Your Councillors


Communities Housing and Environment

11th December 2018

 

Heather House

 

Final Decision-Maker

Communities, Housing and Environment Committee

Lead Head of Service/Lead Director

Head of Regeneration and Economic Development

Lead Officer and Report Author

Andrew Connors, Housing and Delivery Manager

Classification

Public – with Exempt Appendix 2.

 

Exempt – The information contained within the appendix has been considered exempt under the following paragraph of part 1 of schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972:-

 

3 = Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

Public Interest Test

 

It is in the public interest that this appendix be taken in private because it relates to commercially sensitive information.

Wards affected

Parkwood

 

Executive Summary

 

A report was taken to this Committee in October 2018 regarding the results of the condition survey of Heather House, carried out by Faithorn Farrell Timms (FFT).  This was to assess the building and estimate costs of keeping the building open for the next 15 years. It was recommended that a further report be submitted to the Committee in December 2018 outlining an alternative redevelopment option.

 

ON Architects were instructed to carry out an initial Feasibility Study of the Heather House Community Centre and Pavilion Building site. The instruction was to assess the redevelopment potential of the site to provide a new Community Centre facility and residential housing.

 

Due to the age and construction of Heather House it has now reached the end of its

useful life and a decision is required as to whether significant investment is

made to give the property a further life-span, close the building or demolish

and pursue a redevelopment of the site.

 

This report outlines the potential funding that could be explored as part of a procurement and redevelopment process, which would have a direct impact upon the subsidy requirement from the Council. 

 

It is possible that, following a procurement process, the subsidy requirement might be too onerous.  In which case, the Committee will be presented with a further report and invited to choose between alternative options, outlined as Option 1 and Option 2 in this paper.

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

 

That:

1.   A procurement process be undertaken to identify a suitable partner, or partners, to contribute to the design, investment and management of the new facility.

 

2.   A report be submitted to the Committee outlining high level findings from the procurement process and the exact subsidy required from Maidstone Borough Council to complete a comprehensive redevelopment.

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Communities Housing and Environment Committee

11th December 2018

Communities Housing and Environment Committee

16h April 2019



Heather House

 

 

1.      INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

1.1     Heather House is a community facility owned and directly managed by the Council. It is located on Bicknor Road backing onto the Parkwood Recreation Ground providing facilities to enable indoor sports and leisure activities.

 

1.2     Adjacent to Heather House is a skate-park, games court and play equipment; and next to this is the Pavilion building. The Royal British Legion Social Club (RBLSC) has a 125 year lease of the pavilion building with the Council under which the RBLSC has full repairing obligations. Consequently no rent is payable to the Council. The lease has an unexpired term of 96 years with no break clause in the agreement. The Pavilion comprises a social community facility with a licensed bar and changing room facilities used by the Weavering Warriors Rugby Football Club (WWRFC) who also use the recreation ground for their pitches.

 

1.3     Due to the age and construction of Heather House it has now reached the end of its useful life and a decision is required as to whether significant investment is made to give the property a further life-span, close the building, or demolish and pursue a redevelopment of the site. 

  

1.4     A report was taken to this Committee on the 16th October 2018, following the instruction of Faithorn Farrell Timms (FFT) to carry out a condition survey of Heather House, to assess the building and estimate costs of keeping the building open for the next 15 years.

 

1.5     The report by FFT described Heather House as in a ‘fair condition’ for its age, but has identified the roof as being beyond economic repair. There are other components that were recommended for replacement within the next 12 months, and they include external cladding, doors and windows. To carry out all the works that have been recommended within the next 12 months would have an estimated cost of £395,386. To keep Heather House open for the next 15 years, FFT have estimated the cost to be £765,148.

 

1.6     The aforementioned report made a recommendation to submit a further report to the committee outlining an alternative redevelopment option for the site. ON architects were instructed to carry out an initial feasibility study to assess the initial concept design of a new community centre facility and residential housing on the Heather House and Pavilion Building site.

Feasibility Study / Design Work

1.7     The architects have undertaken work on the initial concept design of a residential development and new build community centre. Planning advice was obtained to help inform the initial concept design proposals. The site is not allocated within the Local Plan, but lies within the development boundary of the urban area for Maidstone and thus its redevelopment is acceptable in principle having regard to the policies particularly relating to community facilities and open space. 

1.8     Policy DM23 for example seeks to protect community facilities. The relevant part here being: ‘Proposals which would lead to a loss of community facilities will not be permitted unless demand within the locality no longer exists or a replacement facility acceptable to the council is provided’. As a redevelopment of the site would suggest a loss of existing community facilities, it would be required to demonstrate that any new community facility building incorporates the existing facilities and these are sufficient to mitigate the loss of the two buildings (Heather House and the Pavilion) including meeting the needs of the additional occupiers in the new residential development.

 

1.9     This may involve a case that any new scheme proposal provides a multi-functional replacement community building that can secure such replacement facilities as part of a new scheme. It would be expected that the merits of the replacement community facility be justified in any submission showing how the new building will meet existing user needs and those of the future needs of the community and how this overcomes the policy extract above.

 

1.10      Areas within and to the rear of the site is open space and areas between the buildings are children’s play space and open areas of amenity spacePolicy DM19 states: Proposals for new development which would result in the net loss of existing open space or sport and recreation facilities will not be permitted unless there is a proven overriding need for the development’. This together with the improved community facilities and the requirements of the Open Space and other relevant policies would need to be addressed as part of any planning application.

 

1.11      With respect to residential housing proposals, a block of up to 4 storey in height located on the Pavilion Building area is considered in keeping with the wider area, however there would be a need to have regard to Golding Homes lower profile development to the north and the two storey properties oppositeOne option being a steeped roof line and elevation to ensure the development does not overly dominate its neighbours. It was also encouraged that any residential development addresses the street scene to create a sense of enclosure to the street rather than having car parking within the frontage. Further pre-application advice would need to be taken prior to the submission of any planning application on the back of detailed design proposals.

 

1.12 Discussions have taken place with representatives from the RBLSC as to what their requirements would be in any new replacement community facility that they could continue to operate from. This namely being a social lounge, bar, kitchen and toilets.

 

1.13 The brief given to the architects was to take into account the aforementioned planning advice for the overall site layout and to create a multi-use community facility incorporating the requirements of the RBLSC into the design.  Residential housing following national space standards.




1.14 The architects have undertaken a site analysis and research into the planning history of the site and neighbouring dwellings and provided sketch designs based on the planning advice, brief and constraints of the site. An initial design proposal site layout is shown at Appendix 1.

1.15 The initial design proposal shows the demolition of Heather House and the Pavilion buildings and the capacity for a new multi-use community centre facility where the existing Heather House is located, together with 55 car parking spaces.  There are 42 residential dwellings proposed on the part of the site where the Pavilion Building is located, together with 42 car parking spaces. The design proposal includes cycle store provision and soft landscaping.  Within the site, the existing play areas are shown not to be affected.
 

1.16 The architect has currently incorporated 11 studio flats into the initial design proposal, along with 17 one-bed flats. It is considered that these will need to be changed to 2-bed flats in order to better suit a rented tenure market.  It is thought that this change will reduce the overall residential numbers down to approximately 36. It should be noted that Park Wood is in a lower value residential area compared to other parts of Maidstone so is not ideally placed to deliver any residential housing for market sale. The Council would also need to carefully consider the viability of any proposals put forward and how this may affect the delivery of planning obligations and policy requirements such as affordable housing due to the indicative significant subsidy gap that exists as referred to within section 1.24 below.

1.17 The existing Heather House Community Centre is 678m2 in size. Initial design proposals incorporate a new Community Centre facility of 691m2 in size. A full indicative schedule of accommodation is summarised below.

Area

Size

Entrance & circulation

73m2

Main Sports Hall

180m2

Second Sports Hall

100m2

Storage (main/second hall)

50m2

Counselling/Meeting Room

60m2

Changing Rooms / Toilets

89m2

Sports Store

6m2

Boiler/Plant Room

5m2

Accessible Toilet

5m2

Cleaners Store

5m2

Circulation

9m2

Kitchen

22m2

Social Lounge / Licensed Bar

87m2

Total

691m2

 

1.18 The initial design proposal is seeking to create a multi-use community centre facility that can cater for a wide range of activities and services used by lots of different people and organisations within the community.  This will ensure that the ability to retain existing users and attract new ones as well as external parties interested in the future management of the building is not compromised.  This in turn will also maximise the potential to generate sufficient revenue through multi-use activity bookings that will support the ongoing future sustainability of the building.

Housing Development and Regeneration

1.19 The Council has approved a further £34m of capital investment, over a five year period to invest in market rented housing. This investment will increase the overall supply of housing in the borough as well as deliver a commercial return to the Council.

1.20 Any market rent properties delivered in a redevelopment of the site could be retained by the Council, within its property company Maidstone Property Holdings Limited.  The market rental dwellings would provide a source of long term revenue income generation that would be used to support core services in the medium to long term.

Indicative Financial Summaries

1.21 The indicative financial summaries for a redevelopment of the site to provide a new multi-use community centre and residential housing is shown at Exempt Appendix 2. There is one financial summary for a new-build community centre and another for a notional residential development of 36 dwellings.

 

1.22 A number of assumptions have been used to calculate these indicative summaries based on build cost estimates, local market research and intelligence.  Estimated market rental values have been calculated using local comparable property values and average prices per square metre for the Park Wood area.

 

1.23 The stand-alone indicative financial summary for the residential (based on a market rent tenure) demonstrates a financially viable scheme and meets our minimum financial criteria. However, it would not just be delivering a commercial return, but will provide a number of social and economic benefits by promoting housing and economic growth in an area of deprivation. The appraisal at present has not included any affordable housing within the residential proposal.

 

1.24 The indicative estimated total scheme cost for a new-build community centre (691m2) is £2,539,756.  If a residential scheme of 36 dwellings for market rent was delivered via Maidstone Property Holdings or indeed another developer, a land receipt/income of £504,000 (£14k per plot) could be generated for the residential land. This could go towards the total scheme cost for a new community centre and would leave a subsidy gap of £2,035,756.

 

1.25 It is demonstrated that a comprehensive redevelopment of the site cannot be delivered without significant subsidy. The income from the residential housing is not going to be sufficient to cross subsidise the development as a whole and the delivery of a new multi-use community centre. Therefore the Council will need to provide the level of subsidy required to help finance the project. In order to reduce the reliance on the Council, a number of other subsidy sources could also be explored as set out below.

Potential Funding Sources

1.26 In order to help finance a comprehensive redevelopment of the site, there are a number of funding subsidy sources that the Council could pursue if the committee decides to pursue this option. Some useful discussions regarding external funding sources have already taken place with Kent Sports and Stones Community Trust. A summary of each of these sources of potential subsidy are given below. It should be noted that this list is not exhaustive and there are  other grant making trusts and funding bodies that could also be approached.

·           MBC Subsidy: via savings from other areas of Committee spend:  One option is for the Committee to consider making savings in other areas of revenue spend so as to generate financial capacity for capital investment in the facility. For example, every £50,000 of revenue saving in perpetuity could broadly release £1m for capital investment.

·           Sport England: They recognise the considerable financial pressures that local authorities are currently under and the need to strategically review and rationalise leisure stock so that cost-effective and financially sustainable provision is available in the long-term. Their Strategic Facilities and Community Asset Fund is designed to support the sector to invest strategically to deliver the outcomes essential to local communities. The funds direct capital investment into a number of key local area projects, providing new opportunities to encourage people to live healthier and more active lifestyles. They want to help local organisations to create quality and financially sustainable facilities that benefit their community for years to come – which may mean providing help to get things up and running too

Medium-scale investments typically range from between £15,000 to £50,000. These will address more substantial changes. This might be an upgrade to an existing facility or developing a new space in the community. By exception, they will also consider larger investments ranging from £50,000 to £150,000.

·            KCC Village and Community Hall Grant Scheme: Grants of up to £50,000 are available for local communities to improve an existing hall or build a new hall.  A grant is conditional upon match funding.  They can offer a pound for every pound raised, up to 50% of eligible project costs.  The scheme is open to any village or community hall managed by an independent management committee. All applicants must be of registered charitable status.

·           Big Lottery Fund - Reaching Communities England: Voluntary or community groups such as a charity, co-operative, social enterprise or community interest company, a not for profit company limited by guarantee or a statutory organisation such as a local authority or school can apply for this funding.


Through Reaching Communities funding you can apply for between £10,000 and £500,000. They can fund some or all of the costs associated with delivering projects, including staff salaries, training, volunteer expenses, management costs, equipment, premises costs, monitoring and evaluation and overheads.

·           Football Foundation - Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund - Grants of up to £500,000 to support the development of new or refurbished local football facilities, such as changing pavilions and playing surfaces, for the benefit of communities.  Stones Community Trust (supporting the work of Maidstone United Football Club) have expressed an initial interest in relocating and potentially taking on the management of a newly created multi-use community facility on the Heather House site. This could strengthen any application for this type of funding.

 

·           Golding Homes: They have residential and commercial stock in this locality and have undertaken a significant programme of regeneration within the immediate area.  As such they might be willing to provide investment towards a new community facility for the benefit of their residents and the community that it would serve. Golding Vision is the community development arm of Golding Homes. They invest £500,000 each year on a programme of innovative and ambitious community projects and activities, which focus on four key priorities. Namely Place Shaping; Safer Communities; Health and Wellbeing and Financial Inclusion.

 

·           Jubilee Church: They also have property within the locality and make investments within the communities they operate from. They have expressed an initial interest in participating in the project. 

 

1.27 It should be noted that there are no existing s106 contributions that have been identified of which could go towards the funding of a new community facility. Some external funding sources will be dependent on the uses and activities the facility can provide and who operates/manages it. A collaborative multi-use partnership type approach is likely to lever in more external financial resources and support.


Developing the Brief - Engaging the Local Community

1.28 Should the committee decide to pursue the option of a comprehensive redevelopment of the site, it is vital that the development of the brief and design needs to be community not officer led. Hence a detailed design is not pivotal at this stage. Heather House is located in an area where there are concerns such as health inequality, well-being, deprivation, lack of employment opportunities and training issues.  Sufficient time will need to be allowed to get the building brief right and reflect the care that needs to be taken to produce a quality facility capable of meeting the evolving needs of the community and the services it needs.




1.29 Maidstone Boxing Club currently operates from Reed Hall (the existing smaller hall within Heather House) on a 3 year lease. They run a number of boxing and fitness classes from the facility.   It will be important to consult with them so that a replacement building could continue to provide a base for them, bring in revenue and so they can be a key partner in potentially providing a community gym/fitness facility in order to help address health inequalities in the area.

 

1.30 Communication and consultation with the community will need to be regular, appropriate, engaging, two-way and easy to access, to ensure the project is owned and valued by them. It will be important to ensure that communication and consultation with existing user groups and the community as a whole is continuous from the initial design concepts and planning stages through to completion and the ongoing development and running of the building.

 

1.31 This will ensure that the centre is having an impact on its community by making a difference and meeting local needs. In order to fully assess local need and develop the detailed design proposals a variety of community engagement activities and tools can be considered and utilised such as:

 

·           Questionnaires/surveys

·           Suggestion boxes

·           Workshops and focus groups

·           Analysis of local data, census data, local reports and community profile

·           Community mapping

·           Networking attending key strategic meetings (ie local area

partnership meetings, local community forums)

1.32 Making the most of existing community networks and partnerships particularly via the Ward Councillors will prove vital in developing design proposals further.  It is considered that it would also prove beneficial to look at good practice elsewhere and look at other community centres as part of a benchmarking exercise. Looking at existing facilities and learning from design mistakes will help to gather experience and knowledge and focus thoughts and attention to detail on further design proposals going forward.

Planning and Construction Programme

1.33 It is likely that a development of this nature would require a 24 month construction period of which simultaneous closure of both buildings would be required in order to deliver the build programme as cost effectively and quickly as possible. Prior to this, appointment of the various professionals for the project team, consultation, further detailed design work, committee approval to proceed, planning consent and appointment of a contractor is likely to take around 18 months. So a start on site would not be envisaged at the earliest until the summer of 2020.

 

1.34 Closing both facilities in the short-term is likely to generate frustration, particularly for the various clubs and people that use the facilities. The Council will need to consider the resource implication to enable assistance to be given to find alternative venues. It will be important that existing user groups are fully engaged during the project from start to finish so that they feel a sense of ownership and commitment to any new build facility.

 

Future Management

 

1.35 The future management and operation of a new community centre would also need to be carefully considered.  Heather House is the only remaining

community facility owned and directly managed by the Council.  Best practice adopted elsewhere by local authorities has been to go through Community Asset Transfer. Community Asset Transfer is the transfer of management and/or ownership of public land and buildings from its owner (usually a local authority) to a community organisation (such as a Community Trust, a Community Interest Company or a social enterprise).

1.36 The availability of appropriate professionals from within the community, who can be part of the management team could be explored. The local community may have access to a range of appropriately skilled volunteers who are prepared to support the project. This has been shown to be a great advantage and also a significant cost saving in other community centre projects across the country.

1.37 The Stones Community Trust in particular has expressed initial interest in any new community facility that is built on the Heather House site as a potential base for the newly created SCT to relocate to. Structured independently of Maidstone United Football Club and supervised by independent trustees, the SCT will be a charitable trust and will take over responsibility for setting up, organising and delivering community events designed to provide sports, football and social activities to local people including disadvantaged and disabled adults and children. The SCT activities will be complementary to those of the football club and are currently based at the Gallagher Stadium.

1.38 They view this as potentially an ideal location to relocate to due to the community outreach work they could do and the close proximity to the open space/recreational ground and the existing sports pitches there.

1.39 It will be important to keep the design as flexible as possible to allow for changing circumstances and trends and that any future management arrangement is set up to ensure that there are no further calls on financial support from the council.

 

 

2.        AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

2.1     The first option is to decide to close Heather House and not carry out any refurbishment work or provide a new replacement facility. With the future of the site to be determined at some point later in time, which might involve disposing of the asset and land to another party. This is not recommended at this stage as there would still continue to be uncertainty as to the future of the building and site.  The potential loss of a community centre could pose a significant and negative impact on the existing users and surrounding neighbourhood and lose the opportunity to bring about social change and improve the quality of life in the local area. The building would also still need to be insured, secured and looked after.

 

2.2     The second option is to refurbish and retain Heather House in its current location and building. The comprehensive survey carried out by FFT  estimated the cost for carrying out the refurbishment to be in excess of £765k. This option would increase the useful life by a further 15 years and if the Committee were to consider making savings in other areas of revenue spend this would equate to £38,250 revenue savings per annum in perpetuity. This is likely to cause disruption to the current users of the building, as it is unlikely that the building could be used during the refurbishment, particularly if this involves disturbing the roof with its hazardous materials.

Refurbishment is also not always the most effective long-term option. It can sometimes look like a cheaper way to meet current needs but will not allow for future flexibility and long term future sustainability.  The buildings layout and internal structure remains dated and therefore limits its use and ability to attract new users. The current building is considered to be under-used and is unable to generate sufficient bookings to meet its financial target. This option is therefore not recommended at this stage as being best value for money when weighed against the limited potential to generate revenue through increased bookings.


2.3     Option 3 is to consider demolishing Heather House and replacing it with a new facility on the same site. The cost of this would be in the region of £2,539,756 million. This option is not recommended as the cost of the new building would have to be met in total. Income generated from the new building alone would not cover the cost of replacement. If the Committee were to consider making savings in other areas of revenue spend this would equate to £126,988 revenue savings per annum in perpetuity.

 

2.4     Option 4 would involve demolishing both Heather House and The Pavilion. This option would enable a new multi-purpose community facility to be established on the Heather House site and releasing the land on which the Pavilion Building is situated to become available for residential housing. This in turn could be purchased by Maidstone Property Holding Ltd to provide much needed housing and the cost of the project could be partially offset from the income generated by the indicative land receipt (£504k) for the residential housing.  

A new community facility would act as a hub for the community and enable access to programmes, activities and services for those who need it most. There would be an indicative subsidy requirement of £2,035,756 and if the committee were to consider making savings in other areas of revenue spend this would equate to £101,750 revenue savings per annum in perpetuity. Sources of subsidy to help finance the scheme could also be pursued and appropriate future management arrangements considered ensuring an effective and efficient use of the resource. It could be possible to reduce the Council’s subsidy contribution significantly by running a procurement process to identify an organisation or organisations that would commit to co-funding the new facility as well as managing and stewarding it on a long term basis outside of the council.

 

 

3.        PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

3.1     The preferred option at this stage is Option 4 as outlined in Paragraph 2.4 above. This option permits the assembly of land in the general locality to provide a new and purpose built multi-use facility for community use. This option rationalises the two dated buildings situated on Bicknor Road to create a better resource that could provide a wider range of activity and potential outreach work to serve the local community and ensure the long term future sustainability of the building.

3.2     This option would enable the land on which the Pavilion Building is currently located to be used for residential purposes in harmony with the existing residential accommodation on Bicknor Road. The replacement of both Heather House and The Pavilion would also enhance an area of deprivation that has recently benefitted from major regeneration programmes by Golding Homes and new developments in the surrounding areas.

3.3     Officers can run a procurement process to identify suitable partner or partners that would contribute towards the formulation of the design brief, contribute capital so as to minimise the financial commitment from the Council, manage the facility and steward it on an arms-length basis from the Council. A follow up report will then be presented to Committee so that it can make an informed decision whether to proceed with a comprehensive development or choose between just alternative options 1 or 2 above.

 

 

4.       RISK

4.1     The risks of running a procurement process to identify a suitable partner or partners to enable a comprehensive redevelopment of the site could be as follows:

·           Other sources of subsidy could fail to materialise resulting in the Council having to meet the total cost. This could be mitigated by a rigorous approval and due diligence approach when developing proposals further in accordance with the recommendations of this report.

·           The Council could struggle to gain interest or support from the local community, given some sections might not like change and wish the existing facilities to remain as they are. Appropriate and effective engagement with the community will need to promote and encourage a strong community led brief in order to help inform detailed design proposals and future sense of ownership of the new community facility. This will ensure trust and support the ongoing future sustainability of the project. 

·           Good management is necessary for the smooth and effective running of community buildings and careful consideration will need to be given to who will be best placed to manage it post completion. There might not be sufficient interest from external community organisations and trusts in managing such a facility particularly if perceived revenues do not exceed costs. This can be mitigated by establishing early commitment from an interested party who can be involved in the detailed design proposals.  

·           A comprehensive redevelopment of the site is dependent on the RBLSC and their willingness to surrender their existing lease in favour of relocating to the new multi-use community facility or alternative premises. Effective engagement will need to be established with the RBLSC and continued consultation throughout the project stages if a comprehensive development of the site is pursued. The involvement of Ward Councilors could help to promote and encourage support for the project.

·           A redevelopment of the site would result in no replacement community facility being available from the point of closure until at least 24 months later.  The local community commitment and demand for a redevelopment would need to be strong enough to support a 24 month closure and the need for existing users to relocate during the build programme. This could be mitigated by ensuring that the local community and existing user groups are fully engaged and consulted during any future developed design and planning stage process, with assistance given in finding alternative premises in the interim.

________________________________________________________________


5.       CONSULTATION RESULTS AND PREVIOUS COMMITTEE FEEDBACK

 

5.1     Previously Communities, Housing and Environment Committee made the decision that Heather House should remain open, but requested further information on the condition of the building. That information was presented in the report to Committee on the 16th October 2018. The report also made a recommendation that a follow up report would be presented to committee outlining a redevelopment option.

5.2     Discussions and consultation regarding development options for the site have taken place with ward members of which will continue as part of the procurement process.

 

 

6.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

6.1     The approval of the recommendations will enable officers to run a procurement process to identify a suitable partner or partners that would contribute towards the formulation of the design brief, contribute capital, so as to minimise the financial commitment from the Council, manage the new facility and steward it on an arms-length basis from the Council.

 

6.2     Once the procurement process is complete, the high level findings will be brought back to the Committee in April 2019, so that it can make an informed decision as to whether to proceed with a comprehensive redevelopment proposal or just choose to close the building or refurbish it.

 

 

 

7.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

The project described in this report supports the Council’s strategic plan objectives.

Head of Regeneration and Economic Development

Risk Management

Already covered in the risk section

Head of Regeneration and Economic Development

Financial

This report sets out options for redevelopment of Heather House and the surrounding site.  There is a funding gap of approximately £2 million associated with the redevelopment proposal described in paragraphs 1.21 to 1.26.  The report describes potential ways in which this could be addressed.

 

The initial feasibility work carried out so far has been delivered within existing budget resources.

 

Paul Holland, Senior Finance Manager (Client)

Staffing

We will need access to extra expertise to deliver the recommendations and preferred option, as set out in section 3.

 

Head of Regeneration and Economic Development

Legal

The Local Government Act 1972, section 111(1) empowers

a local authority to do any thing (whether or not involving the expenditure, borrowing or lending of money or the acquisition or disposal of any property or rights) which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the discharge of any of their functions.

 

The Council also has a general power of competence pursuant to Section 1 of the Localism Act 2011 which enables it to do anything that individuals generally may do.

 

S120(1)(2) of the 1972 Act enables the Council to acquire land to be used for the (b) the benefit, improvement or development of their area; or for the purpose of discharging the Council’s functions and any surrender of the existing lease of Heather House would be in accordance with this statutory power.

 

The procurement for a suitable partner (s) to enable a comprehensive redevelopment of Heather House  and the surrounding site should be in accordance with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules and the public Contract Regulations 2015 if applicable.

 

Acting on the recommendations is within the Council’s powers as set out in the above statutory provisions.

Legal Team

Privacy and Data Protection

 

No implications

 

Legal Team

Equalities

There is no change to services at this moment in time.

Policy & Information Manager

Crime and Disorder

No implications

Head of Regeneration and Economic Development

Procurement

On accepting the recommendations, the Council will then follow procurement exercises to identify suitable partner or partners.  We will complete those exercises in line with financial procedure rules and applicable public contracts regulations and principles if applicable.

 

Head of Regeneration and Economic Development & Section 151 Officer

 

8.        REPORT APPENDICES

 

The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

·         Appendix 1: Initial Design Proposal Site Layout

·         Exempt Appendix 2: Indicative Financial Summaries

 

 

9.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

None