagleswell school site as surplus to requirements in view of the pending relocation of the staff and pupils to Llantwit Learning Community.

 

2. To enable the marketing and disposal of Eagleswell School site for a mixed use (retail and residential) development (subject to planning).

 

3. To facilitate the appointment of property agents/consultants for the marketing and disposal exercise.

 

4. To authorise the Head of Legal Services to prepare, complete and execute the appropriate legal documentation required to dispose of the site.

 

5. To enable the demolition of the superstructure of the buildings on the site.

 

6. To enable the completion of site surveys.

 

7. To ensure all costs are included in the Capital Programme.

Background

2. Cabinet Minute C2081 resolved:

(1) That it be agreed to create a Llantwit Learning Community delivering major investment in Llantwit Major Comprehensive School and a new 420 place primary school on the adjacent site created from the amalgamation of Eagleswell and Llanilltud Fawr primary schools.

(2) That a consultation exercise takes place from 16th December 2013 for a period of 8 weeks on a proposal to create a new 420 place primary school as part of the Llantwit Learning Community and amalgamate Eagleswell and Llanilltud Fawr primary schools.

(3) That the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) and then Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) as the lead Scrutiny Committee, for consideration as part of the consultation process.

3. Following a full statutory consultation process, Cabinet approved implementation of the proposal to amalgamate Eagleswell and Llanilltud Fawr Primary Schools from September 2015 (Cabinet Minute C2370). The school will initially operate on separate sites pending the opening of the new 420 place school building in September 2016.

 

4. This will result in Eagleswell Primary School becoming vacant and surplus to requirements at the end of July 2016. It is proposed to regenerate the vacated site by marketing and disposing of the land for mixed use (retail and residential) development (subject to planning).

 

5. It is recommended that the site is sold via informal tender with the benefit of a planning statement which confirms the possible alternative uses that would be acceptable for the site in planning terms.

Relevant Issues and Options

6. As part of the Council's disposal protocol the Council's Corporate Asset Management Group and its external partners on the Local Service Board will be consulted to ensure there is no requirement for the site within the Council or with partners.

 

7. Following the relocation of the staff and pupils the empty school buildings will become a security and maintenance liability to the Council. To remove this liability the intention is for the Council to demolish the superstructure of the buildings on site (subject to statutory requirements) as soon as possible after the school is fully vacated.

 

8. To assist with marketing and disposal of the site it is intended to commission geotechnical/ground condition and topographical surveys.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9. The estimated £300k cost of demolition will be met initially from the school rationalisation reserve pending realisation of the capital receipt from disposal of the site. The balance of the receipt will be used to contribute to funding the Schools Investment Programme.

 

10. Agent's fees and Estates and Legal officer's costs as well as associated surveys will be incurred as a result of the disposal process and these will be funded as above.

 

11. The timely disposal of surplus assets should assist the Council in the reduction of its maintenance costs.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12. This is a matter that will be addressed at the design stage of any new development in accordance with the statutory planning process.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13. An initial investigation on title has revealed that the land is currently unregistered and the only covenant affecting the title is a positive covenant to erect and maintain a 4ft 6inch high concrete post and chain link fence on the north eastern and south eastern boundaries. A voluntary registration is currently being made to the Land Registry for registration of the title.

 

14. 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. There are exceptions to this rule, however, the Council would not be looking to rely on these exceptions in this particular case.

 

15. The demolition of the superstructure of the buildings will be implemented subject to statutory requirements.

Crime and Disorder Implications

16. Vacant sites may attract anti-social behaviour such as vandalism and unlawful occupation.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

 

17. The property will be marketed openly.

Corporate/Service Objectives

18. The delivery of the project will assist the delivery of the Schools Investment Programme by raising capital receipts.

Policy Framework and Budget

19. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20. Ward Member consultation to be undertaken.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21. Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Paula Ham - Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources

Officers Consulted

Sian Cornwell-Shaw - Estates Officer

Mike Walsh - Legal Property and Contract Team Leader

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

Vicki Williams - Capital Accountant

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill - Director of Learning and Skills

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