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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 23 March, 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services

St Paul's Church, Penarth

Purpose of the Report

1. To report to Cabinet that the marketing for St Paul's Church has been completed in accordance with Cabinet Minute C2256.

 

2. To obtain Cabinet authority for the Project Board to offer a period of time to the bidder, "St Paul's Shared Fitness Space Community Interest Company (CIC)", to provide further information about their bid as outlined in this report.

 

3. To inform Cabinet that the intention is to report back to Cabinet following the Project Board receiving and considering the additional information requested from "St Paul's Shared Fitness Space CIC".

Recommendations

1. That Cabinet note the completion of the marketing of St Paul's Church.

 

2. That Cabinet endorse the Project Board offering a period of time for the bidder, "St Paul's Shared Fitness Space CIC", to provide further information about their bid as specified in this report.

 

3. That a further report is submitted at a later date to Cabinet, following the period of time offered to the bidder to provide additional information.  Thereafter the Project Board will recommend, subject to Cabinet approval, whether or not "St Paul's Shared Fitness Space CIC" is the Preferred Bidder subject to contract.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To ensure Cabinet is aware of the completion of the marketing of St Paul's Church.

 

2. To obtain authority from Cabinet for the Project Board to offer a period of time for "St Paul's Shared Fitness Space CIC" to provide additional information about their bid.

 

3. To confirm the intention to report at a later date to Cabinet.

Background

4. At its meeting of 24th March 2014 (Cabinet Minute C2256 refers), Cabinet resolved:

 "…(1) T H A T authority be granted to market an opportunity for the use of St Paul's Church, Penarth (delineated on a plan attached at Appendix A to the report) for community/recreational uses or as a mixed use scheme including community/recreational uses and other appropriate uses, subject to the relevant planning processes and the approval of the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Leader; Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sport Development, and Managing Director…”

“…(2) T H A T authority be granted to the Director of Development Services to appoint property agents and other consultants as required to assist with the delivery of the project. in consultation with the Leader; Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sport Development, and Managing Director….”

5. In accordance with Cabinet Minute C2256 the Council’s external surveyors, Savills, has completed a comprehensive marketing campaign of the property.  The deadline for bids was 12 noon on 9th January 2015.

 

6. The Project Board overseeing this marketing and disposal project comprises the Leader of the Council, the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services, the Managing Director and Director of Development Services.

Relevant Issues and Options

7. "St Paul's Shared Fitness Space CIC" has submitted a bid proposing a mixed use community space at the property.  A Community Interest Company or CIC is "…a new type of company for people who want to be involved in a business that benefits the community (the population as a whole or a specific group) rather than just the owners, managers or employees - a social enterprise" (Source: Community Interest Companies, the Key Facts, February 2008, Regulator of Community Interest Companies).

 

8. The bid from "St Paul's Shared Fitness Space CIC" was viewed positively but did not contain sufficient detailed business planning information required to ascertain whether it is a potentially viable proposition.  Additional information is required from the bidder.

 

9. Having considered the bid the Project Board is of the view that St Paul's Shared Space CIC" is offered a period of time (initially four months) to provide the following additional information:

(i) a revised Business Plan to demonstrate whether or not their scheme concept is a viable proposition;

(ii) written evidence of contact with other potential funding bodies to demonstrate whether or not they could potentially secure funding in addition to the Section 106 funding they have requested (if required); and

(iii) revised finalised outline scheme concept drawings together with more robust itemised cost estimates (from a Quantity Surveyor).

10. As the Council is dealing with a community group the four month deadline may be extended by the Project Board.  However, due to the deteriorating condition of this property, any extension will be subject to reasonable limits.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11. It is proposed that the cost of marketing the property as described is funded under the remaining St Paul's budget in Development Services 2014/15 Capital Programme.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12. This is a matter that will be addressed at the design stage of any new scheme at the site in accordance with statutory planning processes. In addition re-using this vacant site represents a sustainable use of land and buildings.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13. The Vale of Glamorgan Council owns the freehold interest of the property. There are no restrictive covenants. Proposals for the refurbishment and reuse of the property will have to take into account the current status of the boxing club in relation to part of the property. 

 

14. The Council has a statutory and fiduciary duty to obtain best consideration in respect of its land and property disposals pursuant to Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972.  A lease of more than 7 years in length is classed as a disposal for the purposes of the Act.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15. The aim of the marketing exercise is to regenerate the site with a scheme that minimises opportunities for crime and disorder by establishing it as a venue for the community and mixed uses.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16. Community space which offers opportunities for mixed activities links with the Council's objectives for social wellbeing.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17. The Council is committed to regeneration and creating a thriving economy that supports cohesive, sustainable communities.

Policy Framework and Budget

18. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19. Local ward members were consulted at the time of this report being drafted. Comments were received from Councillor Gwyn Roberts, Ward Member for St Augustines.

 

Councillor Gwyn Roberts has emphasised the need to see progress in terms of the future of St Paul's and has requested that   "only one extension of four months is given but also a further contingency plan is formulated".  The Councillor suggested asking Savill's opinion on further options for the property/site and also "whether it should be demolished and a new building including community usage included as part of an overall development project".

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20. Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

The indicative Site Boundary drawing is attached at Appendix A.

Contact Officer

Mark White - Major Projects Manager - Tel. 01446 704698

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager - Leisure and Tourism

Operational Manager - Countryside and Economic Projects

Group Estates Officer

Principal Lawyer

Accountant

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

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