Agenda item

Breckland Bridge Ltd Business Plan

Report of Executive Member Growth and Commercialisation, Phil Cowen

Minutes:

The Executive Member Growth and Commercialisation presented the report to Members.  He explained that the submission of the updated business Plan had in part highlighted the need to consider the future direction, scope and focus of the partnership. 

 

Following discussion it was agreed that Members approved the Business Plan for 2017-2022. 

 

The Strategic Property Manager explained that previous work undertaken by Breckland Bridge had shown how the Council’s assets within Thetford could be utilised to revitalise the town moving forward.  Further work would be required to investigate this in more detail which was aprt of the recommendation to prepare the Thetford Town Asset Plan.

 

Members were prepared to engage in the discussion to create the Thetford Town Asset Plan, but asked to see evidence of the work required before releasing the budget

 

Options

 

Option 1

 

1.    To approve the updated Breckland Bridge Ltd Business Plan for 2017-2022 as set out in appendices A to D.

 

2.    To agree the Bridge recommendation to initiate a project to create a Thetford Town Asset Plan and in doing so:

a)    Provide up to £130,000 (spread over three years).

b)    Delegate the release of the funds to the S.151 Officer subject to receiving satisfactory information on the project plan, delivery plan and expected outputs.

 

3.    To agree in principle the Bridge recommendation to deliver a programme of minor development schemes in a 50/50 arrangement by:

a)    Providing £82,500 as an initial equity share in the required subsidiary for the first three sites and £10,000 for legal and tax advice.

b)    Agreeing the first three sites as Rougholme Close (Gressenhall), Glebe Road (Thetford) and Tottington Road (Thompson).

c)    Subject to:

Legal advice confirming such an arrangement can be undertaken and if so            delegate the release of the funds to the S.151 Officer subject to satisfactory      receipt of the necessary tax advice and satisfactory returns from the first three      sites.

 

Option 2

 

a)    Cabinet does not recommend to Council to approve the updated Breckland Bridge Ltd initial Business Plan for 2017-2022 as set out in appendices A to D.

 

b)    Clause 26 of the Shareholders Agreement sets out the implications if the Council does not approve the updated Business Plan. 

 

c)    Cabinet does not recommend to Council the initiation of a project to create a Thetford Town Plan.

 

d)    Cabinet does not recommend to Council the recommendation to deliver a programme of minor development schemes.

 

Reasons

 

Overall performance of activity is good.  The Riverside project is now complete having started in 2015 and reaching completion in October 2015.  Breckland Bridge Ltd successfully delivered this scheme on time and as per the authorised budget.  The second project, Mileham is nearing construction completion and house sales are progressing well.  The third project in Attleborough has been delayed due to the relocation of the adjacent school that use the Council’s land for recreation – but is still planned to be delivered within the first five year period of the partnership.  All project activity is due to complete by 2019 and therefore within the first 5 year period of the partnership as planned.

 

Subject to the risks identified which continue to be monitored the overall return to the Council is still positive in terms of regeneration and financial outturn. 

 

The intention of the partnership is to extend it beyond the initial Business Plan period and the updated Business Plan presented for approval is building the platform for that extension by continuing to prepare sites (where approved) for a development pipeline. Therefore there is still potential for more delivery and growth in the future.  This opportunity is not reflected in the updated Business Plan because outputs are limited to the three projects currently.

 

Members agreed an amendment to recommendation 2 to reflect their discussion to read:

a)    allocate the £130,000;

b)    delegate the release of the funds to the S.151 Officer in consultation with the Leader subject to receiving satisfactory information on the project plan, delivery plan and expected outputs.

 

In addition, Members agreed to defer recommendation 3 as further discussion had been planned to discuss the future direction of Breckland Bridge.

 

Councillor Crawford asked for the recommendation to be amended to reflect Glebe Close, not Glebe Road.

 

RECOMMEND to Council:

 

  1. to approve the updated Breckland Bridge Ltd Business Plan for 2017-2022 as set out in appendices A to D;

 

  1. to agree the Bridge recommendation to initiate a project to create a Thetford Town Asset Plan and in doing so:

a)     allocate up to £130,000 (spread over three years);

b)     delegate the release of the funds to the S.151 Officer in consultation with the Leader subject to receiving satisfactory information on the project plan, delivery plan and expected outputs.

 

  1. to defer the Bridge recommendation to deliver a programme of minor development schemes in a 50/50 arrangement by:

a)     providing £82,500 as an initial equity share in the required subsidiary for the first three sites and £10,000 for legal and tax advice;

b)     agreeing the first three sites as Rougholme Close (Gressenhall), Glebe Close (Thetford) and Tottington Road (Thompson);

c)     subject to legal advice confirming such an arrangement can be undertaken and if so delegate the release of the funds to the S.151 Officer subject to satisfactory receipt of the necessary tax advice and satisfactory returns from the first three sites.

Supporting documents: