The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 14 December, 2015
Cabinet Member for Regeneration
Cowbridge Livestock Market - Appropriation of Land
Purpose of the Report
To seek the approval of Cabinet for the appropriation of the land identified as Areas X and Y on the attached plan in Appendix A for the purposes of facilitating its comprehensive regeneration.
THAT Cabinet authorise the appropriation of the land identified as Areas X and Y on the attached plan in Appendix A in accordance with Section 122(1) of the Local Government Act and Section 237 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) for the purpose of enabling the regeneration of the land.
Reasons for the Recommendations
To enable the regeneration of the land identified as Areas X and Y on the attached plan in Appendix A of this report.
As set out in Appendix B, Cabinet resolved inter alia at its meeting of 23rd March 2015 (Cabinet Minute C2710 refers):
"…(1) T H A T the continued support be agreed in principle of the Vale Market Action Group's (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 the report.
(2) T H A T the Managing Director be authorised, in consultation with the Leader, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Director of Development Services, to market and dispose of Zones A and B (of Appendix C attached to the report) 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 Vale Market Action Group's (VMAG) Mixed Use Master Plan, subject to the Important Reservations identified in the report......
(4) T H A T the Managing Director be authorised, 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 C (of Appendix C attached to the report) for a Market Hall to the Vale Market Action Group (VMAG) and/or Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) referred to in the report, subject to the Important Reservations identified in the report…."
Appendix B includes a copy of the Cabinet Minute C2710 and the indicative mixed use master plan put forward by the Vale Market Action Group that is being pursued subject to any amendments required by the Council in accordance with the said Cabinet Minute.
The Council has for a number of years demonstrated its ambition to facilitate the comprehensive regeneration of the land at Areas X and Y, subject to planning. For example, at its meeting of 22nd June 2011 Cabinet previously resolved to facilitate the marketing and disposal of Area X for a privately funded and managed Extra Care (and / or other suitable older persons' / social care) residential use along with Area Y for public car parking. Although a different land development solution compared to the current mixed use master plan put forward by the Vale Market Action Group and which is being presently supported in principle by the Council, this demonstrates the Council's desire to realise the comprehensive regeneration of the land with an appropriate land development scheme subject to planning permission.
The current use for the land is as the main livestock site (identified as Area X in Appendix A) comprising approximately 0.87 hectares (2.12 acres). There is also a strip of land to the east which abuts alongside the town wall (identified as Area Y in Appendix A), which extends approximately 0.31 hectares (0.77 acres) and includes non-operational bullpens, sale ring and stock area flanked on either side by car parking.
Relevant Issues and Options
The Council has considered the current use of the land at Areas X and Y and has effectively determined that the current use is inappropriate as it can be better used for the benefit of the wider community for the purposes of regenerating the land, for example in accordance with the Vale Market Action Group's Mixed Use Master Plan in Appendix B (subject to Cabinet Minute C2710) which proposes a more efficient use of the land with the Livestock Market retained alongside various other land uses including new public car parking, a Market Hall and an older person's residential development; or other appropriate regeneration and land development scheme, subject to obtaining planning permission.
Cowbridge is a town of historical, archaeological and environmental importance and Areas X and Y lie to the south and west of the main axis of the town's historic core. This part of the town provides a particularly attractive local environment through a combination of local open spaces, including Old Hall Gardens and the 'Physic Garden' in Church Street. Located within Cowbridge Conservation Area this area includes many buildings of architectural/historic significance in Westgate, High Street and at the northern end of the Butts. Comprehensively regenerating Areas X and Y with an appropriate land development scheme will create the opportunity to protect and enhance the Conservation Area.
The Council occupies or holds land for various purposes in order to perform its functions. The process of changing that purpose without changing ownership of the land is described as appropriation.
The Council has the power to hold land for various purposes. In order to use land for a purpose other than the current use, the land must be "appropriated" for a different use. Appropriation is a statutory process, permitting the Council to transfer land in its ownership from one use to another. Section 122(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 enables the Council to appropriate land for any statutory purpose for which it is authorised to acquire land. Accordingly the Council must determine that the land is no longer required for its current purpose and appropriate it for planning purposes.
Appropriation of the land for planning purposes requires the Council to consider the following:
(a) whether the land is no longer required for the purpose for which it is currently held, to be appropriated for a different purpose in the public interest of the locality;
(b) whether the land should be appropriated for planning purposes but requires consideration;
(c) whether appropriation will facilitate the carrying out of development, re-development or improvement on or in relation to the land;
(d) it will contribute to the promotion of the economic, social and/or environmental well-being of the area;
Where land is appropriated for planning purposes it is then held by the Council under the statutory provisions of Part 9 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.
The practical consequence (by virtue of Section 237 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990, as amended by Schedule 9 of the Planning Act 2008) is that the erection, construction or carrying out of any maintenance of any building or work on the land and subsequent use of the land is authorised under those planning powers if the works are done in accordance with planning permission even if those works interfere with third party rights.
The purpose of Section 237 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) is to ensure that where land has been appropriated for planning purposes then existing rights which could prevent the development of that land from proceeding in accordance with the planning permission can be overridden. Those rights are overridden whether the Council itself or a third party deriving title from it undertakes development.
The said power in Section 237 does not remove the legitimate rights of owners or occupiers as to compensation which may be due from the interference with such rights. It does remove the potential for excessive claims and it also removes the potential for such owners or occupiers to frustrate the development.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
Any costs involved in the appropriation of the land for regeneration purposes can be met from within the Departmental budget.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
It is anticipated this is a matter that will be addressed at the detailed design stage of any regeneration and land development scheme for Areas X and Y.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
The legal implications are set out in the body of this report.
Crime and Disorder Implications
The regeneration of the site will provide the opportunity to address any issues of crime and disorder through appropriate scheme designs.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
The project will be delivered in accordance with the Council's equal opportunities policies and ethos.
The delivery of the project has the potential to assist with the regeneration of Cowbridge Town Centre.
Policy Framework and Budget
This is a matter for Executive decision.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
The site is located within the Cowbridge ward and the Local Ward members have been consulted and will be providing a joint response as soon as they are able.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
Mark White - Major Projects Manager
Head of Regeneration and Planning
Strategic Estates Manager
Rob Thomas, Managing Director