Agenda item

Decision:

Cabinet received a report on the proposed construction by the Council, in partnership with South-Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), of a new Ambulance Resource Centre on the site of a former property (now demolished) owned Freehold by the Council in High Wycombe under Title Nos BM357755 and BM357753.  The development would replace the much smaller existing High Wycombe ambulance facility and would meet current and future operational needs.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)               That Cabinet recognised this project represented a good example of a Local Authority (Buckinghamshire Council) and a NHS Foundation Trust organisation (South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS)) working jointly together to better serve the Council’s resident population in providing a more modern and larger ambulance facility to replace the much smaller existing facility which would enable the Service to meet current and future operational needs.

 

(2)               That the addition of this scheme to the Capital Programme, to be funded via the prudential borrowing facility, which in turn is funded by Public Works Loan Board for a new Ambulance Station be agreed, with the facility to be let on a long lease to The South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS).

 

(3)               That the Service Director for Property and Assets, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources, Property and Assets, and the S151 Officer be authorised to appoint consultants and contractors within the agreed cost envelope set out in the Part 2 report (confidential) to progress and complete development of the site including seeking and obtaining planning permission.

 

(4)               That the Service Director for Property and Assets, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources, Property and Assets, and the Section 151 Officer, be authorised to finalise and agree the Heads of Terms together with any necessary amendments for a development agreement and Agreement for Lease and Lease in accordance with the emerging heads of terms set out in the confidential annex at part two of the Cabinet report; and subsequently, subject to meeting contract conditions, to exchange and complete the contracts.

 

(5)               That the Service Director for Property and Assets, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources, Property and Assets, and the Section 151 Officer, be authorised to prepare all necessary briefings and scopes of work, make and amend as required Planning Applications, undertake any Consultation and to tender for necessary consultants and a main contractor for the construction, design and delivery of this project and subsequently award the construction contracts, subject to those costs falling within the parameters set out in the financial envelope considered in the Part 2 confidential report.

 

(6)               That the Service Director for Property and Assets, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources, Property and Assets, and the Section 151 Officer, be authorised to enter into, administer and comply with the terms of any required non-disclosure agreement for the duration of this project while it remained in force.

 

(7)               That the Service Director for Property and Assets, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources, Property and Assets, and the Section 151 Officer, be authorised  to make arrangements for a Public Works Loan Board loan to finance the project.

Minutes:

Councillor John Chilver, Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources, Property and Assets introduced the report which proposed the construction by the Council, in partnership with South-Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), of a new Ambulance Resource Centre on the site of a former property (now demolished) owned Freehold by the Council in High Wycombe under Title Nos BM357755 and BM357753.  The development would replace the much smaller existing High Wycombe ambulance facility and would meet current and future operational needs.

 

The reasons for taking the decision were set out at paragraphs 2.1 to 2.4 of the Cabinet report.  The Centre would be located on a dormant Council owned property asset with unrealised potential to create revenue income and improve the Capital value.  Following its closure, the former Orchard House had remained unused and unproductive for some time after which it had been agreed that the current buildings could not viably be repurposed and were therefore demolished to free the site up for eventual re-development.

 

The project would also provide both synergy and a holistic fit with Buckinghamshire Council’s Corporate Plan for 2021-22 and its key strategic and economic activities relating to Strengthening our communities, Protecting the vulnerable, Improving the environment and improving prosperity.

 

Discussions involving the Council’s Property and Finance Team and the SCAS Estates Director, had resulted in the emerging draft Heads of Terms contained in the confidential appendix.  The rent review provisions contained within the Lease would ensure that the rent payable kept pace with market rent growth and would increase over the 30 year period as well as the continuing increase in capital value of the property.  Cash flow associated with this acquisition was set out in the confidential appendix.

 

The key risks associated with the proposal and mitigation measures, relating to issues such as SCAS withdrawing before the building was complete, SCAS failing in their obligation to pay rent, construction costs escalation, were set out at paragraphs 6.1 to 6.5 of the Cabinet report.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)               That Cabinet recognised this project represented a good example of a Local Authority (Buckinghamshire Council) and a NHS Foundation Trust organisation (South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS)) working jointly together to better serve the Council’s resident population in providing a more modern and larger ambulance facility to replace the much smaller existing facility which would enable the Service to meet current and future operational needs.

 

(2)               That the addition of this scheme to the Capital Programme, to be funded via the prudential borrowing facility, which in turn is funded by Public Works Loan Board for a new Ambulance Station be agreed, with the facility to be let on a long lease to The South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS).

 

(3)               That the Service Director for Property and Assets, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources, Property and Assets, and the S151 Officer be authorised to appoint consultants and contractors within the agreed cost envelope set out in the Part 2 report (confidential) to progress and complete development of the site including seeking and obtaining planning permission.

 

(4)               That the Service Director for Property and Assets, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources, Property and Assets, and the Section 151 Officer, be authorised to finalise and agree the Heads of Terms together with any necessary amendments for a development agreement and Agreement for Lease and Lease in accordance with the emerging heads of terms set out in the confidential annex at part two of the Cabinet report; and subsequently, subject to meeting contract conditions, to exchange and complete the contracts.

 

(5)               That the Service Director for Property and Assets, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources, Property and Assets, and the Section 151 Officer, be authorised to prepare all necessary briefings and scopes of work, make and amend as required Planning Applications, undertake any Consultation and to tender for necessary consultants and a main contractor for the construction, design and delivery of this project and subsequently award the construction contracts, subject to those costs falling within the parameters set out in the financial envelope considered in the Part 2 confidential report.

 

(6)               That the Service Director for Property and Assets, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources, Property and Assets, and the Section 151 Officer, be authorised to enter into, administer and comply with the terms of any required non-disclosure agreement for the duration of this project while it remained in force.

 

(7)               That the Service Director for Property and Assets, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources, Property and Assets, and the Section 151 Officer, be authorised  to make arrangements for a Public Works Loan Board loan to finance the project.

Supporting documents: