Agenda item

POWERGEN SITE, HASLUCKS GREEN ROAD, SHIRLEY

To update Cabinet on progress of negotiations between the land owners of the Powergen site. To note and comment on the latest proposals included in the masterplan for the redevelopment of the Powergen site. To consider the Heads of Terms for entering into a Development Agreement between the three land owners and approve further negotiations on the terms and drafting of the Agreement. To consider and comment on the proposed consultation process for further evolution of the masterplan for the redevelopment of the site.

Minutes:

The Cabinet was:

 

Ø  Provided with an update on the progress of negotiations between the land owners of the Powergen site;

 

Ø   Invited to note and comment on the latest proposals included in the masterplan for the redevelopment of the Powergen site;

 

Ø  Invited to consider the Heads of Terms for entering into a Development Agreement between the three land owners and approve further negotiations on the terms and drafting of the Agreement; and

 

Ø  Invited to consider and comment on the proposed consultation process for further evolution of the masterplan for the redevelopment of the site.

 

The Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Land set out the background to the report, reminding Members that in December 2013, Cabinet approved entering into a Co-Operation Agreement between the land owners. The Agreement had recently been concluded and committed Shirley Advance to working up a draft masterplan, carrying out soft market testing and, where possible, agreeing Heads of Terms with potential purchasers of individual plots. The report presented to Cabinet went into further detail regarding these issues, including a confidential report from the Council’s Strategic Land Advisors, CBRE. The CBRE report set out the outcome of the commercial negotiations on the Heads of Terms and the basis for drafting a Development Agreement between the three landowners.

 

A further report would be presented to Cabinet for final approval of the commercial and development terms and whether the requirements of best consideration had been met. It was proposed that Shirley Advance would act as development manager. The report also detailed the proposed consultation process which would be undertaken.

 

The Cabinet Member also took the opportunity to respond to the written submission made by Cllr T Hodgson. He commented that he noted that the Powergen site was a key priority to Cllr T Hodgson. However, the Council had said many times that until Parkgate was completed, the site could not be progressed. He noted that Cllr T Hodgson had consistently opposed Parkgate, and continued to criticise it. If Cllr T Hodgson and his colleagues continued to the use the site as a political tool, as they had done with Parkgate, this would not help the community get rid of the eyesore. He advised that it was the people of Shirley that must be considered.

 

The Cabinet Member confirmed that in terms of local engagement and involvement he would be leading the charge. He had asked for a briefing to be set up before the last Council meeting, and he wanted this process of engagement to continue, and he hoped for cross party cooperation. However, he stressed that there were two key stages, where the Council did not have the freedom to manoeuvre. The Council only had a part interest in the site, with Asda and Shirley Advance owning other interests. Given this situation it would not be appropriate to carry out negotiations in a public arena, and it was unlikely the other parties involved would agree to this approach anyway. Secondly, during the planning stage, the usual statutory process would apply, including pre-consultations. He reiterated that he wanted to involve and engage as much as possible.

 

The Cabinet Member also commented on Green Party policies regarding the control of land, planning decisions, taxation of land values, reduction in parking provision and increased charges for parking and use of cars, and this was something which he would not be following.

 

With regard to capital receipts the Cabinet Member confirmed, that Council assets, are for the whole community. If the Council had applied the policy requested by Cllr Hodgson, then rich parts of the Borough would get richer, with no investment in areas such as Chelmund’s Cross and Smith’s Wood.

 

In relation to the petrol filling station the Cabinet Members advised that this was a key demand of Asda, and would be subject to Planning Committee consideration. With regard to best value Shirley Advance were an experienced developer and own part of the site.

 

In conclusion the Cabinet Member stressed he welcomed a cross party dialogue on this important site.

 

Members made some further comments on the issues raised in Cllr T Hodgson’s statement and the Cabinet Members response. In relation to the petrol filling station, Members agreed that it was disappointing that this was still a key demand for Asada, as they believed better use could be made of the proposed site. The Leader of the Council in summary stated:

 

·  That any capital receipt would be treated as corporate asset;

·  The Council’s Strategic Land Advisors, CBRE would provide a view around best consideration for the Cabinet to consider;

·  The report set out in paragraph 4.3 the consultation process to be followed;

·   That it would be a matter for the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Land to determine whether a Working Party would required at some point;

·  That the people of Shirley would want the Council to progress the scheme as quickly as possible, and would not appreciate the delaying tactics which had previously been employed by some Members in this area.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)  That the latest proposals for the redevelopment of the Powergen site be noted;

 

(ii)   Agreed that further negotiations on the Heads of Terms for entering into a Development Agreement between the land owning parties and drafting of the Agreement be undertaken;

 

(iii)   That the consultation process for further evolution of the masterplan for the site be approved; and

 

(iv)   Agreed to receive a further report on the outcome of the consultation process and negotiations on the Heads of Terms prior to entering into the Development Agreement.

 

Supporting documents: