DATE 5th October 2009
REPORT OF Executive Director of Regeneration
RESPONSIBLE PORTFOLIO Councillor De Freitas – Governance
HOLDER and Support Services
SUBJECT Disposal - Saltings Allotment site,
Westward Ho, Grimsby
FORWARD PLAN REF NO. REG 08/09/2
CONTRIBUTION TO THE COUNCIL PLAN / STRATEGIC AIMS
The disposal of the surplus part of the Saltings Allotment site directly would
contribute to the Council’s Strategic Aim of Improving the quality of the built and
natural environment. This would be achieved by removing derelict land and
encouraging innovative redevelopment of the site for a new medical centre.
This report seeks approval in principle to dispose of approximately 2.2 acres of
the surplus Saltings Allotment area to a private developer for constructing a new
Medical Centre. In addition and subject to capital and revenue funding, 7.9
acres will be retained to form a natural wetland which would be managed by the
Community Services Directorate.
1. That Cabinet Approve, in principle, the disposal of approximately 2.2
acres of the former Saltings Allotment land, off Westward Ho, Grimsby for
the construction of a new Medical Centre.
2. That the Estates and Valuation Manager be authorised to negotiate
detailed terms for the disposal.
3. That the Executive Director of Business Services be authorised to
conclude the legal formalities for the disposal.
4. That the Executive Directors of Business Services and Regeneration be
authorised to seek Secretary of State approval to release a further 1 acre
of statutory allotment land.
5. That Cabinet authorises the Executive Director of Community Services to
prepare for consideration a costed proposal and business case for the
creation and management of a wetland or open space area.
REASONS FOR DECISION
The proposed disposal will regenerate part a currently derelict site, and generate
a capital receipt for the Council.
Crime and Disorder – No direct issues
Human Rights – No direct issues
Diversity – No direct issues
Value for Money – The report contains provisions to ensure the efficient use of
funding to deliver the Allotments Strategy and the potential to lever in additional
resources to the area from external providers.
The impact on the social, economic and environmental well-being of the
Borough – The capital receipt will serve to help deliver the Allotments Strategy
which offers support to households in the Borough to grow vegetables and adopt
a healthy outdoor lifestyle.
Risk assessment overall
The risks associated with the disposal of the site are minimal given the
preliminary work completed to date. However, the development is subject to
securing Planning consent.
The release of a further 1 acre of the Saltings site is subject to securing
Secretary of State consent. The outcome of this application will not affect the
delivery of the medical centre development proposal.
The managed wetland site will be subject to a separate business case within
which the associated risks will be considered. The outcome of this initiative will
not affect the medical centre development proposals.
1. BACKGROUND AND ISSUES
1.1 The disposal of part of the Saltings allotment site, Grimsby was identified as
a key component of the Allotment Strategy through which a capital receipt
could be generated. The capital receipt is to be reinvested into the retained
allotment site to address the backlog maintenance position and underpin
the Allotments Strategy.
Cabinet approved part of the Saltings allotment site surplus on the 6th
September 2004 and on the 30th November 2004 an application to release the
land from statutory allotment status was subsequently submitted to the Secretary
of State. A conditional approval was received from the Secretary of State on the
29th September 2005.
1.3 There are a number of conditions set out by the Secretary of State in the
letter granting approval, which the Council must satisfy as part of the
disposal and development process. These conditions will be satisfied as
part of the development proposals.
1.4 The current position is that the Council is now in negotiations with a
developer to dispose of approximately 2.2 acres of the former allotment land
for the construction of a medical centre.
1.5 In addition and as part of a funded project with Natural England, Community
Services Directorate have prepared an initial feasibility study supporting the
proposal to establish approximately 7.9 acres of wetland area or open
1.6 The proposals for the development of a medical centre and forming of the
wetland space have received initial public support. This initiative has the
potential to generate real benefits for the community in managing localised
flooding issues, caused by natural springs and at the same time retaining
amenity open space.
1.7 The medical centre will provide a valuable community asset in a modern
and well designed building that will generate a capital receipt for the
Council. This capital receipt will be ring fenced to support further
implementation of the Allotments Strategy.
1.8 It is proposed to remove a further 1 acre of the operational allotment site
from statutory status. This area is blighted by flooding and would be best
utilised to manage and alleviate future flooding on the site. This proposal
has previously been subject to tenant consultation and has received full
support from both the Allotments Forum and Saltings Allotment committee.
This area of land is identified on the plan contained in appendix 1.
2. OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED
2.1 There are few real options available in achieving the optimum position for the
i) The Do nothing option – by not disposing of the site no capital receipt
will be achieved with which to reinvest into the allotment service. The site
over time will become further derelict and flood management in the area will
ii) The development of the site for residential use option. Due to
feedback from The Environment Agency and Local Authority Planning
officers the option to develop was eliminated due to flood risk assessment
3. CONSULTATION WITH SCRUTINY
3.1 Scrutiny have not been directly consulted on this specific disposal proposal,
however Scrutiny received the Allotments Strategy on 13th June 2006 of
which the disposal of Saltings allotment site formed part of the discussion in
minute item OS.07.
4. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
4.1 The negotiated disposal with a developer for an area of circa 2.2 acres will
result in a significant capital receipt for the council, ring fenced to the
statutory allotment service as required and detailed in the legal implications
as set out below. The resources will be used to further implement the
Allotments Strategy and the requirements of the Secretary of State.
4.2 The disposal will be at open market value. Public consultation has
confirmed a future use of this site to be for a medical centre and amenity
4.3 Business case, whole life costs and revenue implications for the use of the
remainder of the site as managed wetland area are to be produced by the
Community Services Directorate.
5. LEGAL IMPLICATIONS
5.1 Capital receipts obtained from the disposal of Saltings allotment site will
fund the implementation of the Allotments strategy,. The consent of the
Secretary of State to any disposal will be subject to pre- agreed investment
arrangements for the capital receipts being reinvested into the retained part
of the same site and/ or other allotment sites. The receipts and spending
would however need to be reflected in the capital investment strategy.
5.2 In September 2005 the Secretary of State indicated that consent to a
disposal of approximately 3.12 hectares (9.1 acres) of allotment land at this
location could be approved if the Council complied with a number of pre-
conditions to any development relating to:
improvements to the retained allotments to reduce the likelihood of
flooding and vermin infestation;
ongoing consultation with allotment users on biodiversity initiatives
on the retained allotments;
erection of new secure perimeter fencing;
appropriate relocation of displaced allotment holders; and
the application of any capital receipt from a disposal into the above
activities and other unspecified improvements to the retained area.
5.3 It will be necessary to seek the Secretary of State’s consent to the
variations to the proposed disposal etc as set out in this report and any
consent will likely be subject to the same, and, perhaps, more preconditions
to protect the retained area and, possibly, other allotment sites in North East
5.4 Changes in the management responsibilities of the former allotment land
which are to be retained by the Council need to be confirmed. This
transaction termed, ‘appropriation’ allows for the residual area of land to be
used as a wetland to be handed over from the Regeneration Directorate to
the Community Services Directorate.
6. HUMAN RESOURCES IMPLICATIONS
6.1 There are no human resource implications arising from the proposed
7. WARD IMPLICATIONS
7.1 All wards in terms of impact of capital receipt towards the overall service
delivery of allotments. More specifically the South ward in terms of the
location of the proposed changes to the former Saltings allotment land.
8. BACKGROUND PAPERS
Cabinet report dated 6th September 2004
Finance, policy and Corporate Services scrutiny panels dated 6th December
2004 and 28th April 2005
Cabinet Approval for the Allotments Strategy dated 12th June 2006
Overview and Scrutiny Board dated 13th June 2006.
9. CONTACT OFFICER
Mike Tofton – Principal Asset Surveyor – 32 4678
Executive Director of Regeneration