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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre Folkestone

Contact: Jemma West 

Items
No. Item

34.

Declarations of Interest

Members of the Council should declare any interests which fall under the following categories. Please see the end of the agenda for definitions*:

 

a)    disclosable pecuniary interests (DPI);

b)    other significant interests (OSI);

c)    voluntary announcements of other interests.

Minutes:

There were no declarations at the meeting.

35.

Proposed Acquisition Former Gasworks Site, Ship Street, Folkestone

Report C/17/37 seeks authority to acquire the former gasworks site in Ship Street, Folkestone (East Folkestone Ward) for the provision of 85 homes. The derelict site is at the centre of a residential area but has remained of no interest to private sector developers owing to the complexities for its re-development and associated costs. The site will therefore remain derelict for the foreseeable future unless the Council acts.

 

The scheme requires significant investment in remediating the land which would make the scheme unviable for the Council too. However, there is now an opportunity to apply for Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) monies towards these abnormal costs under its Marginal Viability Fund (MVF) to make the development feasible financially for the Council. Authority is therefore sought to apply for MVF grant.

 

The re-development of this site will make a major contribution to the regeneration of East Folkestone, provide 85 homes towards the Council’s housing targets, increase Council tax revenues and act as a catalyst for further regeneration with the site, once developed, being a nominated location for further investment under the Great Places scheme being undertaken by the Creative Foundation.

 

The proposal is not one that will generate a substantial commercial return for the Council and there is a risk that there could be a degree of loss. However, the proposal is a opportunity to secure significant regeneration benefits and meet the Councils aims of generating new jobs and enabling new homes, including affordable homes to be built.

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Report C/17/37 sought authority to acquire the former gasworks site in Ship Street, Folkestone (East Folkestone Ward) for the provision of 85 homes. The derelict site is at the centre of a residential area but has remained of no interest to private sector developers owing to the complexities for its re-development and associated costs. The site would therefore remain derelict for the foreseeable future unless the Council were to act.

 

The scheme requires significant investment in remediating the land which would make the scheme unviable for the Council too. However, there is now an opportunity to apply for Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) monies towards these abnormal costs under its Marginal Viability Fund (MVF) to make the development feasible financially for the Council. Authority is therefore sought to apply for MVF grant.

 

The re-development of this site would make a major contribution to the regeneration of East Folkestone, provide 85 homes towards the Council’s housing targets, increase Council tax revenues and act as a catalyst for further regeneration with the site, once developed, being a nominated location for further investment under the Great Places scheme being undertaken by the Creative Foundation.

 

The proposal was not one that would generate a substantial commercial return for the Council and there is a risk that there could be a degree of loss. However, the proposal is an opportunity to secure significant regeneration benefits and meet the Councils aims of generating new jobs and enabling new homes, including affordable homes to be built. Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Peall; and

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting for a short period to allow the Committee to discuss the exempt appendices within the report, on the grounds that it was likely to disclose exempt information, as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 –

 

‘Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).  “Financial or business affairs” includes contemplated as well as current activities.’

 

(Voting figures: 9 in favour, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

 

Following discussion of exempt information, the public were then permitted to re-enter the chamber.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Ewart-James; and

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.        That report C/17/37 be received and noted.

2.        That the  Head of Strategic Development Projects be authorised to complete and submit an application to the HIF MVF to cover the costs of abnormal works

3.        If the application is successful, and in consultation with the Leader of Council :

a.    complete the purchase of the former gasworks site, Ship Street, Folkestone based on the terms set out in Appendix A

b.    authorise officers to complete the remaining pre-development work and  prepare draft planning proposals for consideration at a future Cabinet, and agree to allocate the sum of £230,000 from the Corporate Development Fund budget to meet that expenditure.

4.        If the application is unsuccessful, the purchase be deferred pending further work by officers on the scheme’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.