Venue: The Paralympic Room, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF
Contact: Bill Ashton; Email: email@example.com;
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 June, 2019, copy attached as an appendix.
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 June, 2019, be approved as a correct record.
Councillor Mrs Paternoster
Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure
To consider the attached report.
Contact Officer: Andrew Small (01296) 585507
That approval be given to £350,000 from the New Homes Bonus Reserve fund being allocated, in line with the Cabinet report, to allow Buckinghamshire Advantage and the Buckinghamshire County Council to continue work as promotor of the Woodlands Site.
(b) Reason(s) for Decision(s)
The Woodlands development is largely regarded as the exemplar development in the emerging Aylesbury Garden Town Masterplan. The current planning consent will deliver 1,100 new homes, 1 million sq ft of Employment space and a key part of the Aylesbury Link Road.
The funding is to be used for Phase 1 and how the site is taken forward and the site is at a critical point in terms of viability. Buckinghamshire County Council have approved their part of the funding and it is a priority project with the development being of strategic interest.
Because of the complexity surrounding this development, reaching planning consent and formulating a clear set of delivery options has taken longer than originally envisaged.
A future tranche of funding is therefore required to ensure the development continues to progress and so that a series of delivery options can be presented to council. This information is also partially required to support the HIF bid submission.
The funding required (£700,000) will be jointly contributed by Bucks County Council and Aylesbury Vale District Council. As the funding exceeds the threshold set out in the Spending Protocol, this report was considered and endorsed by Shadow Executive on 23 July 2019.
(c) Alternative Options Considered
None. The project is now at a critical point in the delivery phase and without further contributions the project is in imminent danger of stalling.
(d) Relevant Scrutiny Committee
Finance and Services.
(e) Conflicts of Interest / Dispensation(s)
Councillor Bowles declared a prejudicial interest as a Buckinghamshire Advantage Board Member and left the room whilst this matter was considered.
Cabinet received a report asking for funding of £350,000 to be allocated, which would be matched with £350,000 from the County Council (BCC), to allow Buckinghamshire Advantage (BA) and BCC to continue with its work as promoter of the Woodlands site. It was proposed that the funding was made from the New Homes Bonus reserve which currently had £1.548m in unallocated reserves. It was anticipated that the money would be reimbursed to AVDC or the new Buckinghamshire Council at a future date.
The funding was intended to cover work until the outcome of the Housing Infrastructure Fund allocation was known (at the end of 2019) and included:-
· Commencing the design of the carriageway for the whole of ( the Eastern Link Road South (ELRS).
· Progressing the detailed design for A41 roundabout (Phase 1a).
· Progressing the infrastructure delivery plan including site wide drainage strategy.
· A comprehensive legal and financial due diligence exercise to be conducted by BCC that would include red book valuations, financial modelling, governance structure including delivery options and key risk validation. (The purpose of the due diligence work was to ascertain the viability of such an investment and the appropriate governance structure to manage or oversee the disposal).
Members were informed that the Aylesbury Woodlands development would provide high quality commercial floor space (102,080m²), 1,100 market and affordable dwellings, an additional 60 residential extra care units, a mixed use local centre, new primary school and the Eastern Link Road South (ELRS).
The Cabinet report also included the history of the Aylesbury Woodlands development that was a joint planning promotion partnership between BCC and AVDC via the Aylesbury Vale Advantage Legacy Board (now Buckinghamshire Advantage BA)). Both councils had originally committed to promoting the scheme because private sector developers had been unwilling to promote the scheme due to the high costs of development and the associated infrastructure requirements in connection with the South East link road.
Working through BA via AVALB, both Councils had spent the past 3 years promoting and producing a scheme that delivered the objectives and meet the infrastructure requirements. Both AVDC and BCC had been funding BA for the Woodlands related activities for some time. Costs incurred were £3.5m (£750K BCC, £750K AVDC, £550K LGF, £60K Enterprise Zone and £1.390m AVA legacy funds).
The funding had been made available on the basis that it would be fully recouped from the project. There were risks associated with this and it would ultimately depend on the total cost versus income derived from the scheme. If the scheme did not achieve minimum expected returns it was possible that the Councils would not be fully repaid.
However, Cabinet understood that any payback of funding would be to the new Buckinghamshire Council and would be dependant on overall viability. It was understood that this was a priority project of strategic interest and would create more jobs, a school, growth and economic development in the area and was certainly worthwhile in those terms even if the funding was not paid back. ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
Proposed Transfer of Aylesbury Vale Estates asset at Haddenham (WITHDRAWN)
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development
To consider the attached confidential report.
Contact Officer: Teresa Lane (01296) 585006
This agenda item was withdrawn by Aylesbury Vale Estates.