Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Director of Economy which outlined details of the proposal for the Council to enter into a land swap, which would see the Authority acquire the third party interests held by The Brookhouse Group (‘Brookhouse’) in the assets owned by Oldham Property LLP (‘OPLLP’). A number of surplus, Council-owned assets – which were thought to have an equivalent value – would be used in exchange.
The report also provided details of the proposal for the Council to enter into an agreement with the Department of Education (‘DfE’) to lease the assets previously held by OPLPP for the purposes of a new secondary school.
The Cabinet were informed that Oldham Property LLP (‘OPLLP’) was a 50/50 joint venture company involving both the Council and The Brookhouse Group (‘Brookhouse’). -The company was formed in February 2013 and originally set up to acquire the former Sainsburys store. Following acquiisition, OPLLP entered into a car parking agreement which generated an income for the company.
In July 2013, OPLLP had acquired a vacant property at 11 Slater Street and demolished the building on it. This area had been left vacant and fenced. In addition OPLLP had exchanged contracts to purchase the Council owned, former Trans-Web property and a landscaped area fronting Manchester Street Contracts for the former Trans-Web site were exchanged in September 2017, however it had not been possible to complete the agreement due to an ongoing delay in receiving final sign off from Homes England who, originally provided the Council with grant funding to complete the initial purchase of the Trans-Web site.
In November 2017, OPLPP secured planning permission (PA/339744/17) for the comprehensive redevelopment of the area, with authority granted for a new;
· A1 retail unit providing up to 90,000sq.ft of floorspace;
· A detached pod unit to provide A1 retail, A3 restaurant or A5 takeaway uses providing up to 2,000sq.ft of floorspace;
· A twelve-level multi-storey car park providing up to 376 parking spaces and associated ground parking (up to 196 spaces).
Following the grant of planning permission, OPLLP had completed the demolition of the former Sainsburys store, which had allowed the amount
of pay and display car parking to be extended.
Cabinet noted that, in recent months, a local education provider had been working with officers to explore options for the possible development of a new, centrally-located secondary free school. Officers had identified a number of sites and offered three potential sites to the education provider, which included Bloom Street.
The land in and around Bloom Street provided the opportunity to provide a development within an existing, centrally located education quarter that benefitted from excellent public transport links. Following the acquisition of any interests held by Brookhouse, the Council would own an area of land measuring 4.64 acres with the further potential to increase this area through road closures.
In addition to the main Bloom Street site, this opportunity would also be able to utilise the facilities at West End Street which provided an additional 2.56 acres of currently underutilised sports and changing facilities, which lie less than 400 metres away. In view of this, Officers had sought to engage with Brookhouse, with a view to acquiring their third party interest in the properties held by the company.
Option 1 - Do Nothing
Option 2 - Seek to acquire the Bloom Street site based on Market Value only
Option 3 - Make a cash payment based on the Brookhouse valuation
Option 4 - Dispose of a number of existing Council assets as a cash equivalent to the Brookhouse valuation
RESOLVED that the Cabinet would consider the commercially sensitive information contained at Item 17 of the agenda.
Publication date: 27/11/2018
Date of decision: 19/11/2018
Decided at meeting: 19/11/2018 - Cabinet
Effective from: 05/12/2018