Issue - meetings

Meeting: 15/01/2024 - Investment Board (Item 106)

Abberley Street Disposal

Presented By: Anna Jones

Additional documents:


Deferred to the next meeting.


The board considered a report of the interim Executive Director of Housing, Property and Regeneration that sought approval for the disposal of the site at Abberley Street to a developer for the purpose of a 100% affordable scheme.


The Head of Property & Strategic Assets, Nigel Ford and Development Manager, Acquisitions and Disposals, Anna Jones, outlined the report and responded to questions from Investment Board members.


Several members of the board expressed concern regarding the significant reduction in the value of the site from its valuation in 2020 to its current one and enquired as to how the site was originally valued by Avison Young who should be asked to explain their valuations.


The Executive Director of Finance and Business Hub reported that separate asset valuations are obtained for the WMCA’s accounts and the asset value for the site aligned to its current market value which had been written down in the accounts; the WMCA did not want to put any further funds into the scheme and the proposal appeared to be the best solution for the property.


Members also asked for information be provided with regards to the options for the site including; the position of the hospital with regards to its future plans including any expansion and the feasibility of developing the Help to Own scheme for hospital staff; the local authority’s (Sandwell) opinion on the site and how it fits with its Masterplan for the area and a market valuation on the demolition of the site.


The Head of Strategy & Analysis, Rob Lamond, reported that there had been in a change in the Masterplan for the area and the proposal now supports the Masterplan for less density and more family homes to be built on the site.


Councillor O’ Boyle reported that Coventry City Council insists on leasehold for its land which enables the council to set obligations for developers and enquired why the site at Abberley Street could not be leasehold as this would give the WMCA more control over its land. Councillor Hughes concurred with Councillor O’ Boyle and added that he did not want the land to remain vacant if sold.


The Director of Commercial and Investment, Ian Martin, alerted the board to the timescales for the project which requires a start on site by March 2025.  


Councillor Bird asked that advice be sought on the proposal to look at the opportunity for a better purchaser in the market as he was not convinced the solution outlined represented the best value for money.


The Chair reported that in the light of comments from members on the report and the requests for further information, he would defer the matter to the next meeting.


Resolved: The report be deferred to the next meeting.