Agenda item

Urgent Business - Vacant and Surplus Land - Folland Court, Bawdeswell (Agenda item 3)

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

The Chairman had agreed to take this matter as an item of urgent business in order to avoid any further delays in the development otherwise the capital funding that had been secured by Peddars Way Housing Association from the Housing Corporation would be put at risk.

 

The Land Management Officer explained that Cabinet had previously resolved that the council-owned land at Folland Court, Bawdeswell be offered to Peddars Way Housing Association for an affordable housing development subject to a number of conditions, one of which included the Post Office being re-built on the land (Minute no. 195/05 refers).  Since that time planning permission had been obtained for the developments in accordance with the plans that had previously been submitted.

 

Unfortunately, Peddars Way Housing Association had advised that no-one could be found to run the post-office if it was built.

 

The Ward Representative pointed out that following a number of various meetings, the Parish Council had concluded that, even though parishioners would be very keen to have a Post Office in the village, no Post Master could be found.  Members were informed that the Parish Council had already met with Post Office Ltd and had a further meeting with them in July.  During that time the Parish Council would still actively look for a Post Master.  If, at the end of that time, a Post Master could be found, Peddars Way Housing Association had agreed that the Post Office would then be built. If not, the aforementioned condition could be removed from the original resolution.

 

The Economic Project Officer advised that he had been in touch with Post Office Ltd on the previous day and had been informed that although Bawdeswell was in the network change programme it was not up for closure.  However, any service that would be taken on would be for two or three days a week. Alternatively, a sub Post Master would be found to run an outreach service.

 

The options available to Members were:

 

1)           that Cabinet resolve that the Council-owned land at Folland Court, Bawdeswell be transferred to Peddars Way Housing Association, for affordable housing, at the District Valuer’s valuation plus VAT, subject to:

 

i)              Peddars Way Housing Association firstly obtaining planning permission for the developments in accordance with the revised plans submitted;

 

ii)            approximately 65% of the front of the site being transferred to the Parish Council to be used as an amenity area and that a covenant be imposed on the land restricting the use to amenity only;

 

iii)          retention of the existing footpath to the Street.

 

2)           that Cabinet adhere to its previous decision.

 

The reasons for the recommendation were that Peddars Way Housing Association had secured capital funding from the Housing Corporation for this proposed scheme, further delays in the development would put the funding at risk.  The inability to deliver schemes which had secured funding had a detrimental effect on the Housing Association and the Council and could limit its ability to secure funding on other schemes.

 

RESOLVED that the Council-owned land at Folland Court, Bawdeswell be transferred to Peddars Way Housing Association, for affordable housing, at the District Valuer’s valuation plus VAT, subject to

 

i)              Peddars Way Housing Association firstly obtaining planning permission for the developments in accordance with the revised plans submitted;

 

ii)            approximately 65% of the front of the site being transferred to the Parish Council to be used as an amenity area and that a covenant be imposed on the land restricting the use to amenity only; and

 

iii)          retention of the existing footpath on the Street.

Supporting documents: