Acquisition of Alker Lane, Bridge & Mossfield Nature Reserve
Decision Maker: Executive Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Mark Lester, Director of Commercial Services, presented his confidential report which sets out the current position and proposals relating to this project.
Members supported the proposals within the report, particularly with regards to the nature reserve.
1. To conclude final negotiations with BAES and establish a commercial settlement.
2. To continue and conclude dialogue as regards draft Heads of Terms with BAES and a draft Lease agreement with Network Rail.
3. To progress dialogue with GA Petfoods to establish an agreement around access, use and financial contribution if practical / feasible.
4. To progress with a CIL funding application.
5. To commence pre-app discussions with planners to establish implications and requirements.
6. To continue dialogue with LCC regarding the nature of the cycleway and Alker Lane, including the potential site exit onto Euxton Lane.
7. To engage with the Alker Lane design team to progress initial design work regarding the cycle path and the integration of Alker Lane into the wider development.
8. To delegate the final agreements with BAES, Network Rail and GA Petfoods to the Executive Member (Resources).
9. To delegate the signing of the ‘getting building’ fuind agreement to the Executive Member (Resources).
10. To authorise the Director of Governance to complete all necessary legal documents to implement the agreements approved by the Executive Member (Resources).
Reasons for recommendation(s):
There are a number of key benefits associated with CBC acquiring Alker Lane, Bridge and Nature Reserve and constructing the cycle path:
1. Allow better connectivity by foot and bicycle between Buckshaw Avenue and Euxton Lane adding amenity value.
2. Allow wider connectivity to Mossfield Nature Reserve.
3. Improving links between Buckshaw Village and the Strawberry Fields Digital Hub and Alker Lane employment development.
4. Working with local employer to allow transport connection between the existing and proposed employment sites.
5. Nature reserve supporting wellbeing opportunities for local residents and encouraging wildlife diversity in the borough, offsetting loss of habitat as a result of developments elsewhere.
6. Opportunities to increase tree planting in the borough and take advantage of funding opportunities in that respect.
7. Potential to engage with the ‘Life for a Life Plan’, which provides opportunities for residents to pay for tree planting in remembrance.
8. Opportunities to engage with Bio-Diversity companies who may wish to partner in the management of the reserve, to encourage habitat diversity.
9. Increase the flexibility of the Alker Lane development by introducing a site exit onto Euxton Lane, which will provide better circulation to the scheme. This will also introduce the possibility to introduce additional linear parking along the length of Alker Lane.
Alternative options considered and rejected:
1. Not progressing the acquisition of Alker Lane: rejected as this would potentially result in the risk of a 3rd party acquiring the access and compromising the Alker Lane development. Not progressing the acquisition would also remove the opportunity to generate additional parking to support the Alker Lane development and increase flexibility by introducing an additional exit onto Euxton Lane.
2. Not progressing the acquisition of the cycle route: rejected as this would prevent the natural extension of Alker Lane and the introduction of a pedestrian and cycle route to connect Euxton Lane and Buckshaw Drive.
Report author: Dan Gosling
Publication date: 19/10/2020
Date of decision: 15/10/2020
Decided at meeting: 15/10/2020 - Executive Cabinet
Effective from: 27/10/2020