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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Extraordinary Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 2nd December 2011

 

Report of the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration

 

Innovation Quarter: Hydraulic Pumphouse, Barry Waterfront

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To respond to the issues raised in a Call In from Councillor Richard Bertin regarding the Cabinet Report titled “Innovation Quarter: Hydraulic Pumphouse, Barry Waterfront” dated 2nd November 2011; and

2.             To respond to the issues raised in a Call In from Councillor Neil Moore regarding the said Cabinet Report.

Recommendations

1.             That the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) endorse the Recommendations of the Cabinet Report titled “Innovation Quarter: Hydraulic Pumphouse, Barry Waterfront” dated 2nd November 2011.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To seek Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) endorsement.

 

Background

3.             A report was submitted to the Cabinet meeting of 2nd November 2011 (refer to Appendix A) on the subject of the completed enveloping works at the Hydraulic Pumphouse property and included a proposal to market and dispose of the grade II Listed property.

4.             A Call In was received from Councillor Richard Bertin dated 7th November 2011 and is attached as Appendix B

5.             A Call In was received from Councillor Neil Moore dated 10th November 2011 and is attached as Appendix C.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             Prior to responding to the Call In papers it is important to set the context.  Firstly it is worth noting the progress of the Innovation Quarter within which the Hydraulic Pumphouse is located.   The recently completed external restoration of the Pumphouse along with other quality developments facilitated at the Innovation Quarter (such as the Business Service Centre, the West Quay Primary Care Centre, the IT Training Centre and the forthcoming 80 bed hotel and restaurant development by Whitbread) represent a major achievement in these difficult economic times.  The Council is equally committed to securing an appropriate end use for the Hydraulic Pumphouse, which is recognised as an important historic landmark in Barry.  

7.             Secondly, it is also important to note that the Innovation Quarter is being delivered as a regeneration partnership with the Welsh Government.  The Council cannot dispose of any land or property in the Quarter, such as the Hydraulic Pumphouse, without the consent of the Welsh Government.  The Welsh Government has been fully consulted and agrees to the Council's strategy to proceed with marketing the property as widely as possible on the basis of a 999 year lease. The Welsh Government's view is "…the marketing and disposal process you have set out…is the most appropriate way to proceed given the need to achieve the best possible regeneration outcomes from the Pumphouse scheme…".  The Welsh Government’s comments are made in the full knowledge that various parties have suggested the Pumphouse could be utilised for a museum or cinema.

8.             Within this context the key points raised by Councillors Richard Bertin and Neil Moore are addressed below:

9.             Councillor Richard Bertin's Call In is addressed as follows:

·               Councillor Bertin requests that "consideration be given to retaining the building and for it to become a much needed museum…"  RESPONSE: The Council would welcome bids from any individual or group wishing to propose a museum at the Pumphouse, which will be considered along with all other proposals received in response to the marketing process.  

·               Councillor Bertin asks "that all interested groups are consulted on this proposal…"; "…that an approach is made to the Welsh Government with this proposal…".  RESPONSE:  Firstly, as a part of an ongoing Options Appraisal Study by consultants into a Heritage Centre for the Vale of Glamorgan, local heritage groups have been consulted in detail.  A further workshop is to be held in early December.  Secondly, the Welsh Government is aware of the proposals for a museum/heritage centre.

10.        Councillor Neil Moore's issues raised are addressed as follows:

·               Councillor Moore suggests the Cabinet report is “premature” and requests "…that more effort should have been made….to get an end user such as a cinema complex or use as a Museum for the area or a combination of uses…"  RESPONSE: The Council and Welsh Government have carefully thought through the future of the Pumphouse and jointly agreed that the best way forward is to market the property in the first instance.  This is regarded as the fairest way of ensuring all potential bidders have the opportunity to be considered including bids for a museum and/or cinema use.

·               Councillor Neil Moore states "…The proposition of releasing it on a 999 year lease is unreasonable…".  RESPONSE: As stated above this term of lease has been jointly agreed after careful consideration with the Welsh Government.  The grade II Listed Pumphouse although externally restored will still probably require a major investment in order for it to be brought back into economic use.  A long term lease would provide more security to a bidder by contrast to a short term lease, and thereby assist the investor to put together a sustainable business case. As a Listed building any bidder will face more constraints on the fitting out and development of the site and property and hence offering a long term recognises the potential cost implications associated with this fact.

·               Councillor Neil Moore suggests "…officers to contact all recognised Cinema Operators and other potential operators…".  RESPONSE: In accordance with the marketing strategy agreed with the Welsh Government property agents with the necessary expertise and contacts required to thoroughly market the property will be appointed.  The property agents will be required to widely market to all sectors including cinema operators in order to maximise the opportunity to secure an end use.

·               Councillor Neil Moore requests information "…as to whether or not any funding would be available to convert this building into a Museum type premises…"  RESPONSE: Funding sources that bidders could consider investigating are possibly Lottery Funding, CADW and Welsh Government funding.

  

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

11.        Refer to the attached Cabinet report in Appendix A.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.        Refer to the Cabinet report in Appendix A.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.        Refer to the Cabinet report in Appendix A.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.        Refer to the Cabinet report in Appendix A.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.        Refer to the Cabinet report in Appendix A.

Policy Framework and Budget

16.        Refer to the Cabinet report in Appendix A.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.        Refer to the Cabinet report in Appendix A

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Mark White – Major Projects Manager (Tel 01446 704698).

 

 

Officers Consulted

Estates Group Manager

Principal Lawyer

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick – Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration.

 

 

Also attached - Extract of Cabinet Minute - 2nd November, 2011