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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Trust Committee:   11 July 2011

 

Report of the Director of Finance, ICT and Property

 

Cowbridge Lower School Disposal Update and Future of

Former Playing Fields, Cowbridge

 

Purpose of Report

 

1.             To update Trustees on progress made in relation to the disposal of the Lower School site, Town Mill Road, Cowbridge.

2.             To seek instructions from the Trust in respect of the former school playing fields identified on the plan at Appendix A.

Recommendations

1.             That the Trust notes the progress made to date in respect of the sale of the Lower School site.

2.             That the Trust consider the future of the former School playing fields site

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To keep Trustees advised as to progress.

2.             To seek a resolution from the Trustees as to the way forward for the former playing fields site.

Background

3.             At the meeting of Trust Committee on 13th May 2011 (Minute numbers 27 and 30 refer) it was resolved that following extensive marketing and evaluation of Tender bids by the Trust's agents Messrs Rawlins and Madley that Taylor Wimpey by accepted as the preferred bidder.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             Since Taylor Wimpey were accepted as preferred bidder, contracts have  been drafted by the Council's legal department and issued to Taylor Wimpey's lawyers for comment.  At the time of drafting this report the Council's Legal Department was yet to receive any comments from Taylor Wimpey's lawyers, although on the basis of feedback from the Council's agent, it is anticipated that any amendments will be of a fairly minor nature.  It is therefore hoped that exchange of contracts will occur within the next few weeks.

5.             Taylor Wimpey have been making good progress and have had accessed the site  with their ecologist and technical surveying teams.  Work is therefore moving at a significant pace.

6.             It is therefore hoped that exchange of contracts can take place at an early date.  This will then allow Taylor Wimpey to work to submitting the planning application in a timely fashion.

7.             It has recently been confirmed by the Local Education Authority that they will not have a use for the playing field site after the end of this current academic year and therefore it is now advisable to consider the future of the site (shown on the plan at Appendix A).  This land measures approximately 3.50 acres.

8.             The Council's Planning Department have been asked to provide a statement relating to the future possible uses of the playing field site.  The planning response can be seen attached as Appendix B.  It is assumed that based on the planning advice that there would be no prospect of an alternative use being granted for the land.

9.             It is now therefore for Trustees to consider whether they wish to dispose of the playing field land or retain it.  Should Trustees determine that they would like to market the site for sale, it is recommended that quotations be sought from suitably qualified agents to assist with this process.

10.        There are areas of the site that are not currently fenced.  It is recommended that should the Trust wish to dispose of this land then the site's boundaries not currently fenced are clearly demarked in order that prospective purchasers can see what land is being sold..

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.        Should Trustees resolve to market the playing fields site, agents fees will be incurred as a result.  Should Trustees wish to fence the boundary of the site which remains open, this will incur cost however this can be assessed and agreed with the Chair of this Committee before incurring any costs in this report.

12.        A capital receipt will be received upon disposal of the playing fields site if resolved to sell, however the receipt will be minimal due to the planning position in respect of alternative uses.

13.        Legal Implications. The Trust have a duty to manage lands and buildings held by them in accordance with the scheme of the Trust and with Charity Law.

Crime and Disorder Implications

14.        There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.        There are no equal opportunities implication as a direct result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.        The sole concern of the Trustees is to action the best interests of the Trust.

Policy Framework and Budget

17.        No applicable

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18.        None

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

19.        None

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Lorna Cross, Group Estates Officer

Officers Consulted

 Lawyer, Stuart Lyon

Responsible Officer:

Director of Finance, ICT and Property