Agenda item

Paper Street, Yaxham (Agenda item 9)

Report of Mark Kiddle-Morris, Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development.

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development presented the report.  He explained that there had been a mix up on the tenancy agreement that needed to be resolved.  Currently, the covenant restricted the land to allotment use only but was encumbered by an agricultural tenant.  It was being proposed to remove the existing restrictive covenant and impose a further restrictive covenant to restrict the land as allotment or agricultural use.

 

Councillor Jordan, the Ward Member for Yaxham, fully supported the proposal except for one matter of concern.  The land was situated at Clint Green where there were no areas in the vicinity for children to play and he asked if this land could be used for amenity use too.

 

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development had not been aware of this concern and said that he would have to investigate any modification to the covenant as there was no Officer in attendance to advise.  He pointed out that as the agricultural tenant would still exist only part of the land could be used for this suggested purpose.

 

The Executive Member for Communications, Organisational Performance & Development proposed that the matter be deferred for further investigation. 

 

It was agreed that the matter would be deferred so that further advice could be sought following which the Executive Member would be given delegated authority to approve the recommendations as listed in the report including the amenity use clause if at all possible.

 

Options

 

  1. To release the restrictive covenant allowing the land to be used for allotment purposes only and replace it with one which would allow the land to be used for the purposes of either agriculture or allotments waiving any fee subject to the Parish Council agreeing to pay Breckland Council’s legal fees and adding a further restrictive covenant to prevent the Parish Council from selling the land without first obtaining the authority of Breckland District Council.

 

  1. To release the restrictive covenant and replace it with a covenant allowing it to be used for agricultural purposes only subject to the payment of £3,000.

 

  1. To ask the Parish Council to transfer the land back to the District Council at nil cost given that it was in breach of the existing restrictive covenant.

 

  1. Do nothing.

 

Reasons

 

To release the existing restrictive covenant and replace it with a further covenant would allow the Parish Council to retain the land and to take further advice on how to remove the tenant to allow the land to be used in the future for allotments for the local residents.  A further covenant could be imposed to protect the Councils financial interests, in the event that the Parish Council did decide at any time to sell the land, which would prevent the Parish Council from disposing of the land without the Council’s consent. 

 

The Parish Council were not in a position to give the Council £3,000 to release the restrictive covenant, as a consequence of which the Parish Council were in breach of the restrictive covenant. 

 

If the land were to be transferred back to Breckland Council at nil cost the Parish Council would no longer be in breach of the restrictive covenant and the Council would have control over the land.  Breckland District Council would then need to consider whether to seek Counsel’s opinion in relation to the Agricultural Tenancy.

 

The Council could choose if it so wished not to do anything and to allow the situation to remain as is in the interim, to allow the Parish Council to explore in further detail the options available to them to end the agricultural tenancy.

 

RESOLVED that the Yaxham Parish Council request be deferred to investigate whether part of the land could be used for amenity use.  Delegated authority then be given to the relevant Portfolio Holder to:

 

1)     remove the restrictive covenant imposed restricting use of this land as ‘Allotment use only’ in the Transfer dated 24 October 2011;

 

2)     a further restrictive covenant be imposed to restrict this land as allotment or agricultural use, and subject to the above investigation part of the land being used as amenity use;

 

3)     impose a further restrictive covenant not to sell the land without first obtaining authorisation from Breckland District Council;

 

4)     do so at nil consideration.

Supporting documents: