STAFFORDSHIRE MOORLANDS DISTRICT COUNCIL

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					                                                                 AGENDA ITEM 9.1

        STAFFORDSHIRE MOORLANDS DISTRICT COUNCIL

                               Report to Cabinet

                                 6th April 2004

          TITLE:        Disposal of Surplus Public Conveniences

          PORTFOLIO:    Resources

          OFFICER:      Corporate Director

          WARD:         All Wards




1.    Recommendations

1.1   That the options for disposal of surplus public conveniences as detailed in
      section 2.2 are approved for investigation and action

Reason for Recommendations: To dispose of the surplus properties and achieve
best use and price for each property.


2.    Executive Summary

2.1   The Council declared eight closed public conveniences surplus                 to
      requirements and requested officers to determine options for disposal

2.2   Each of conveniences have been considered and the options that are
      recommended for investigation and action are as follows: -

      High Street, Cheadle
       Retain the property for possible operational use by the District Council.

      Kingsley
       Dispose of the property.
       Offer the property for sale and commence negotiations with the owners of
         the Village Hall.

      Brough Park, Leek
       Retain the property.
       Establish whether there is any demand from within the District Council for
         the property.
       If there is no demand consider demolition.


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      Ball Haye Green, Leek
       Dispose and offer the property on the open market and obtain best price.

      Birch Gardens, Leek
       Retain and demolish the property.

      Mill St, Leek
       Offer the property to Leek Town Council in the first instance.
       Otherwise, the property should be placed on the open market and best
          price realised.

      Tunstall Road, Knypersley
       Dispose of the property.
       Investigate the proposed development of the adjoining church property
        and consider selling to the church.

      Craigside, Biddulph
       Retain the property for future operational use by the District Council.


3.    Evaluation of Options

3.1   Approve the Recommendations – This would provide a plan of action for the
      disposal of the surplus public conveniences.

3.2   Not approve the Recommendation – The rationalisation plan could not be
      completed and there would be an ongoing liability for the Council


4     Implications

4.1   Community Safety            It would be advantageous to dispose of the
                                  surplus public conveniences at the earliest
                                  opportunity. Property awaiting disposal must be
                                  kept secure, regularly inspected and safeguarded
                                  from vandalism.

4.2   Employees                   Identified in the earlier Cabinet report

4.3   Equalities                  Access to alternative provision has been given
                                  consideration

4.4   Financial                   Identified in earlier report.

4.5   Legal:                      The disposal of public conveniences by way of
                                  lease or sale would result in the preparation of
                                  legal documentation.

4.6   Sustainability:             None.



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                                ANDREW P. STOKES
                                 Corporate Director


Background Papers             Location                     Contact
Report to Environmental       Property Services Section,   Clive Rhodes
Housing and Regeneration      Moorlands House, Leek        Head of Property Services
Overview and Scrutiny Panel                                Tel: 01538 483555
dated 16th July 2003

Report to Cabinet
7 October 2003


Decision:
5.    Background
Reason:
5.1   The Victoria Business Park project is being delivered by the District Council
Interests Declared: Advantage West Midlands (AWM) through a Joint Venture
      (SMDC) and
      Agreement. The legal arrangement requires SMDC to vest the value of the
      site and a maximum of £300,000 cash equity into the scheme. AWM’s I




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5.    Background and Detail

5.1   The report to Cabinet dated 7th October 2003 recommended that eight toilets
      be declared surplus to requirements and considered for disposal. It is
      assumed that the toilets comply with their current use within the planning
      regulations. Any alternative planning uses would need to be investigated.

5.2   The cost of demolishing or stripping out the buildings to create a shell has not
      yet been investigated.

5.3   It has been established that business rates are not payable on the properties
      as they are vacant and have a rateable value of less than £1900. There are
      potential security risks and maintenance costs associated with leaving these
      properties vacant.

5.4   A survey of the surplus toilets has been carried out and the outcome of the
      survey is set out below:-

      5.4.1 High Street, Cheadle

             The toilet block is located at the end of Cheadle High Street with a
             Chinese Takeaway on one side and Osborne House (an old peoples
             home) on the other. There is a public telephone box immediately in
             front of the property.

             The toilets are of brick construction and the ladies toilet comprises two
             cubicles whilst the gents comprise one urinal and two cubicles. The
             building has been made secure.

             It is possible that there may be a commercial value to the property if
             offered on the open market given its location within the town. The
             District Council has received an expression of interest to buy the
             property.

             It is understood that the Council may wish to retain this property and
             consider a change of use for the building. A study of the District
             Council’s property holding within the Cheadle Area will be undertaken
             within the next twelve months. It is therefore proposed to retain the
             building until the study has been completed and a decision taken
             whether the property is required for operational purposes.

      5.4.2 Kingsley

             The property is located at the end of a small lane to the rear of
             Kingsley Village and adjacent to St. Werburgh,s Cemetery.

             The toilets are of brick construction and the ladies toilet comprises two
             cubicles whilst the gents comprise one urinal and two cubicles. The
             building has been made secure.



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      It could be feasible that the Village Hall Committee is looking at
      development proposals for their property and the owner may therefore
      be a prospective purchaser for the property. If not, it may be possible
      to offer the property for sale on the open market.

      The District Council has received an expression of interest in the
      property.

5.4.3 Brough Park, Leek

      These toilets are of brick construction and are located within the Park.

      The property has limited access.

      Given their position within the Park it would not be feasible to dispose
      of the property on the open market. It is proposed to retain the property
      and establish whether there is demand for alternative use within the
      District Council. If there is no demand, the building should be
      demolished and the site area landscaped.

5.4.4 Ball Haye Green, Leek

      These toilets are of brick construction but are boarded up. They are
      located on the edge of Ball Haye Playing Field which it is believed to
      come under the ownership of Leek Town Council.

      It is proposed to place the building on the open market for sale and
      realise best price.

5.4.5 Birch Gardens, Leek

      These toilets are of brick construction and built underground.

      They are located within Birch Gardens and are not considered suitable
      for sale on the open market. It is also likely that the use of the land on
      which they are situated is subject to a restrictive covenant dating back
      to when the Park was created.

      It is proposed that the property should be retained, the underground
      structure demolished and backfilled with suitable material and the site
      area landscaped.

5.4.6 Mill St, Leek

      These toilets are of brick construction and have been made secure.
      They are located on a busy road junction at the edge of the town
      centre. The toilet block is a Grade 2 listed building.

      It is proposed to approach Leek Town Council to determine whether
      they have a use for the building. In the event that the Town Council has


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      no use for the building then it should be offered for sale on the open
      market for best price.

5.4.7 Tunstall Road, Knypersley

      These toilets are of brick construction and have been made secure.

      They are located on a main road to the rear of a property St. Johns
      Church and adjacent to a small area of open space owned by the
      District Council and licenced to the Biddulph W.I. as part of Biddulph in
      Bloom.

      We are aware that the Church is looking at development proposals for
      their property and they may therefore be a prospective purchaser for
      the property. If not it may be possible to offer the property for sale on
      the open market but demand is likely to be limited.

5.4.8 Craigside, Biddulph

      These toilets are brick construction and have been made secure.

      They are situated on Craigside car park adjacent to the Somerfield
      supermarket.

      As they form part of the car park it would not be sensible to dispose of
      the property.

      The alternative use of this property will be considered in context with
      the operational requirements of the District Council. It is therefore
      proposed to retain the building and review the use to which it may be
      put.




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