Decision Maker: Portfolio Holder for Assets & Planning
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
Report setting out recommendations relating to
the proposed disposal by private treaty of this former depot site
That the Assistant Director - Strategic Projects and Assistant Director – General Fund Assets are jointly delegated, in consultation with each other and the Portfolio Holder for Assets and Planning to confirm the method of sale, market, negotiate and conclude terms for the sale of the former depot site at Fleet Road, Holbeach and to agree all matters relating to the sale including the entering into a contract for sale and other legal agreements relating to such sale.
South Holland District Council have no future operational need for the site with its existing use as an overspill from West Marsh Road depot and temporary storage for Communities is capable of being accommodated closer to the main depot operations in Spalding on sites and in buildings better suited.
This former depot site is of interest to developers and or occupiers for existing or higher value alternative use (subject to planning).
A disposal of this asset would provide the Council with the opportunity to deliver a capital receipt to be utilised for priority projects and should enable the site to be brought forward for development through private sector investment rather than remaining in its present state. The Council has no need or intention to invest in this site other than to manage liabilities it holds by virtue of the site being surplus to requirements. Buildings on the site have been subject to anti- social behaviour and attempted arson and a disposal would address the Council’s liability in the respect. Unless a purchaser were to utilise the existing buildings then the contract for sale will require the buildings to be demolished within an agreed period.
Three other options were considered as set out in the section above but were rejected for the reasons set out above and covered in more details within the main body of this report.
Option 1 – Do nothing
The site will continue to deteriorate and incur expenditure maintaining security, Health and Safety and a range of other liabilities that surplus and underutilised sites bring. Further the opportunities for higher value alternative use (subject to planning) and with it a capital receipt to reinvest into projects and services won’t be forthcoming. This option is therefore -not recommended.
Option 2 – Retain the site and generate investment income
Substantial investment in the larger building on the west of the site would be required to let these including works required to significantly improve the EPC level. The former offices/ boxing club buildings are beyond their economic life and substantially damaged following break ins and require demolition. Retaining the site seeking to generate an income, if indeed there were a potential occupier, is not viable without substantial investment with no guarantee on a return on investment – This option is therefore -not recommended.
Option 3 – Re – use or redevelop the site for Council use
No alternative operational requirements have been identified for the property or site. The site is only in use in a very scaled down version than what it was previously, namely storage for Environmental Services vehicles and equipment and some overspill storage for Communities assets, namely Ayscoughfee Hall and the redundant former drinking fountain prior to it being re-erected. Storing kit and equipment in Holbeach in buildings requiring significant repair and susceptible to vandalism is not ideal and alternative provision needs to be made– This option is therefore -not recommended.
Reason Key: Generating income above £75,000 threshold in respect of revenue/£180,000 in respect of capital;
Wards Affected: Holbeach Town;
Conflict of Interest: None
Dispensation Granted: None
Contact: Richard Hodgson, Assistant Director - Strategic Projects Email: Richard.Hodgson@sholland.gov.uk.
Urgent item?: Yes
Publication date: 29/11/2021
Date of decision: 29/11/2021