Agenda Item No 4

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Welsh Church Act Estate Committee: 16 July, 2018

Report of the Head of Finance

Land at Glebe Fields, Sully

Purpose of the Report

  1. To seek committees approval to appoint marketing agents to provide an options report for the marketing of vacant land at Glebe Fields.

Recommendations

  1. That Committee notes the current position with the land.
  2. That Committee approves the appointment of a marketing agent to consider possible demand for alternative uses for the land and gives delegated authority to the Head of Finance to appoint a suitable advisor in consultation with the Chair of this Committee.
  3. That Committee notes the interest in the land by the parties outlined in the report.
  4. That a further report highlighting the possible future uses for the land be presented to committee as soon as possible after the receipt of the marketing report.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To apprise Committee of the current position with the land.
  2. To seek Committees approval to appoint marketing agents to report on the future use of the land.
  3. To advise Committee of the recent interest in using the land from third parties.
  4. To update Committee at the earliest possibility.

Background

  1. The Head of Legal presented a report to Committee in January 2017 (minute 707 refers) which sought to update Committee on the progress made in relation to Resolution (3) of Committee Minute 390, authorising the instituting of legal proceedings to forfeit the lease held by Sully Centurions, for the Glebe Field.  The land is shown for identification purposes on the plan attached to Appendix A.
  2. Committee were advised that matters had progressed and a consent order had been entered into to gain possession of the land at Glebe Field.  The lease was forfeited and possession given up at the same time.  
  3. Since gaining possession of Glebe Fields, the land has been secured, with fences and locked gating having been erected. 

The Council's parks department were instructed (following consultation with the Chair of this Committee) to cut the grass during the grass cutting season and to cut back any overgrown areas to the boundaries in order to keep the land in good order, which has been undertaken.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Since possession of the land was secured, officers have received expressions of interest in using the land from third parties for a range of sporting activities such as local football and croquet clubs.    
  2. Committee are reminded that the sole concern of the Committee is to act in the best interest of the Trust in deciding the future use of land and property within the Trust's portfolio. 
  3. In order that Committee are fully briefed in connection with the options relating to the future use of this land, it is proposed that the Council's Planning section are asked to produce a brief statement outlining the Policy Context for the land and setting out a range of uses that the land could potentially be put to. 
  4. Following receipt of the planning statement, it is recommended that marketing agents are instructed to provide a report outlining what potential demand there might be for the range of uses outlined in the planning statement.  The report will then be presented to a future Committee meeting for discussion and in order to seek instructions on how best to proceed with marketing the land (either by lease or freehold sale), if Committee are minded to take forward either option.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There will be costs associated with engaging marketing agents to prepare a marketing report.  These costs are estimated to be no greater than £2500. There are no other resource implications as a direct result of this report as any recommendations from the marketing options report will be presented back to Committee prior to any further action being taken in respect of marketing the land.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no sustainability and climate change implications arising from this Report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Trust has a duty to manage lands and property held by them in accordance with the Scheme of Trust and with Charity Law.
  2. As part of the review process, legal colleagues will be asked to undertake a Legal Title review of the land to ensure there are no restrictions to the type of uses that the land can be put in the future, or any other legal considerations that need to be highlighted to the marketing agent in order to inform their report and recommendations.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. As the land remains vacant, there is a possibility that it may attract anti-social activities and unlawful entry. However the site as mentioned in paragraph 4 above has been gated and locked to mitigate for this possibility.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The sole concern of the Committee is to act in the best interest of the Trust.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. Not applicable.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Since Members of this Committee are acting as Committee Members independent of other Council's resolutions, no wider consultation has taken place.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. None.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Mike Walsh - Legal Services Committee Reports

Carolyn Michael - Operational Manager Accountancy

Officers Consulted

Lorna Cross - Operational Manager, Property

Responsible Officer:

Carys Lord, Head of Finance