The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 7 September, 2015
Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools
Disposal of surplus land, the Old Hockey Pitch, off College Road, Barry
Purpose of the Report
1. To request that Cabinet declare the unused land known as the old hockey pitch off College Road, Barry, surplus to requirements and grants approval to determine the preferred method of disposal of this land.
1. That the unused Council owned land, known as the old hockey pitch off College Road, Barry is declared surplus to requirements of the Learning and Skills Directorate.
2. That delegated authority is granted to the Head of Finance, in consultation with the Head of Legal Services and the Leader, to appoint agents and to seek their views to determine the preferred method of disposal of the surplus land and dispose of the land in the most appropriate manner.
3. That the Head of Legal Services be authorised to sign and execute the appropriate disposal documentation.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. To allow the disposal of the land, thereby relinquishing liabilities attached to the land.
2. To ensure that best consideration would be achieved through the preferred disposal route.
3. To provide the necessary authority.
2. The old hockey pitch was constructed from a specialist sports material (red gra) forming a hard surface and used by Ysgol St Curig, but has not been used for many years. The land is now severely overgrown and would require major investment to be reinstated as a sports pitch. The exact location of the land is shown on Appendix A.
3. Access is off College Road but is very narrow at approximately 3.0m wide which is only sufficient for a single track entrance lane. The area of the site is in the region of 7550m².
4. The land has been previously offered to Parks and Grounds Maintenance in line with the Council's disposal procedures, but was not progressed as no viable use could be identified.
5. As the sports pitch has not been used for many years, only minimal grounds maintenance is undertaken on an ad hoc basis. All required works are funded from the centrally retained Learning and Skills revenue budget. The current annual cost is estimated to be less than £250 per annum but as the site becomes more overgrown it can be anticipated that maintenance costs will increase in the coming years.
6. Additionally, while the current annual cost is relatively small, the site remains a liability from an on-going property management perspective.
Relevant Issues and Options
7. The land subject to this report has not been used by the Council for many years. There is no current or future requirement to use this land for educational purposes. Parks and Grounds Maintenance officers have previously confirmed that they do not have a use for this land.
8. In order to allow this land to be fully utilised, Cabinet are requested to approve that the Head of Finance appoint marketing agents to advise on the most appropriate method of disposal and thereafter market the land for disposal.
9. Prior to the land being offered on the open market, the availability of the land will be made known to the Corporate Asset Management Group, Barry Town Council, Local Service Board Asset Management Group and then if no interest is forthcoming, to note the land as surplus on Welsh Government's e-PIMS database and dispose of the land as per the appointed agents advice. This will accord with best practice and the Council's disposal Protocol.
10. It is recommended that as the land is being disposed of without a planning consent for an alternative use, a clause is inserted into any transfer documentation which allows the Council to receive a share of the uplift in value of the land should planning consent for a more valuable use be forthcoming in the future.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
11. Any receipt derived as a result of the disposal of this land will be retained within the School Investment Programme.
12. Any costs associated with the disposal of the land to be met by the Directorate of Learning and Skills.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
13. There are no sustainability and climate change implications arising from this matter. Any subsequent sustainability implications arising from the future use of the land can be assessed as part of the future planning process.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
14. The Council has a statutory duty pursuant to S123 of the Local Government Act 1972 to secure the best consideration that can reasonably be expected to be obtained. Albeit that there are exceptions to the statutory duty, such exceptions are not being relied upon in the given case.
Crime and Disorder Implications
15. Whilst the land remains overgrown and unused, it may attract anti-social behaviour.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
16. There are no equal opportunities implications arising from this matter.
17. To achieve the optimum use of property assets.
Policy Framework and Budget
18. This is a matter for Executive decision.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
19. Ward members have been consulted. Councillor Ian Johnson queried the potential benefits of disposal and proposed consultation with local residents to identify alternative uses for the site that would secure community benefits. Consultation regarding potential future uses would take place during the usual planning process and therefore it is not planned to undertake any further consultation in respect of the proposed disposal of this land.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
20. Corporate Resources.
Mark Haynes School Planning and Buildings Manager
Paula Ham Head of Strategy, Community Learning & Resources
Victoria Davidson Operational Manager, Legal Services
Phil Beaman Operational Manager, Parks and Grounds Maintenance
Lorna Cross Strategic Estates Manager
Jennifer Hill Director of Learning and Skills