Councillor Robert Hulland presented a report which detailed a need to delay the consultation exercise on the masterplan to align with that proposed for the Metro extension scheme and on an urgent need to bring forward funding allocated in the Devolution Deal from the UKC Infrastructure Package ahead of the submission of an Outline Business Case (OBC) to enable the early acquisition of a property in Chelmsley Wood Town Centre in order to prevent delays to a potential ‘One Public Estate Agenda’ case and/or a potential Compulsory Purchase Order. David Harris explained the strategic economic reasons for this unorthodox approach.
Jacob Bonehill, on behalf of Gareth Bradford, WMCA Director of Housing and Regeneration, reported that the application was supported by the WMCA in principle subject to the following:
i) The provision of a Red Book valuation being provided to the WMCA prior to completion of any acquisition;
ii) A longstop date to be agreed with the WMCA director of Housing and Regeneration beyond which, should the purchase not be concluded, then the allocation reverting back to the approval in an FBC;
iii) The income from the rental of the property being payable to the WMCA minus a reasonable management fee being paid to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the WMCA retaining the proportion of any capital value of the leasehold interest, with the mechanism for calculating any capital uplift share from combining the leasehold and freehold interests to be agreed;
iv) That the interests against the legal title being in favour of the WMCA with a Heads of Terms to be agreed prior to and being presented to the next meeting of this Board.
David Harris and Jacob Bonehill responded to various questions raised by members of the Board including matters pertaining to the remaining length of the lease on the property in question, the condition of the property and obligations for repair, the method of valuation and the availability of independent and in-house qualified surveyors and valuers.
1. That the revised timescale for the submission of the Outline Business Case (OBC) to allow consultation on the masterplan to be aligned with Metro;
2. That agreement in principle for bringing forward of £2.5 million of Devolution Deal funding from the UKC Infrastructure Package requested ahead of Full Business Case (FBC) to enable the early acquisition of property in Chelmsley Wood Town Centre be approved subject to:
a) The provision of a Red Book valuation being provided to and agreed by the WMCA prior to completion of any acquisition;
b) A longstop date to be agreed with the WMCA Director of Housing and Regeneration beyond which, should the purchase not be concluded, then the allocation reverting back to the approval in an FBC;
c) Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council submitting an acceptable proposal to the WMCA for sharing of rental income and capital value change; and
d) An agreement in relation to the legal title being reached
3. That delegated authority be granted to the WMCA Director of Housing and Regeneration to conclude the commercial arrangements with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in relation to securing the appropriate agreement of matters detailed in 2. above.