A report from the Director of Regeneration and Environment and Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services will be circulated as soon as possible. This provides a programme update and seeks further decisions on the way forward. (Report No.228, agenda part two also refers). (Key decision – reference number 4033)
(Report No.226) TO FOLLOW
(9.15 – 9.20 pm)
Councillor Alan Sitkin (Cabinet Member for Economic Development) introduced the report of the Director of Regeneration and Environment and Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services (No.226) providing a programme update on Meridian Water.
1. That Report No.228 also referred as detailed in Minute No.29 below.
2. That the Council had completed the acquisition of three sites within the Meridian Water development area.
3. The report sought authority to acquire more land at Meridian Water to enable the delivery of a further 2,000 homes and employment. The report also recommended commencing the procurement of a master developer, undertaking the procurement of a remediation contractor and establishing a Meridian Water Member Oversight Group to provide robust governance. The target date for commencement of works was 2016.
4. Councillor Oykener highlighted the good progress which was being made and noted that further reports would be presented to Cabinet in due course.
Alternative Options Considered: Declining the possible purchase of the land potentially available to the Council had been considered, but rejected due to the uncertain timescales associated with their owner bringing the land to market and securing development and consequent benefits for the community. The use of compulsory purchase powers to acquire the land that comprised the opportunity, either as a package or individually had also been considered, but it would be premature at this stage, given that planning was not in place and currently negotiations were ongoing with the landowners.
DECISION: The Cabinet
1. Noted the progress made to date to bring forward the Meridian Water development opportunity.
2. Agreed to delegate authority to the Director of Regeneration and Environment and the Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services to develop and finalise the Heads of Terms (HoTs) for the acquisition of the land identified in the part 2 report (as detailed in Minute No.29 below). The proposed generic HoTs were detailed in the part 2 report.
3. Agreed to delegate authority to the Cabinet Member for Economic Development, and the Cabinet Member for Finance acting with the Director of Regeneration and Environment and the Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services authority to exchange and complete the purchase agreements and enter into such legal documents arising from the acquisitions.
4. Agreed to delegate to the Director of Regeneration and Environment, acting with the Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services authority to obtain any necessary environmental liability insurance in relation to the additional sites to be acquired.
5. Agreed to authorise the posting of a notice on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) advertising for a Master Developer to develop the entirety of Meridian Water.
6. Agreed to authorise the approach to remediation as described in paragraph 6 of the report.
7. Agreed to delegate authority to the Cabinet Member for Economic Development, and the Cabinet Member for Finance acting with the Director of Regeneration and Environment and the Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services the authority to appoint the remediation contractor.
8. Agreed to authorise the establishment of the Meridian Water Member Oversight Advisory Group to oversee the progress of the Meridian Water programme in accordance with the Terms of Reference set out in appendix 1 of the report.
9. Noted the intention for a further Cabinet report to be brought forward in summer 2015 which would seek, subject to full Council approval, an increase to the Neighbourhood Regeneration Capital Programme to fund the next stages of Meridian Water.
Reason: Meridian Water could not be delivered without assembling land, appointing a developer, remediating contaminated land and robust governance; this report enabled all of this to happen and crucially therefore took Meridian Water a big step closer to delivering the Council’s ambitions for the site.
(Key decision – reference number 4033)