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Agenda item

Princes Parade

The provision of a new leisure centre, housing and public open space at Princes Parade has previously been approved by Cabinet.  This report gives an update on the status of the project, recommends appointment of the leisure centre operator and build contractor and seeks approval for financial capital and revenue provision to complete the project.

Minutes:

The provision of a new leisure centre, housing and public open space at Princes Parade has previously been approved by Cabinet.  The report gave an update on the status of the project, recommended appointment of the leisure centre operator and build contractor and sought approval for financial capital and revenue provision to complete the project.

 

Dan Brenchley (BAM), Stephen Jepson (Hadron Consultancy), Dean Lucas (Faithful and Gould), Simon Molden (The Sports Consultancy), and Seamus Lefroy-Brooks (LBHGEO) were in attendance at the meeting to respond to any questions from Members.

 

Councillor Whybrow asked a number of detailed questions and made comments on various issues including land contamination and monitoring, climate change and rising sea levels, the ecology at the site, the marketing of residential land and the increase in required funding.  She also raised concerns about the potential long term (50 year) timescale for repayment of the loan to cover the funding shortfall.

 

Members were advised that full details of the responses would be available on the recording of the meeting placed on the council’s website[1].

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Godfrey; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.        That report C/21/75 be received and noted.

2.        That the revised budget and funding requirement, as detailed in paragraph 3.4 be agreed, and its inclusion in the Medium Term Capital Programme (MTCP) and revenue budgets be recommended to Council as required.

3.        That additional funding be agreed to progress the installation of solar cells on the leisure centre, subject to planning considerations, of £100,000 drawn from the Climate Change Reserve as set out in paragraph 2.4.6.

4.        To accept £2 million Brownfield Land Release Funding (BLRF) as described in paragraph 3.6.1 and to delegate to the Director of Housing and Operations, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, the authority to seek and approve other forms of external funding for this project as and when they become available.

5.        That the contract for the operation of the leisure centre be awarded to Freedom Leisure (Wealden Leisure Ltd) for the period of the contract as set out in section 2.5.

6.        That the disposal of land for housing, in line with delegation arrangements previously set out in Cabinet report C/18/69 (February 2019) be noted.

7.        That the contractors BAM proceed to the next stage of the project as outlined in the report (i.e. Phase 1 and 2 works) and the construction contract be finalised on this basis. 

8.        That it be agreed that, in line with the recommendation from Cabinet of May 2014 (report C/14/01), at an appropriate time, a legally binding covenant be drawn up to protect the scheme’s proposed parkland and open space from any future development proposals not directly related to the site’s leisure and educational objectives (paragraph 2.2.6) and the establishment of a strategic play area be noted.

9.        That the authority to implement the steps required to complete the project be delegated to the Director - Housing and Operations, in consultation with the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Special projects.

10.     To note that the decision from the Secretary of State (SoS) relating to the Stopping Up Order of Princes Parade has not yet been received and, subsequent to that decision, there will be a period whereby a judicial review could be lodged (see section 2.3), and agree to proceed delivering the project at risk while the SoS’s decision is finalised.

11.     That the headline implications if the project does not proceed as outlined in this report be noted (paragraph 4.1).

12.     That the web site continues to be the primary channel for information relating to the project, with those interested in project detail and updates being directed to that source for relevant information (see section 5).

 

(Voting figures: 7 for, 2 against, 0 abstentions).

 

Councillors Prater and Whybrow asked it to be recorded that they had voted against the recommendations. Councillor Peall asked it to be recorded that he had voted in favour of the recommendations.

 

REASONS FOR DECISION:

Cabinet was asked to agree the recommendations because the project has reached decision points needed to deliver the project, and timely decisions are required to be included within the Council’s respective budgets. 

 



[1] Post meeting note - Detailed responses to questions asked at the meeting are being made available on the relevant project part of the council’s website.

 

Supporting documents: