Decision details

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Information Only

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

Options for the future of the building known as Old County Offices

Decision:

There had been limited interest in the open market for a third party to take on the Old County Offices building due to viability issues. A developer had been identified who was prepared to work collaboratively with the Council to agree a contract with suitable safeguards for the Council to implement the consented planning permission to convert the building to 46 private apartments, the terms of the transaction were considered in the confidential appendices. A decision on whether to accept this offer was required. If the Council did not take this option, the building would continue to remain empty until the wider Aylesbury Town Centre regeneration schemes were enacted.

 

The Council had undertaken a development appraisal and cost plan assessment based on independent Quantity Surveyors and a Preliminary Cost Planning by a Contractor. The conclusion of that exercise was that it was not viable for the Council to bring forward the scheme without significant subsidy. The appraisal had been updated and was discussed in the Confidential Appendix.

 

An application was made via the One Public Estate Programme for Brownfield Land Release Funding (BLRF) to improve project viability. The application was successful resulting in a grant of £690,000 being awarded.

 

RESOLVED that subject to receipt of a satisfactory Best Value Consideration Report as approved by the S151 Officer, delegation be approved to the Service Director of Property and Assets in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Accessible Housing and Resources to finalise terms and pursue disposal of the site to a residential developer pursuant to terms contained in the confidential appendices by granting a long leasehold to convert the building into flats in line with the current detailed planning permission (20/02431/APP). Subsequently to agree contracts, undertake required due diligence and exchange and complete on the transaction.

 

Wards Affected: Aylesbury North;

Details of any conflict of interest declared: None

Contact: John Reed, Director of Property & Assets Email: John.Reed@buckinghamshire.gov.uk.

Report author: Jo West

Publication date: 07/05/2024

Date of decision: 07/05/2024

Decided at meeting: 07/05/2024 - Cabinet

Effective from: 15/05/2024

Accompanying Documents: