Report from the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment.
Consideration was given to the report which set out the proposed use of £1 million Strategic Acquisitions Fund that had been approved by Council in March 2021 for the Capital Programme and spend within the Towns Fund. This was reported to Cabinet in March 2022.
The report addressed the need for public sector intervention to acquire land and property owned by the private sector which was required for the regeneration of Rotherham by delegating powers where necessary to negotiate and acquire key strategic sites. In March 2022, a report was presented to Cabinet seeking approval to acquire a number of properties to facilitate Rotherham’s ongoing regeneration programme. A further 2 properties were now required for the implementation of the Town Deal programme. Those properties were identified as 1a and 1b in exempt Appendix 1.
The March report sought approval to negotiate acquisition of sites 3 and 4 in exempt Appendix 1 but did not specify a funding source. Since March, successful negotiations on surrounding land had led to the proposal to allocate the Council’s £1m Strategic Acquisition Fund to the acquisition of these properties. A further property, identified as 2, in exempt Appendix 1 was also proposed for acquisition with the Strategic Acquisition Fund. Should negotiation on properties 2,3 or 4 prove to be unsuccessful, alternative sites for acquisition were identified in exempt Appendix 1 and would be considered for the Strategic Acquisition Fund in consultation with the Strategic Director for Regeneration & Environment, the Council’s Section 151 Officer and the Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy.
The properties identified as Site 1a and 1b in Appendix 1 were required for the continued development of an improved leisure offer in the town centre. Site 2 was a building which had lacked a secure future for many years. Sites 3 and 4 had previously been identified for acquisition and would continue development at the Riverside Residential Quarter and Leisure & Culture Quarter. Doing nothing was not a recommended option considering the Council’s ambitious plans for economic growth and regeneration in the borough.
1. That the Assistant Director for Planning, Regeneration and Transport be authorised to negotiate the acquisition by agreement of the property interests at sites 1a, 1b and 2 at exempt Appendix 1 (principally through Government grants and the Council’s Strategic Acquisitions Fund), in consultation with the Council’s Section 151 Officer and the Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, and the Assistant Director of Legal Services be authorised to complete the necessary transactions.
2. Should negotiation on any site in exempt Appendix 1 prove to be unsuccessful, the purchase of the alternative sites as identified in Appendix 1 be progressed as approved by Cabinet in March 2022. That the Assistant Director for Planning, Regeneration and Transport be authorised to negotiate the acquisition by agreement of the property interests at sites in Appendix 1, in consultation with the Council’s Section 151 Officer and the Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, and the Assistant Director of Legal Services be authorised to complete the necessary transactions.