Agenda item

Cabinet Member Update

The Cabinet Member is unable to attend on this occasion. In his absence the Head of Property will update the Panel on the two Call-in meetings that took place earlier in the year. Panel members may ask questions on the update provided.



The Head of Property addressed the Panel in the absence of the Cabinet Member for Resources. He updated them on the two Call-ins that had taken place earlier in the year.


The documents supplied will be appended to the minutes when published.


Update on the actions requested following the Call-in of decision E3181: 23 Grosvenor Place, Bath: Surrender of existing Guinness Housing Association lease, subject to the payment of a reverse premium.


Item 1.

This recommendation has been absorbed as a priority programme within a wider workstream of the recently created Recovery Board. The Corporate Management Team Project Sponsor for this piece of work is Mandy Bishop, who is currently finalising the strategic objectives for this review. However, the issues raised concerning improving the transparency of property related decisions, within the limits of commercial confidentiality will be reviewed as part of this exercise.

Item 2.

An options paper was drafted prior to the Covid19 outbreak, incorporating the ring-fencing options; however, its presentation to Cabinet has been delayed as a result of the role played by the subject property to provide accommodation for the homeless to self-isolate during the pandemic.

Grosvenor Place played a central role in providing safe accommodation enabling the homeless to self-isolate during the Corona Virus outbreak, under the supervision of Julian House. The report has been delayed whilst a case is built around a further option relating to the rough sleeper exit strategy and the potential longer-term role that this property might play in this as a permanent move-on facility. The business case will be dependent upon a potential MCHLG new funding stream which has been announced but further details are awaited as they have yet to be released. As soon as this further detail is known and the business case can be developed, the options paper will be finalised.

Item 3.

Guinness were approached with a request to use the receipt from the reverse premium to invest in social housing within the B&NES area.

They advised however that after allowing for rehousing costs, major works of repairs, which included undertaking structural remediation to the rear wall of the premises, together with other expenditure associated with exiting the premises there would be no funds available from the specific receipt to recycle within the area.

Guinness did however stress their commitment to Bath & North East Somerset and confirmed that with 470 homes in the Council area, this is one of their highest priority investment localities where they will continue to invest in both their existing homes, as well as seeking opportunities to build new houses and are currently actively exploring a number of opportunities with developers.

Item 4.

The Recovery Board workstream outlined above in paragraph 4.1 will include a review of the structures, processes and core delivery model across all aspects of the Council’s property services, including the Estates, Construction, Maintenance and Facilities Management functions.

This review will form part of the overall workstream and is being led personally by Mandy Bishop.


Update on the actions requested following the Call-in of decision E3191: Proposed Asset Transfer of Land at North Parade Road to the Bath Cricket Club at Less than Best Consideration.


Item 1.


A new process has been introduced which involves reviewing the weekly list of planning applications and overlaying the Council’s ownership records to identify any sites that involve or adjoin any parcel of land subject to an application. Officers in Estates and various other service areas, as well as the Cabinet Member for Resources are then notified of any sites that are either Council owned or adjacent to a council ownership that are the subject of an application.


Item 2.


Evidence that the proposed community benefits relating to the decision have been valued appropriately using the National Themes Outcomes and Measures 2019 Real Estate Plug-In Calculator is set out in Appendix A: Community Value attached to this report.

The Cabinet Member for Resources has yet to formally approve this Appendix, but the proposed lease will not be entered into until the Cabinet Member has confirmed he is satisfied with this evidence.


Item 3.


The Cabinet Member for Resources has yet to formally approve the evidence, but the proposed lease will not be entered into until the Cabinet Member has confirmed he is satisfied with evidence that the community benefits provided by Bath Cricket Club will be experienced in communities across North East Somerset.






Item 4.


The Cabinet Member for Resources agrees to publish details of the community benefits as soon as he has approved item 4 and prior to the lease being completed.


Item 5.


The Heads of Terms which formed part A of the non-exempt appendices to the original report made provision that the community uses are to be recorded as an obligation to the council and set out in a Deed, including annual inspection by the Council to ensure the covenants are being delivered relating to the community benefit.


The draft Deed containing these provisions and obligations has since been produced and has been agreed, subject to contract, with Bath Cricket Club.


Councillor Mark Elliott asked for further explanation of the figure stated in Appendix A that additional leisure community benefits as a result of the development would create a value of around £2 million per annum.


The Head of Property replied that this figure was the total capital value.


Councillor Elliott asked if this was over a 30 year period and for this information to made clearer in the report submitted to the Panel.


The Head of Property replied that he would review the report and make amendments as suggested and supply the Democratic Services Officer with an updated version.


The Chairman asked if he could be reassured that the process regarding planning applications on Council land was now in a better place following these recommendations.


The Head of Property replied that it feels like we now have a failsafe system in place that will notify us when planning applications come in on Council land and land adjoining Council sites. He added that when this notice is received the proposed developers are contacted to make them aware of their obligations.


The Chairman on behalf of the Panel thanked him for the update and the Cabinet Member for addressing the recommendations that were made.