To consider the report of the Service Manager
Business and Regeneration.
Having regard to the views expressed by the Proper Officer regarding the public interest test, that on balance the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information and that the report should be exempt.
RESOLVED that the public be excluded whilst this item of business is transacted as it is likely there would be a disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 14, Part 1, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972 (as amended).
Consideration was given to report of the Service Manager Business and Regeneration.
The Service Manager Business and Regeneration presented the report which provided a summary of the current position in relation to the options report, and sought approval on a proposed way forward.
The Officer spoke to the report and outlined the history of the site. He confirmed that the Council had recently commissioned an independent report (Appendix 1), funded by Welsh Government, to identify a future use for the site. The report assessed a number of options and identified that residential development was the most realistic and deliverable option taking into account potential sources of funding available, and the fact that this was a candidate site in the new LDP.
The Officer said if this approach was agreed, Officers would proceed with wider consultation with local residents and Members, and begin discussions with RSLs to identify potential development partners and other preparatory work to establish costs. The outcome of this work would allow a detailed business case to be developed and presented for consideration.
A discussion ensued when a Member said he welcomed the report, and asked who would be responsible for taking it forward.
The Officer confirmed that he would be the Lead Officer moving forward, working closely with other Officers across the Council.
A Member expressed concern regarding money being spent on the building, and felt that more robust discussions should be held with the owner in the first instance.
Another Member concurred with the comments raised.
In response a Member said this had been ongoing for many years, and he welcomed the report, but asked that local Members be involved at every stage. In terms of the residential option, he pointed out that this had previously been explored with an RSL but proved cost prohibitive and was unpopular with constituents.
The Officer said the residential option was identified as the preferred option for potential funding opportunities. He said the site was challenging, and he was aware that it was an issue for local residents and Members. The approach outlined in the report would attempt to identify a viable use for the site, but would require a level of public sector intervention.
A Member said discussions should take place with the owner before anything was progressed.
The Corporate Director Regeneration and Community Services said this issue needed to be resolved. He understood the concerns of some Members but assured that all the issues raised would form part of the next stage and inform the future business case.
A further discussion ensued.
The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report which contained information relating to the financial/business affairs of persons other than the Authority be accepted, and supported the preferred Option 2 for the site to be redeveloped for residential use as outlined in the options report, and to develop a business case for the site for future consideration.