Agenda and decisions

Cabinet - Monday, 5th July, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices. View directions

Contact: Emma Denny  Email: emma.denny@north-norfolk.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 207 KB

To approve, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 07 June 2021.

3.

Public Questions and Statements

To receive questions and statements from the public, if any.

4.

Items of Urgent Business

To determine any other items of business which the Chairman decides should be considered as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972

5.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests that they may have in any of the following items on the agenda. The Code of Conduct for Members requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (see attached guidance and flowchart).

6.

Members' Questions

To receive oral questions from Members, if any

7.

Recommendations from Overview & Scrutiny Committee

To consider any recommendations referred to the Cabinet by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee for consideration by the Cabinet in accordance within the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules.

 

The following recommendation was made to Cabinet at the meeting of Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 19th May 2021:

 

ENFORCEMENT BOARD UPDATE

 

RESOLVED

 

To recommend to Cabinet that consideration is given to the resourcing of the Planning Enforcement Team to strengthen and support the Council’s planning enforcement process.

 

8.

Housing Strategy 2021 - 2025 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Summary:

This report sets out:

-       The works so far undertaken to develop the new Housing Strategy for 2021 to 2025, including considerable consultation with members and other stakeholders. 

-       A new Housing Strategy and Housing Strategy Action Plan 2021-25 for Cabinet’s views.

Options considered:

The New Housing Strategy is a Corporate Objective - there are no alternative options possible.

Conclusions:

 

The Housing Strategy will ensure the Council delivers the housing objectives in the Corporate Plan.

Recommendations:

 

To recommend that Full Council adopts the Housing Strategy and Action Plan 2021-25.

Reasons for  Recommendations:

 

To deliver a new Housing Strategy and the other Housing related objectives in the Corporate Plan.

 

LIST OF BACKGROUND PAPERS AS REQUIRED BY LAW

 

None

 

               

Cabinet Member(s):

Cllr. Wendy Fredericks

 

Ward(s) affected:

District-wide

Contact Officer:

Nicky Debbage, Housing Strategy & Delivery Manager, Tel: 01263 516027, email nicky.debbage@north-noroflk.gov.uk

Graham Connolly, Housing Strategy & Delivery Manager, Tel: 01263 516282, email graham.connolly@north-norfolk.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

DECISION

Resolved:

To recommend that Full Council adopt the Housing Strategy and Action Plan 2021-25.

Reason for the recommendation:

To deliver a new Housing Strategy and the other Housing related objectives in the Corporate Plan.

 

9.

UK COMMUNITY RENEWAL FUND (CRF) MATCH FUNDING pdf icon PDF 278 KB

Summary:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Options considered:

This report seeks authorisation from Cabinet to confirm and allocate the match funding requirements for the recently submitted Community Renewal Fund (CRF) bids for both Fakenham and North Walsham.

 

The total funding being requested for the Fakenham bid is £800k, with £600k being requested from the CFR and £200k (25%) being sought from the Council’s own resources, giving a total budget allocation of £800k.

 

As with Fakenham, the total funding being requested for the North Walsham bid is also £800k, with £600k being requested from the CFR and £200k (25%) being sought from the Council’s own resources, giving a total budget allocation of £800k.

 

This means that the combined match funding requirement from NNDC is £400k, with funding requests from the CRF totalling £1.2m, which combined would see an overall funding package of £1.6m.

 

It is recommended that the match funding element is provided from the Delivery Plan Reserve.

 

The Council could have taken the decision not to submit any bids for the recently announced Community Renewal Fund (CRF). However, having been identified by central government as one of the 100 ‘priority areas’, with potential access districtwide to a funding pot of £3m, it was considered opportune to submit 2 applications, one focussed around Fakenham and the other around North Walsham, to try to secure some of this funding for the area.

 

While there was no specific requirement to provide match funding the bid scoring guidance was clear that projects with match funding in place would be viewed more favourably, hence the request that is before Members within this report.

 

Conclusions:

 

Having been recently identified by central government as being one of the 100 ‘priority areas’, the Council has taken the decision to submit 2 bids to the Community Renewal Fund (CRF). The match funding being sort to support these bids will strengthen the potential for them to be approved and allocated funding when the bid submissions are assessed by central government.

 

Recommendations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons for

Recommendations:

 

That Cabinet resolve the following;

 

  1. To release match funding of £200k for the Fakenham CRF bid and £200k for the North Walsham bid subject to the bids being approved by central government.
  2. The match funding element to be released from the Delivery Plan Reserve.

 

To support and strengthen the CRF bids for both Fakenham and North Walsham which in turn will help to realise opportunities to secure UK Government funding into North Norfolk to support investment in projects which meet priorities outlined in the Council’s Corporate Plan as they relate to provision of housing, economic growth, environment and climate change and quality of life.

 

 

 

LIST OF BACKGROUND PAPERS AS REQUIRED BY LAW

(Papers relied on to write the report, which do not contain exempt information and which are not published elsewhere)

 

 

               

Cabinet Member(s)

Cllr S Bütikofer – Leader of the Council

Ward(s) affected

Lancaster North, Lancaster South, North Walsham East, North Walsham Market Cross and North Walsham West

 

Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Duncan Ellis, Director for Resources, 01263  ...  view the full agenda text for item 9.

Decision:

DECISION

Resolved:

 

 

  1. To release match funding of £200k for the Fakenham CRF bid and £200k for the North Walsham bid subject to the bids being approved by central government.
  2. The match funding element to be released from the Delivery Plan Reserve.
  3. To recommend to Full Council the establishment of new capital budgets for the North Walsham and Fakenham schemes of £800k each, with each scheme being funded through the CRF bid (£600k) and the balance (£200k) as match funding from the Council

 

Reason for the recommendations:

 

To support and strengthen the CRF bids for both Fakenham and North Walsham which in turn will help to realise opportunities to secure UK Government funding into North Norfolk to support investment in projects which meet priorities outlined in the Council’s Corporate Plan as they relate to provision of housing, economic growth, environment and climate change and quality of life.

10.

Street Trading Consent Fees

Report to follow.

Decision:

DECISION

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet delegate the ability to waive the fee for a Street Trading Consent application, where the trading is part of an organised event to support the post COVID recovery of a Town/area, for the remainder of 2021 calendar year to the Assistant Director - Environmental and Leisure Services or the Director for Communities in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Environment; and the Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Growth.

 

Reason for the decision:

 

To support Town Centre recovery from the Covid Pandemic by enabling events to take place which encourage increased footfall.

 

11.

GREENS ROAD FOOTBALL FACILITY - NORTH WALSHAM pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Summary and Conclusion:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Options considered:

There are some capital maintenance works required at the football ground site on Greens Road, North Walsham. Whilst the site is leased to North Walsham Town Football Club on a full repairing lease, it cannot afford these works (c£60k). It is possible for the Council to undertake these works on behalf of the club, and write into an extended lease a commercial rent that enables the club to pay back the finance over a set period. An extension to the lease, top 21 years, will enable the club to further grow and develop and support the proposed 3G pitch installation project at the site.

 

Option 1: Do not extend the lease, do not fund the works.

 

Option 2: Extend the lease, fund the cost of the capital works. This is the preferred option.

 

 

Recommendations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons for

Recommendations:

 

1) That the Council extends the lease with North Walsham Town Football Club for a period of 21 years.

 

2) That, subject to the inclusion in the lease a requirement for an increased rent which covers the cost of the work over an agreed period of time, the Council procures and funds the necessary works to bring the site up to a fit for purpose standard.

 

The above provides certainty for the club which continues to grow. It also assists the Council in its funding application to the Football Foundation for the potential installation of the 3G pitch

 

 

               

Cabinet Member(s)

Cllr Virginia Gay

 

Ward(s) affected

North Walsham West

Contact Officer, telephone number and email: Karl Read, 01263 516002, karl.read@north-norfolk.gov.uk

 

Decision:

DECISION

Resolved

 

1) That the Council extends the lease with North Walsham Town Football Club for a period of 21 years.

 

2) That, subject to the inclusion in the lease a requirement for an increased rent which covers the cost of the work over an agreed period of time, the Council procures and funds the necessary works to bring the site up to a fit for purpose standard.

 

 

Reasons for the recommendations:

 

The above provides certainty for the club which continues to grow. It also assists the Council in its funding application to the Football Foundation for the potential installation of the 3G pitch

12.

Refurbishment and letting of Cedar House, North Walsham and sale of adjacent land & buildings pdf icon PDF 404 KB

Summary:                      This is an update to a report previously presented to

Cabinet on the 30th March 2020, which identifies opportunities that would see the regeneration of a heritage building, known as The Cedars, and adjoining land.  The proposal would require the Council to withdraw from a previously expressed intention dated November 2014 to dispose of the asset and move forward with a proposal for the main building to be refurbished and retained by the Council for letting and consideration of options for the remainder of the site. 

Options considered:       A range of options and uses have been considered and a feasibility study recently produced which makes recommendations for future uses. The alternative option is to continue with the previously agreed decision to dispose, however this would lead to a further long period in which the building remains vacant, at risk and deteriorating; it would also lead to the loss of grant support for the building’s restoration.

Conclusions:                   The property has stood empty since 2016 whilst the sale of the property was under negotiation. During this time there has been considerable officer resource needed in managing the vacant property and budget required to hold it, without the property providing any benefit to the local community or wider district.   

The prospective purchaser has in the period since November 2014 been unable/unwilling to commit to the acquisition of the property.  In more recent times officers have explored alternative options and have succeeded in securing grant support for the building’s restoration and conversion. Beneficial alternative options are now open to the Council following the completion of a feasibility study. 

 

In evaluating the options and the inability of the prospective purchaser to complete, it is recommended that the disposal is not pursued; rather that the premises be refurbished and offered to let on the basis of a commercial rent either to community uses or to the private sector or a combination of both. The land and ancillary buildings offer some potential for development/conversion and it is recommended that options for its alternative use and possible disposal be further investigated. In both cases this would now represent best value and would support the objectives of the Corporate Plan, Asset Management Plan and furthermore would meet the criteria as stated in the Council’s Disposal Policy.

Recommendations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons for 

Recommendations:

It is recommended that Cabinet should resolve:

A.    To formally withdraw from the current disposal transaction which, after more than six years has not progressed to completion.

B.    To retain the main Cedars building for letting purposes subject to a refurbishment as per the revised specification of works and then to market the premises to let.

C.    That the previously allocated capital funding and the grant secured from Historic England is utilised for the refurbishment as per the revised cost plan.

D.    That options are investigated for the separate use and possible disposal of the remaining parts and that marketing commences for the sale of the surplus site for potential third party development.  (A further report being  ...  view the full agenda text for item 12.

Additional documents:

Decision:

DECISION

Resolved:

 

A.                        To formally withdraw from the current disposal transaction which, after more than six years has not progressed to completion.

B.                        To retain the main Cedars building for letting purposes subject to a refurbishment as per the revised specification of works and then to market the premises to let.

C.                        That the previously allocated capital funding and the grant secured from Historic England is utilised for the refurbishment as per the revised cost plan.

D.                        That options are investigated for the separate use and possible disposal of the remaining parts and that marketing commences for the sale of the surplus site for potential third party development.  (A further report being brought to Cabinet if disposal is deemed the most appropriate option).

 

 

Reasons for the decision:

The proposed retention and refurbishment of the property and letting for a commercial rent to community organisations or private sector would bring the property back into beneficial use. This would prevent this important Listed Building from being further at risk and would utilise grant funds already secured.

 

13.

Melbourne Slope former toilets - proposed redevelopment & letting pdf icon PDF 437 KB

Summary:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Options considered:

The Council owned former Public Toilets at the Melbourne Slope in Cromer closed several years ago and new facilities were developed elsewhere on the promenade. The currently vacant property has been widely advertised to let over the course of the month of April 2021 using Right Move, facebook & Twitter with a link to marketing particulars on the NNDC Property website page.

 

Following that exposure six proposals were received and this report outlines the options available to the Council to bring the building back into use and then outlines the potential benefits and risks of doing so.

 

Conclusions:

 

The six proposals received by the Council from businesses interested in renovating and leasing the building have been summarised in this report and a recommendation put forward.

 

Recommendations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons for

Recommendations:

 

It is recommended that Cabinet should make a resolution to allow the Estates team to continue discussions with the preferred party and to finalise terms and to execute the letting. Should any further material changes be made to either the proposal or the proposed tenant then any decision should be delegated to the s151 officer in consultation with the portfolio holder.

 

This recommendation is being made in order to provide the Estates team with the remit to progress negotiations with the preferred party and to secure the best deal possible to secure an early lease completion.

 

LIST OF BACKGROUND PAPERS AS REQUIRED BY LAW

(Papers relied on to write the report, which do not contain exempt information and which are not published elsewhere)

 

              

Cabinet Member(s); Cllr Eric Seward

 

Ward(s) affected; Cromer

Contact Officer, telephone number and email: Neil Turvey, 01263 516124 neil.turvey@north-norfolk.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

DECISION

Resolved:

 

It is recommended that Cabinet should make a resolution to allow the Estates team to continue discussions with the preferred party and to finalise terms and to execute the letting. Should any further material changes be made to either the proposal or the proposed tenant then any decision should be delegated to the s151 officer in consultation with the portfolio holder.

 

Reason for the decision:

 

This recommendation is being made in order to provide the Estates team with the remit to progress negotiations with the preferred party and to secure the best deal possible to secure an early lease completion.

14.

PROPERTY TRANSACTION: LEASE PROPOSAL AT UNIT D, HORNBEAM ROAD, NORTH WALSHAM AND RENT RECYCLING PROPOSAL pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Summary:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Options considered:

The Council has received a lease proposal from a local business to rent commercial premises in North Walsham.  The proposal represent a market rent/terms and initial due diligence indicate the tenant is of good covenant strength.

 

During negotiations it has been identified that a clear and transparent policy regarding Council investment into assets is required to respond to recent changes in the Public Works Loan Board lending terms. A rent recycling scheme is proposed to be developed to enable investment into assets where regeneration is needed to bring them back into use.

 

The alternative option would be not to accept the lease proposal however, the property was acquired for income generation purposes and the rent and terms proposed are appropriate and therefore this option has been discounted.

 

The Council could decide not to develop a rent recycling policy and make direct investment into assets, however that would be in conflict with lending terms and would have significant financial implications. This option therefore would not be recommended. 

 

Conclusions:

 

Having advertised the units to let on the open market, Officers have gained a lease proposal from a local business to rent unit D.  With rent/terms that reflect the local current market it provides an appropriate level of investment return in accordance with the Asset Management Plan.

 

Due to the changes to the Public Works Load Board (PWLB) lending terms, the development a rent recycling policy as a clear and transparent financial strategy to demonstrate how the Council may seek to fund future asset regeneration opportunities. 

 

Recommendations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons for

Recommendations:

 

It is recommended that Cabinet should resolve:

A.    To approve the lease terms as described in Appendix A.

B.    Should there be any further negotiations to the offer made, to delegate to the s151 officer, in consultation with the portfolio holder, the ability to vary the terms of the lease and a rental value not exceeding a 10% variation the original lease proposal.

C.    To approve officers in the development of a financial strategy for a rent recycle scheme and that approval of the policy is delegated to the Director of Resources and in consultation with the relevant portfolio holder. 

 

Principally to support the financial sustainability and growth of the Council by leasing the premises and generating rental income that is used to support Council services.

 

To provide a clear and transparent policy on how property rents can be recycled to facilitate regeneration of Council assets.

 

LIST OF BACKGROUND PAPERS AS REQUIRED BY LAW

(Papers relied on to write the report, which do not contain exempt information and which are not published elsewhere)

 

              

Cabinet Member(s)

Cllr. E Seward

Ward(s) affected

North Walsham

 

Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Renata Garfoot, Asset Strategy Manager. 

Tel: 01263 516086  Email: Renata.garfoot@north-norfolk.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

DECISION

Resolved:

 

A.    To approve the lease terms as described in Appendix A.

B.    Should there be any further negotiations to the offer made, to delegate to the s151 officer, in consultation with the portfolio holder, the ability to vary the terms of the lease and a rental value not exceeding a 10% variation the original lease proposal.

C.   To agree that officers, in conjunction with the Portfolio holder for Assets, develop a financial strategy for a rent recycle scheme and that the strategy is brought back to Cabinet for approval.

 

Reasons for the recommendations:

 

Principally to support the financial sustainability and growth of the Council by leasing the premises and generating rental income that is used to support Council services.

 

To provide a clear and transparent policy on how property rents can be recycled to facilitate regeneration of Council assets.

15.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To pass the following resolution:

“That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs _ of Part I ofSchedule 12A (as amended) to the Act.”

16.

Private Business