Agenda Item No. 13

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 16th July 2018

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning

 

Former Renewal Area offices, 198 Holton Road Barry

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. This report sets out proposals to lease the former Renewal Area Offices at 198 Holton Road, Barry to a third party.

Recommendations

  1. That the information is noted and considered so that a decision can be made under Part 2 of this Cabinet agenda.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. In order that a decision can be made under Part 2.

Background

  1. This matter is reported in more detail in a Part 2 report to this meeting of Cabinet.
  2. In order to facilitate the delivery of the Castleland Renewal Area programme, and in particular engagement with the local community, premises at 198 Holton Road were purchased and refurbished.  The Renewal Team was based at the premises. This was achieved with Welsh Government grant, and in this respect clawback conditions on that grant impact on future decisions.
  3. Since the programme has completed the premises are now vacant, albeit a temporary use was accommodated in the interim with Welsh Government consent.
  4. 198 Holton Road is a 3 storey office building, fitted to modern standards, in the upper section of Holton Road outside of the main retail area. Appendix 1 shows the location of the premises.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Under the conditions of grant the Council would be required to repay Welsh Government the proceeds of any sale up to the value of the grant, or any rental income received if the premises are not used for regeneration purposes. This condition has no time limitation. An internal transfer to a different service area is regarded as a sale and market value applied.
  2. There are no requirements from a Regeneration Service perspective for the premises.
  3. Discussions have taken place with Welsh Government Officers since the property became vacant, and agreement has been reached (subject to Ministerial approval) that if the premises are let to a third party the Council can retain some surplus rental income if such is used for agreed regeneration purposes in Barry.  One such potential use has been agreed in respect of the Holton Road Grant programme, which provides grants to qualifying property owners in the main retail area, for external building fabric improvements.
  4. If 198 Holton Road is sold, again agreement with officers has been reached and the proceeds of sale up to the value of the grant will become repayable unless ring-fenced for agreed regeneration purposes.
  5. A local charity has approached the Council seeking to relocate within Barry to the premises. The Part 2 report to this Cabinet meeting sets out this proposal  in more detail.
  6. No marketing has taken place, but an external valuation commissioned and the proposed tenant accepts this rental value.
  7. The charity provides important local services and leasing the building to it would support the Council's wider corporate objectives.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. Welsh Government could reclaim in full all surplus rent income or proceeds of any sale up to the value of grant. Welsh Government Officers have indicated arrangements as set out in the report would be available, allowing the Council to use income for regeneration projects, but with Ministerial approval required for any specific arrangement.  Welsh Government is aware of and very supportive at officer level of the proposed arrangement with the proposed tenant

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no direct sustainability or climate change implications from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. A lease agreement will need to be entered into with proposed tenant in order to regularise their proposed occupation of the property.
  2. The Council has a duty to achieve best consideration pursuant to S123 of the Local Government Act 1972 when disposing of land and property.  A lease for a term greater than 7 years is defined as a disposal for the purposes of the Act.  It is proposed that the lease will be at market rental value as confirmed by the external valuation report received.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. This is set out in the Part 2 report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. This is set out in the Part 2 report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. In respect of Well-Being Outcome 2: An environmentally responsible and Prosperous Vale (Objective 2: Promoting regeneration, economic growth and employment), the Council would be securing investment resources for the regeneration of Barry.
  2. The Part 2 report provides further information.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for executive decision by Cabinet. 

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Councillors A. Collins and P. Drake have been consulted on the proposal set out in this report as Ward Members for Castleland.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Environment & Regeneration.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Bob Guy, Operational Manager, Regeneration.

Officers Consulted

Committee Reports, Legal Services

Operational Manager, Property

Head of Finance

Operational Manager, Accountancy

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Managing Director