Agenda Item No. 12(a)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING: 25 SEPTEMBER 2013
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 29 JULY 2013
C1433 DEMOLITION OF FORMER ST CYRES COMPREHENSIVE, DINAS POWYS SITE (CS) (SCRUTINY – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –
Approval was sought to demolish the superstructure of the buildings on the former St Cyres site subject to statutory requirements and to appoint specialist contractors/consultants to implement geotechnical/ground condition and topographic surveys of the site.
Due to declining pupil numbers, St Cyres Comprehensive School vacated the Dinas Powys site in July 2012. All services were disconnected and the buildings had been boarded up since they were vacated. Since then, the buildings had suffered numerous break-ins by metal thieves resulting in extensive damage to both of the former school buildings and the caretaker's house. The cost to board up the building and replace damaged boarding totalled £24,716 in 2012/13 and £5,057 to date in 2013/14. If the buildings are not demolished these costs would continue to be incurred
A public consultation on the future of the site was carried out between 12 November 2012 and 18 January 2013. A total of 477 response were received, as reported to Cabinet on 13 April 2013 (Minute No. C1288) including an expression of interest in the former school buildings from a third party Community Group. Subsequent discussions with this Group at a meeting with officers confirmed that their proposals were not dependant upon using the existing buildings. Also, following contact with the Local Service Board no alternative use for the school buildings had been identified.
The estimated cost of the demolition of the property is in the region of £300,000 and will be funded from the School Investment Strategy fund, which will be reimbursed by capital receipts received through the sale of part of the site to Brackley Investments for the construction of a medical centre.
The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services highlighted that, in relation to paragraph 20 of page 3 of the report, the scheme was a capital scheme and as such, the relevant Scrutiny Committee was Corporate Resources and not Lifelong Learning.
Comments in relation to the demolition of the former St Cyres Comprehensive from Councillor Chris Franks were tabled at the meeting. In response, the Cabinet Member for Children’s Service’s commented that the consultation was for potential uses for the site as a whole and he did not agree there was inadequate consultation. Consultation also included the Local Service Board.
However, despite this wide consultation, no feasible use had subsequently been identified for the school buildings. The condition of the buildings gave the Cabinet Member cause for concern as it posed a risk to the community and it was for this reason that he hoped Cabinet would agree to his recommendations.
The Cabinet Member further mentioned that he had already invited the local ward members to inspect the property with officers so they could see for themselves the condition of the buildings and he was in the process of arranging a further visit.
Officers were currently obtaining further information on options for the Cabinet Working Group to review. The Cabinet Member assured Councillor Franks and the local ward members that they would be consulted on options. With regard to costs it was likely that the total costs of securing, maintaining then renovating a building in very poor condition and adapting it for some other use, would exceed the costs of demolition and any new build.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(2) T H A T the use of the urgency procedure under article 13 of the Council Constitution be agreed in relation to the authorisation to demolish the school buildings.
Reasons for decisions
(2) To ensure that the redundant buildings can be demolished during the school summer holidays.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet : 29th July 2013