Agenda Item No
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 24 February, 2014
Report of the Leader
Former Woodlands Centre, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan
Purpose of the Report
1. To seek Cabinet's approval to declare the Former Woodlands Centre as surplus to requirements.
2. To seek Cabinet's approval to dispose of the Former Woodlands Centre.
1. That the Former Woodlands Centre, be declared surplus to Council's requirements.
2. That the Director of Resources be granted authority to instruct property agents to dispose of the property by the most appropriate means on terms and conditions to be agreed in consultation with the Leader and Head of Legal Services.
3. That the Director of Resources, in consultation with the Leader, be granted authority to use delegated powers to accept the most appropriate bid received for the site.
4. That Head of Legal Services be authorised to prepare, complete and execute the required legal documentation in order to formalise the disposal.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. To ensure that the property has been declared surplus to the Council's requirements prior to disposal.
2. To ensure the Council obtains best value for the property in accordance with its Statutory and Fiduciary obligations.
3. To ensure a timely disposal of the site.
4. To legally formalise the disposal of the property.
3. Cabinet Minute C2077 resolved that:
(1). That the Director of Social Services in consultation with the Leader, the Cabinet Member for Adult Services and the Managing Director be authorised to make arrangements for securing demolition of the buildings at the Woodlands site;
(2) That the Director of Resources be granted authority to consider options for the site and report back to a future Cabinet Meeting.
4. In line with the resolution of Cabinet, the demolition of the buildings on site was programmed to commence during February 2014 and therefore the site is proposed to be cleared and ready to market from March onwards.
5. Officers in the Estates Section have consulted the Council's land owning Departments and there has been no interest in retaining this site for any specific purpose within respective departments.
6. Officers have also consulted Property Agents in respect of alternative use options for this site. The advice received confirms that the site is most likely to attract residential developers or perhaps small retailers. The recommendation is that the site is sold via informal tender with the benefit of a Planning statement which confirms the possible alternative uses that would be acceptable for the site in Planning Terms.
Relevant Issues and Options
7. The Council owns the subject property by virtue of its registered freehold interest.
8. The Council's Corporate Asset Management Group and its external partners on the Local Service Board have been consulted to ascertain if there is a use for the site within the Council or within the LSB. There has been no expression of interest from either in retaining this site and therefore it is recommended that the site is now surplus to this Council's requirements and agents will be appointed to place the site on the market for sale at the earliest opportunity.
9. The Council has sought the views of three qualified property agents as to the mode of disposal appropriate for this site and it was recommended that the site be sold via an informal tender process.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
10. It is anticipated that the disposal of the site will generate a capital receipt.
11. Agent's fees and Estates and Legal officer's costs will be incurred as a result of the disposal process.
12. The timely disposal of surplus assets should assist the Council in the reduction of its maintenance costs.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
13. There are no direct implications as a result of this report.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
14. The Council has both a Statutory and Fiduciary duty pursuant to S123 of the Local Government Act 1972 to secure best consideration for property disposals. There are exceptions to this rule, however the Council would not be looking to rely on these exceptions in this particular case.
Crime and Disorder Implications
15. Vacant sites may attract anti-social behaviour such as vandalism and unlawful occupation.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
16. The property will be marketed openly.
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 on this report and are supportive of the property being disposed. Cllr Ian Johnson has commented "As Local Member for the ATC Woodlands site, I would recommend that a consultation process is undertaken with local residents about the proposed disposal, exploring potential future uses of the location, comparable to the consultation that took place regarding the Bryneithin site in Dinas Powys".
20. Whilst Councillor Johnson's comments are noted, It is proposed that the request for consultation is dealt with via the usual Planning process following receipt of any planning application, at the appropriate time.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
21. Corporate Resources.
Sian Cornwell Shaw, Estates Officer
Mike Walsh, Legal Property and Contract Team Leader
Sian Davies, Managing Director