Venue: King Edmund Chamber, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich. View directions
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS BY COUNCILLORS
Councillor Osborne declared an Other Registrable Interest in respect of report BCa/22/52 due to being a member of Sudbury Town Council. However, the item under discussion did not directly relate to the finances or wellbeing of that interest or affect the finances or wellbeing of that interest to a greater extent than the majority of inhabitants. Therefore, Councillor Osborne was not prevented from participating in the debate and vote in respect of this item.
It was Resolved:-
That the minutes of the meeting held on the 6 March 2023 be confirmed and signed as a correct record of the meeting.
TO RECEIVE NOTIFICATION OF PETITIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COUNCIL'S PETITION SCHEME
QUESTIONS BY COUNCILLORS
MATTERS REFERRED BY THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY OR JOINT AUDIT AND STANDARDS COMMITTEES
There were no matters referred from the Overview and Scrutiny or the Joint Audit and Standards Committees.
FORTHCOMING DECISIONS LIST
Please note the most up to date version can be found via the website:
There were no comments made for the Forthcoming Decisions List.
Cabinet Member for Economy
Cabinet Member for Finance, Assets and Investments
It was RESOLVED: -
1.1 That the preferred recommended proposal including the financial bid outlined in confidential Appendix B attached to this report be approved.
1.2 That delegated authority be given to the Director for Economic Growth and Climate Change, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Economy and Cabinet Member for Assets and Investments, to progress and conclude any legal processes and agreements in respect of the recommended proposal.
1.3 That should the preferred bidder withdraw or otherwise not proceed on the terms proposed that, prior to any binding agreement, the Director for Economic Growth and Climate Change be given delegated authority to proceed to negotiate with an alternative bidder or to agree amended terms for the disposal provided that best consideration reasonably obtainable is achieved and that the Council’s wider regeneration priorities for the site and wider town are delivered.
REASON FOR DECISION
1. The site has been unused for several years and forms a gateway to the town centre so bringing it back into economic use is a key part of the regeneration plans for the Sudbury Vision.
2. If the preferred bidder drops out or otherwise does not progress on terms proposed, the Council will be able to move forward with an alternative proposal or terms provided it meets best value requirements.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:
1.1 DO NOTHING (Not Recommended) – Cabinet and local partners have agreed this is not an option. The site continues to be retained and maintained by the District Council. The land remains under-utilised and a cost burden to the Council, including from regular incidents of vandalism and break-ins. Vision and Strategic Priorities remain undelivered at this key gateway to Sudbury.
Any Declarations of Interests Declared: None
Any Dispensation Granted: None
120.1 The Chair, Councillor Ward read a statement received from the clerk of Sudbury Town Councill to Members:
‘Thank you for the update on the sale of Belle Vue House. I have contacted as many members of the Town Council’s Belle Vue Working Group as possible given the short time available and the main points that they would like you to put to the Cabinet before they consider the sale of Belle Vue House are;
The Town Council are concerned that;
· Belle Vue House is in a derelict state because it was not maintained over recent years, what is the guarantee that the new owner will do better?
· Further lack or maintenance could lead to the new owner demolishing the house.
· Concern that an unconditional sale gives no guarantee of the outcome and no influence for the council.
· The sale price of XXXX is far too low for this site without it being linked to agreed development terms (e.g. restoration and occupation of the house within 2 years).
The Town Council’s recommendation – Do not sell Belle Vue House now without legally enforceable conditions on how the house will be restored and used. Reconsider the sale after the elections.’
102.2 Councillor Osborne referred to the letter from Sudbury Town Council and the concerns raised regarding the restoration of the house and the Director for Economic Growth and Climate Change responded that the marketing for the house did not specify any further conditions including planning. The offers received were all unconditional offers to purchase the house outright.
102.3 Councillor McLaren questioned if there had been a minimum price included in the marketing offer and the Director for Economic Growth and Climate change advised Members that it had been an informal tender and open marketing process, and that in order not to restrict the number of bids, there had not been a minimum price set for the house.
102.4 Councillor Arthey referred to the Option 2.1 in the report and queried that if the preferred bidder withdrew, would the Council then be able to move forward with the project detailed in Option 2.1. The Regeneration and Capital Projects Officer responded that consideration could be given to alternative bids, as detailed in the recommendation 3.3 in the report.
102.5 In response to Councillor Owen’s question relating to the evidence of previous work undertaken by the preferred bidder, it was confirmed by the Director for Economic Growth and Climate Change, that it was part of the evaluation criteria that evidence of similar types of schemes was provided and that the preferred bidder had provided this.
102.6 During the debate Councillor Malvisi considered the options in the report and that doing nothing was not an option she felt the Council could take. She stated that it was preferrable to sell the house to those who provided a structured and detailed plan rather than those who seemed to provide a wish list with no structure or timeline.
102.7 Councillor Osborne stated that it was clear ... view the full minutes text for item 120.
EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC (WHICH TERM INCLUDES THE PRESS)
To consider whether, pursuant to Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public should be excluded from the meeting for the business specified below on the grounds that if the public were present during this/these item(s), it is likely that there would be the disclosure to them of exempt information as indicated against the/each item.
The author(s) of the report(s) proposed to be considered in Part 2 of the Agenda is/are satisfied that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
120.1 The Chair, Councillor Ward, introduced Mark Leonard from Studley Capital Ltd, who was the agent for the project. He then suggested that the meeting began by considering the Part 2 of the agenda.
120.2 Councillor Osborne proposed that the public and press be excluded, which was seconded by Councillor McCraw.
By a unanimous vote.
It was RESOLVED:
That pursuant to Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the business specified below on the grounds that if the public were present during this item, it is likely that there would be the disclosure to them of exempt information.
BCa/22/52 - CONFIDENTIAL APPENDIX B