Agenda and draft minutes

Virtual meeting, General Purposes Committee - Thursday, 11th March 2021 6.30 pm app available
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Contact: Nina Neisser  Email:

No. Item


Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 16 September 2020 of General Purposes Committee pdf icon PDF 289 KB


Decision: That the minutes of the General Purposes Committee held on 16 September 2020 be approved as a correct record for signature by the Chair.


Declarations of Any Interests

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.


If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision on the matter.


There were no declarations of interest received.


Exclusion of the Public and Press

To consider the exclusion of the press and public for the following items of business on the ground that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.


By Virtue of Paragraph 3: Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)


Information is not exempt if it is required to be registered under-

The Companies Act 1985

The Friendly Societies Act 1974

The Friendly Societies Act 1992

The Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965 to 1978

The Building Societies Act 1986 (recorded in the public file of any building society, within the meaning of the Act)

The Charities Act 1993

Information is exempt to the extent that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.


Information is not exempt if it relates to proposed development for which the local planning authority may grant itself planning permission pursuant to Regulation 3 of the Town & Country Planning General Regulations 1992(a).


Decision: that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of the remaining item of business on the grounds that it will involve the disclosure of exempt information under Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.


Alker Lane Development

To consider and receive the report of the Director of Commercial.


Councillor Alistair Bradley, Executive Leader and Executive Member (Economic Development and Public Service Reform), and Rachel Salter, Service Lead (Development and Business) presented the report of the Director of Commercial Services which updated members as to the progress of the Alker Lane Development, including the conclusion of the procurement process for the appointment of a design and build contractor.


The report highlighted an increase in the cost of the development following the conclusion of the procurement process. The increase in cost received from the tender submissions reflects the risk aversion within the market as a result of Covid-19 and Brexit. Despite this, Members were informed that a lot of these costs had been offset in different ways, as outlined in the report. Members were also advised that the proposed amendments would provide an overall improvement to the scheme return in the longer term.


The increased budget now also included an additional provision of £50k for a potential settlement with the adjacent landowner, Primrose Holdings. The settlement related to the point of connection for the foul drainage and also included a strip of land between DOP and the adjacent site. Following queries, Members were reassured that the commercial settlement of approximately £50k was a maximum figure and was considered the most appropriate option for all interested parties.


The Committee considered the developments that had taken place since the Alker Lane Scheme was approved by Council in November 2019 and acknowledged the securing of a £2.25m grant from the central government ‘Getting Building’ fund which helped reduce the council’s potential borrowing. With regards to securing the funds before the required deadline of end of March/early April 2022, Members were reassured that the scheme was on track to be completed by February 2022 and there would be a phased delivery of units once they were completed.


The basis of the sales and letting strategy was also reviewed within the report, including the sales/rental mix and incentives. This would affect the sales income and therefore the external borrowing requirement, whilst trying to achieve the maximum annual revenue return. However, Members were reassured that borrowing would remain within the approved budget.


The Committee noted the progress of discussions with Scorpion Automotive and their potential incorporation into the scheme. Members welcomed this and recognised how doing so would support a local business and help create jobs in the area. The delivery of the cycleway was also supported in line with developing the council’s green agenda.



1.    Approval to increase the budget from £9,200,000 to £11,443,153, which includes the costs associated with delivering the Scorpion unit and the costs of acquiring Alker Lane, Bridge, Cycleway and the Mossfield Nature Reserve. Also, to acknowledge that these additional costs will be offset by the £430k BAE dowry payment and the Scorpion CAT B fit out recovery (£1.05m) and the £2.25m Getting building Fund grant.

2.    Rental/Sale mix currently 50/50. Approve flexibility on the rental/sale mix provided the income does not drop below the forecasts included within this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.GP.8