Report from the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment.
Consideration was given to the report which sought approval to dispose of property at 32-34 Corporation Street. The property was showed edged in red on the plan attached at Appendix 1 to the report. The disposal would be at a nominal value in line with an independent valuation by private treaty sale and would facilitate the redevelopment of vacant properties at Corporation Street and the provision of new commercial and residential properties.
The proposal was part of a wider development to facilitate new commercial and residential space within the Town’s Leisure and Culture Quarter. The Council had secured £31.6m through the Town Deal towards the regeneration of the Town Centre, Eastwood and Templeborough. Part of this programme would contribute towards a public/private sector partnership redevelopment of properties at 30-38 Corporation Street.
The property would be disposed of to a private sector individual who owned the neighbouring properties (the “Developer”) who would lead in the delivery of the development scheme. Town Deal monies would provide the identified funding gap. The property had to be included at a reduced value and the report, therefore, sought permission to dispose of the property at less than best consideration to facilitate the ongoing regeneration of Rotherham’s Town Centre. A valuation was commissioned in October 2022 and a summary was provided in exempt Appendix 2.
Under Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972, it states that a Local Authority can dispose of land or property for less than best consideration if it considers that the disposal will contribute to the promotion or improvement of the economic, social or environmental wellbeing of its area and the extent of the undervalue is no more than £2m. To facilitate the continued redevelopment of the Town Centre it was proposed that the Council forgoes a capital receipt, and the property was disposed of at a reduced value.
Neighbouring properties were owned by the Developer who would contribute to the majority of financial contribution to the redevelopment project. A sale by Private Treaty was therefore the recommended option to enable the project to be delivered.
The property was purchased in 2006 by the Council using Yorkshire Forward monies. Responsibility for this grant had since passed to Homes England (HE). The funding agreement provided that the Council must obtain HE approval to any disposal and this was being sought. Funding for the redevelopment project was provided through the Town Deal and private sector investment. There was no cost to the Council.
1. That Cabinet approve the disposal of the property at 32-34 Corporation Street at a less than best consideration Under Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 to the adjoining landowning Developer to enable continued regeneration of the Town Centre.
2. That approval be given to the Assistant Director for Planning, Regeneration and Transport to negotiate and finalise the disposal of the asset in line with the parameters established by this report.
3. That the Assistant Director of Legal Services be instructed to complete the necessary legal documentation once terms for the disposal have been agreed.