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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 23 March, 2015

Cabinet Member for Regeneration

Cowbridge Livestock Market - VMAG Mixed Use Master Plan

Purpose of the Report

1. To report the outcome of a due diligence exercise completed in accordance with Cabinet Minute C2129 in consideration of the Vale Market Action Group's (VMAG) mixed use Master Plan, the VMAG's proposed Market Hall and a proposal for a scaled down Livestock Market put forward by Glamorgan Marts;

 

2. To seek authority from Cabinet to continue to support the principle of the VMAG mixed use Master Plan and to progress the project in accordance with the proposals outlined in this report to Cabinet.

Recommendations

1. THAT Cabinet authorise the continued support in principle of the VMAG mixed use Master Plan for the regeneration of the Livestock Market site, subject to any amendments required by the Council, planning/statutory consents and the Important Reservations identified in this report.

 

2. THAT Cabinet authorise the Director of Resources, in consultation with the Leader, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Managing Director and Director of Development Services, to market and dispose of Zones A and B (of Appendix C) as one site for an older person's residential development opportunity with a requirement for the successful bidder to deliver at their own cost on land to be retained by the Council the two public car parks and associated highway infrastructure identified in the VMAG Mixed Use Master Plan, subject to the Important Reservations identified in this report.

 

3. THAT Cabinet authorise the setting of a deadline of 12 months from 1st April 2015 for the VMAG and/or Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) referred to in this report to raise the capital and revenue funding required to construct and commence utilisation of the Market Hall in Zone C (of Appendix C) respectively, subject to the Important Reservations identified in this report.

 

4. THAT Cabinet authorise the Director of Resources, in consultation with the Leader, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Managing Director and Director of Development Services, to negotiate and dispose by way of a lease the land at Zone C (of Appendix C) for a Market Hall to the VMAG and/or Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) referred to in this report, subject to the Important Reservations identified in this report.

 

5. THAT Cabinet  authorise an extension of the existing Licence of Glamorgan Marts for a period of 12 months from 1st April 2015 for the full Livestock Market site;

 

6. THAT Cabinet authorise the Director of Resources, in consultation with the Leader, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Director of Development Services, to negotiate and dispose by way of a lease the land at Zone D1 (of Appendix C) to Glamorgan Marts for a scaled down Livestock Market operation, subject to the Important Reservations identified in this report;

 

7. THAT Cabinet authorise the Director of Resources to agree terms to allow Glamorgan Marts to utilise land at Zones E1 and E2 on market days, subject to the Important Reservations identified in this report;

 

8. THAT Cabinet authorise the Director of Resources to appoint external surveyors to assist with the marketing of Zones A and B, the lease negotiations for the Market Hall and Livestock Market and the appointment of other consultants as may be required to facilitate the wider regeneration of the Livestock Market site;

 

9. THAT Cabinet authorise the Head of Legal Services to prepare, execute and complete all legal documentation as may be required to facilitate the disposal of Zones A and B, the Market Hall and scaled down Livestock Market and use of Zones E1 and E2 referred to in this report.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To authorise the continued support in principle of the VMAG mixed use Master Plan;

 

2. To authorise the marketing and disposal of Zones A and B (of Appendix C);

 

3. To authorise a 12 months deadline for the VMAG and/or Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) to raise the capital and revenue funding required for the Market Hall project;

 

4. To authorise lease negotiations for the Market Hall land with the VMAG and/or Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) referred to in this report.

 

5. To authorise a 12 months extension of the existing Licence of Glamorgan Marts;

 

6. To authorise lease negotiations with Glamorgan Marts for a scaled down Livestock Market operation;

 

7. To authorise the agreement of terms to allow Glamorgan Marts to utilise land at Zones E1 and E2 on market day;

 

8. To authorise appointing external surveyors appointing other consultants as may be required to facilitate the wider regeneration of the Livestock Market site;

 

9. To authorise the preparation, execution and completion of all legal documentation as may be required to facilitate the disposal of Zones A and B, the Market Hall and scaled down livestock market and use of Zones E1 and E2 referred to in this report.

Background

3. Cowbridge Livestock Market is located at the western end of Cowbridge town centre as identified in the Site Location Plan (Appendix A).  As illustrated by appendix A, the site comprises two parts situated on either side of the publicly adopted highway called The Butts. 

  • AREA A: the main Livestock Market site, which extends approximately 0.87 hectares (2.12 acres); and
  • AREA B: a strip of land to the east of the Butts alongside the historic town wall, which extends approximately 0.31 hectares (0.77 acres) and includes non-operational bull pens, a sale ring and stock area, flanked either side by car parking.

4. At its meeting of 16th December 2013, Cabinet approved the principle of an indicative mixed use development concept proposed by the Vale Market Action Group attached as Appendix B subject to planning and it being viable. 

 

5. Cabinet Minute C2129 resolved:

"…(1) T H A T the indicative mixed development concept identified in Appendix B as attached to the report (subject to planning and viability) put forward by the Vale Market Action Group (VMAG) for the Cowbridge Livestock Market site be supported in principle;

(2) T H A T the Director of Development Services be authorised to undertake due diligence to determine the viability of the indicative mixed use development concept proposed by the VMAG; and

(3) T H A T the Director of Resources be authorised to extend the Licence for the Market Operator for a further twelve months from March 2014…".

6. In accordance with Cabinet Minute C2129, a due diligence exercise has been undertaken during 2014 by officers reviewing the deliverability of the VMAG's indicative mixed use development concept.  This officer review has been considered by the Project Board comprising the Leader; Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Managing Director and Director of Development Services.

 

7. As part of this due diligence exercise, officers reported to the Project Board on the:

A) viability of the VMAG’s mixed used master plan;

B) viability of the older person's residential development, the proposed two public car parks and highway infrastructure;

C) viability of the VMAG’s “Market Hall” concept; and

D) viability of Glamorgan Marts’ proposed scaled down Livestock Market.

8. The VMAG's original master plan concept proposed that the site on both sides of The Butts be regenerated with the following mix of uses, which for this report to Cabinet have been broken down into the following Zones as illustrated in Appendix C:

Zone A - Proposed Older Person's Residential Use;

Zone B - Proposed Live/Work Use;

Zone C - Proposed Market Hall;

Zone D1 - Proposed scaled down and refurbished Livestock Market;

Zone D2 - Proposed relocated Wash Down (part of scaled down Livestock Market);

Zone E1 - Proposed Public Car Park;

Zone E2 - Proposed Pedestrian Area;

Zone F1 - Proposed Public Car Park alongside Town Wall (alongside existing public car park areas at Zones F and F2).   

Relevant Issues and Options

A) VIABILITY OF THE VMAG MIXED USE MASTER PLAN

9. The due diligence exercise concluded that the VMAG's mixed use master plan concept identified in Appendices B and C may have the potential to be refined and worked up into a detailed design that is technically deliverable, subject to planning consideration and various amendments as may be required in consultation with the Project Board. 

 

10. It is recommended by the Project Board for the Council to continue to support the principle of the VMAG mixed use master plan as a potentially viable option for the regeneration of the Livestock Market site subject to:

i) any amendments required by the Council;

ii) planning and any other statutory consents;

iii) the Important Reservations identified in this report.

B) VIABILITY OF THE OLDER PERSON'S RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT AND PROPOSED TWO PUBLIC CAR PARKS/HIGHWAY INFRASTRUCTURE

11. It is concluded from the due diligence exercise (and after consulting external surveyors) that a potentially viable option is to combine Zones A and B as one development site for an older person's residential development and to market the land requiring the successful developer to deliver the proposed two public car parks and associated highway infrastructure identified in the VMAG Master Plan.   This approach results in the proposed Live/Work element being deleted from the master plan.

 

12. It is therefore recommended by the Project Board for:

i) the Council to market Zones A and B as one site for an older person’s residential development of circa 15 large apartments or similar, subject to planning; and

ii) the developer of Zones A and B to be required to physically deliver at their own cost on land to be retained by the Council the two public car parks and associated highway infrastructure of a design to be agreed with the Council, subject to planning.

13. An external surveyor will be appointed by the Council to assist with the marketing and disposal exercise.

 

14. If after marketing Zones A and B, it is found that no developers come forward with viable schemes the Council will review its position regarding the VMAG Master Plan concept and the future of the full Livestock Market site.

 

C) VIABILITY OF THE VMAG “MARKET HALL” CONCEPT

15. The continued support for the VMAG Master Plan is dependent on there being a viable Market Hall concept.  During 2014, the VMAG prepared and submitted to the Council a Business Plan for their Market Hall proposal identified for the land at Zone C in Appendix C.  The VMAG propose that a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) will be established to operate the Market Hall.  The VMAG envisage the Market Hall accommodating:

i) three small shops;

ii) a community café; and

iii) a covered open space for additional markets and entertainment.

16. The VMAG have submitted an improved and comprehensive business plan for the Market Hall demonstrating its potential to become a profitable venture.  However, as with all new business start-ups the Market Hall project will face risks.  Fundamental risks will be the ability of the VMAG and/or CIO to secure sufficient capital funding to build the Market Hall (subject to planning) and sufficient revenue upfront to cover its operational start-up costs. 

 

17. Having considered the VMAG's business plan for the Market Hall, the Project Board recommend to Cabinet that the VMAG and/or CIO is offered a period of 12 months  from 1st April 2015 to raise the capital funding to physically build the Market Hall (subject to planning) and the revenue funding required to start up the operation of the facility. 

 

18. During the 12 month period, the Council and VMAG and/or CIO will negotiate the terms and conditions for a lease for Zone C subject to the approval of the Project Board.

 

19. An external surveyor will be appointed by the Council to assist negotiating the terms of a lease with the VMAG and/or CIO.

D) VIABILITY OF GLAMORGAN MARTS' PROPOSED SCALED DOWN LIVESTOCK MARKET

20. The Livestock Market Operator (Glamorgan Marts) has also completed a business plan for a scaled down Livestock Market operation.  Officers have reviewed the business plan and conclude that the Livestock Market is a financially viable business.

 

21. The Project Board having considered the business plan for the scaled down Livestock Market recommend to Cabinet that Glamorgan Marts is offered and extension of their existing Licence for a period of 12 months from 1st April 2015 for the full Livestock Market site.

 

22. During this 12 month period, it is recommended the Council and Glamorgan Marts negotiate the terms and conditions of a lease for the proposed scaled down livestock market subject to the approval of the Project Board.

 

23. An external surveyor will be appointed by the Council to assist negotiating the terms of a lease with Glamorgan Marts.

IMPORTANT RESERVATIONS

24. It is important to note that the Council will reserve the right to review its position regarding the future of the full Livestock Market site, the VMAG Master Plan, the Market Hall and the Livestock Market operation in the event that within a 12 month timeline from 1st April 2015 one or more of the following have occurred:

(i) the Council’s marketing and disposal of Zones A and B is unsuccessful; and/or

(ii) the capital and revenue funding for building and starting up the Market Hall is not secured by the VMAG and/or CIO; and/or;

(iii) the Council and the VMAG and/or CIO do not agree a Lease for the Market Hall; and/or

(iv) the Council and Glamorgan Marts do not agree a Lease for a scaled down Livestock Market.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

25. To take forward this project the Council will incur various costs and an estimated budget of circa £70k is required to fund:

i) Ground/Site Investigations;

ii) Asbestos Survey (Office building and toilet block);

iii) Appointment of External Surveyor (to assist with the marketing and disposal of Zones A and B and the Lease negotiations for the Market Hall and scaled down Livestock Market);

iv) Marketing Budget (for the marketing of Zones A and B);

vi) Engineering and Urban Design/Master Plan Fees (to complete the engineering and urban design drawings for the two public car parks and associated highway infrastructure within a consolidated master plan for the full Livestock Market site);

vii) Condition Survey/Cost Report for Town Wall; and

viii) In house Legal and surveyor support.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

26. The £70k budget outlined above and also in-house Project Management Unit fees will be funded from capital receipts.

 

27. The physical and financial delivery of two public car parks and associated highway infrastructure on land to be retained by the Council will be a condition of the disposal of Zones A and B to a developer for an older person's residential development subject to planning in lieu of capital receipts.

 

28. The Council will be responsible for facilitating the management of the proposed two public car parks and the Deed of Easement Route as the principal access to one of the car parks.  The cost of managing this infrastructure will be funded from within the budget of the Department of Visible Services. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

29. It is anticipated this is a matter that will be addressed at a detailed design stage. However, mixed use developments are often promoted as sustainable approaches to development.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

30. The land identified in Appendix A dashed black is in the freehold ownership of the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

 

31. Consideration will also need to be given to any European State Aid implications that may affect the deliverability of the Market Hall.  For example, if the VMAG and/or CIO request the land at Zone C to be disposed at under market value, this would have to be reviewed in terms of whether it would breach State Aid regulations.

 

32. The Council has a Statutory and Fiduciary duty to obtain best consideration for land and property disposals pursuant to S123 of the Local Government Act 1972. 

Crime and Disorder Implications

33. The mixed use redevelopment of the site, if viable, provides the opportunity to address any issues of crime and disorder through appropriate scheme designs.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

34. The project will be delivered in accordance with the Council's equal opportunities policies and ethos.

Corporate/Service Objectives

35. The delivery of the project has the potential to assist with the regeneration of Cowbridge Town Centre.

Policy Framework and Budget

36. This report is a matter for an Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

37. The site is located within the Cowbridge ward and the Local Ward members have been consulted and their comments will be reported to Cabinet.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

38. Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Mark White - Major Projects Manager - Tel 01446 704698

Officers Consulted

Director of Visible Services and Housing

Operational Manager Countryside and Economic Projects

Group Estates Manager, Property Section

Lawyer, Legal Division

Accountant

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

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