A Cabinet paper is to be presented to the Audit and Scrutiny Cttees tomorrow, Tuesday 18th April - and will consider 'Knowle Future':
The appropriateness of a residential use on the Knowle has been established
through allocation in the adopted Local Plan.
The recent refusal of planning permission for the development proposed by Pegasus
Life accepted the principle of residential / care home development on the Knowle
This is all pretty much based on ignoring what its own planning committee said last December when it refused planning permission:
The reasons for refusal included overdevelopment and a departure from the site’s 50-home allocation in the authority’s Local Plan.
Councillors also held concerns about the lack of ‘affordable’ housing provision in the town.
Rejected: EDDC refuses care facility plans for Sidmouth HQ site - Breaking news & sport in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: planning application REFUSED by District Council >>> further reports
The Cabinet paper is also depending on the developer PegasusLife winning an appeal:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: "The chance of Pegasus winning an appeal is probably not that great"
Indeed, the political leadership is determined to press ahead with building a new HQ in Honiton - despite the risks of not having the cash from selling the Knowle site.
It is asking the Scrutiny and Audit Cttees to consider the following:
Multiple risks are ongoing in a project of this nature. These are
managed through a comprehensive risk register that is maintained by
dedicated project management and reviewed on a regular basis. Risk
is reported to officers where SWAP are present and to the Executive
Group of members including dedicated risk review meetings.
In terms of the recommendations in this report there is a specific risk in
relation to moving forward with the construction of the new HQ at
Heathpark, Honiton which is addressed in detail in this report.
In summary, the risk involves the agreement to fund and carry out
development of new HQ offices in addition to the refurbishment of
Exmouth Town Hall without confirmation of the sale of the Knowle site.
If the sale of the Knowle did not happen then, in that scenario, the
Council would be required to pay for the project costs from reserves or
borrowing rather than capital receipt and betterment derived from the
sale of the Knowle site
Alternative schemes and Projected Capital Receipts:
POTENTIAL ALTERNATIVE SCHEMES and SITE VALUE:
Scheme of 97 flats / units for C2 uses. Does not include
affordable, reduced number from current scheme and
includes leisure and café facilities. > £ 6.80m
Scheme of 65 houses / dwellings with 50% affordable,
reflecting site capacity and likely Developer ambitions > £ 5.82m
Local Plan compliant - Scheme of 50 houses / dwellings
with 50% affordable. > £ 4.17m
Scheme pf 109 flats / units for C3 uses with 50%
affordable, excludes leisure and café facilities > £ 3.22m
The EDA blog makes a few pertinent observations:
KNOWLE SITE VALUE PLUMMETS TO £3.22 – £6.8 MILLION DEPENDING ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING REQUIREMENT
15 APR 2017
It is interesting that all scenarios put to the Scrutiny, Audit and Governance and Overview Committee take no account of depreciation on the Honiton HQ.
The committees might want to request the attendance of internal and current external auditors KPMG at their joint meeting, as the relocation finance paper was, for some reason, compiled by former external auditors Grant Thornton.
Knowle site value plummets to £3.22 – £6.8 million depending on affordable housing requirement | East Devon Watch