Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Cabinet Meeting: 28th April, 2014


Report of the Cabinet Member for Adult Services


The future use of Gardenhurst


Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform Cabinet about the outcome of the in-depth building survey in respect of Gardenhurst, undertaken because of the need to investigate possible issues about its structural integrity and then to reach informed decisions about the cost effectiveness of using it as a venue for adult day services.

2.         To declare the property surplus to the Council's requirements and seek consent to dispose of the property at the earliest opportunity.


1.         That Cabinet notes the success of the temporary relocation of the Woodlands day services to Hen Goleg and approves this move on a long-term basis, which means that the decision about transferring it to Gardenhurst becomes redundant on the basis that this is a better use of resources and service users are benefiting from the quality of support now available to them in the new setting.

2.         That Gardenhurst is declared surplus to the Council's requirements.

3.         That the Director of Resources be granted delegated authority to appoint marketing agents (to advise on the best method of disposal and to assist with marketing) and to dispose of Gardenhurst (subject to statutory planning and Asset Management processes) in consultation with the Leader, Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Head of Legal Services;

4.         That the Director of Resources be granted delegated authority to accept the best offer received for the property at the appropriate time.

5.         That Cabinet authorises the Head of Legal Services to prepare, complete and execute the appropriate legal documentation required to dispose of Gardenhurst.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To allow day service users who were using Woodlands to remain in Hen Goleg as a longer-term arrangement.

2, 3, 4, & 5.  To ensure that the Council disposes of Gardenhurst in a timely fashion and in

order to secure best consideration from its sale.


3.         In 2011 Cabinet authorised closure of the Woodlands Day Centre in Barry because it was in a very poor state of repair and also relocation of the service to the Gardenhurst site in Penarth.

4.         However, a subsequent condition survey report for Gardenhurst identified that significant repairs and maintenance would be required to bring the property up to current building standards.  The same report also highlighted the need to examine more fully the condition of the entire building, especially in respect of its structural integrity.

5.         Having regard to these findings, Cabinet (8th May 2013) considered the financial implications of continuing with renovations and agreed to suspend all work while an in-depth building survey was completed.  At the same time, given health and safety imperatives to move out of Woodlands as soon as possible, the day service there was temporarily relocated to Hen Goleg.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         In the original renovation plan for Gardenhurst, the existing kitchen was to be refitted to ensure that it met safety requirements and could provide a training kitchen for service users to develop their independent living skills.  The cost of these changes is estimated to be in the region of £50k.  Additionally, the existing lift is no longer serviceable and requires replacement at an additional cost of £30k.

7.         The new in-depth building survey has highlighted further requirements to restore, upgrade and maintain the building to an appropriate level.  The estimated cost to repair the building following the survey is at least £330k, even without further investigations.  The most  significant items are summarised below with an estimated cost implication provided by Property Services.

·           external maintenance of masonry, woodwork & metalwork - £160k;

·           strengthening first floor joints - £90k;

·           weatherproofing the basement - £30k.

In addition to these repair costs, it is evident that on-going maintenance costs for the building will be significant.

8.         The temporary relocation of the former Woodlands Day Service to Hen Goleg has produced very positive outcomes.  All affected service users were involved and engaged in the arrangements for this move. They have reported greater satisfaction with the new arrangements. Through the ability to share resources, increased opportunities have been made available to all of the service user groups who use Hen Goleg.

9.         Gardenhurst has also provided office facilities for the integrated Community Mental Health Team for Older People, which includes staff employed by the Council and by the Cardiff & Vale UHB.  This space was not well suited for office accommodation and the team were relocated to Canolfan Ty Jenner in Barry at the beginning of April 2014 where they will be able to work more closely with other colleagues who specialise in services for older people.

10.      Following departure of the Community Mental Health Team for Older People, the building is no longer used by the Social Services Directorate and it will be made secure.  Given the high cost of renovating and maintaining a building for which the Directorate has no clear requirement, it is recommended that the property is declared surplus and passed to the Estates Team for disposal at the earliest opportunity.  As part of the disposal process, the Estates Team will advise the Local Service Board Asset Management Group and the Council's Corporate Asset Management Group that the property is available.  If any of the Council's LSB Asset Management Partners requires the property, then any discussion about disposing of the site to them would be on the basis of a full Market Value being payable upon transfer of the property.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.      The estimated cost to bring the property up to current building standards is £330k.  The cost of further changes to the kitchen area is estimated to be in the region of £50k and replacing the lift would incur expenditure of a further £30k.  The full building condition survey on Gardenhurst has revealed the need for further remedial works.  It is difficult to disaggregate all these additional costs from those in the initial condition survey.  However, the overall increase in cost from that initial estimate is a further £76k, which does not include on-going maintenance.  Therefore, this provides a total estimate of £410k.

12.      Agents' fees will be incurred for marketing and disposal of the property but these fees will be deducted from the eventual capital receipt.  Legal and Estates officer resources will be required to deal with the disposal.

13.      It is anticipated that a capital receipt will be achieved from the sale of the property together with revenue savings.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14.      Gardenhurst is not an energy efficient building.  By marketing it for private use, it is hoped that this aspect will be improved through local development.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15.      There are no legal implications as a direct result of this report and its recommendations.

Crime and Disorder Implications

16.      There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report, however vacant buildings may attract anti-social behaviour or unlawful occupation.  The property will be secured by security shutters and alarmed which will mitigate the risk of any such occurrences.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

17.      There are no direct equal opportunities implications as a result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

18.      This report contributes to the following corporate objective: "working with partners to meet the diverse needs of our residents in ways that will safeguard and support those who are most vulnerable and in greatest need; help people to keep fit and healthy; and increase social cohesion and equality of opportunity for all."

Policy Framework and Budget

19.      This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20.      All ward members have been consulted for their views and neither of them has any objections to the proposal. One member wanted to ensure that any future use would be in keeping with the conservation area as the building is of historic interest.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21.      Social Care and Health.

Background Papers

Scrutiny Committee 6th September, 2010: Day Care Services for Adults in the Vale of Glamorgan - Minute No. 360

Cabinet 15th December, 2010: Modernising Day Care Services for Adults - Minute No. C1157

Scrutiny Committee 7th February, 2011: Modernising Day Care Services - Minute No. 861 

Cabinet 6th July 2011: Modernising Day Care Services - Minute No. C1372

Cabinet 25th February 2013: Final Revenue Proposals 2013/14 and Financial Strategy to 2016/17 Appendix D.

Cabinet 8th May 2013: The Future Use of Gardenhurst - Minute No.C1325


Contact Officer

Lance Carver, Head of Adult Services


Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Group Estates Officer


Responsible Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services