Agenda and minutes

Shareholder Committee
Friday, 8th March, 2019 9.30 am

Venue: Studio 1, Guildhall Arts Centre, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 6PZ

Contact: Jo Toomey  Email: democracy@southkesteven.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

27.

Disclosure of interests

28.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 184 KB

Exclusion of the press and public

It was proposed, seconded and agreed that the press and public be excluded during the following two items of business because of the likelihood that exempt information under paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) would be disclosed to them.

29.

Update on Wherry's Lane development

    Update by Gravitas Directors.

    Minutes:

     

    Representatives from Gravitas presented a progress summary in respect of the Wherry’s Lane development project:

     

    • All information required in respect of planning conditions had been submitted and the conditions discharged or awaiting decision
    • Draft leasehold agreements had been prepared so that sales would not be held-up
    • Brochures and promotional material had been produced; these were being finalised
    • A marketing weekend for the development was held on the 23 and 24 February 2019
    • The project was progressing on programme
    • The Help to Buy application had been submitted
    • A scheme was being brought forward in Bourne that was being funded through the commuted sum from the Wherry’s Lane development

     

    Members discussed the four properties that would be sold at discounted rates for first time buyers. Rosedales, the company marketing the development, were aware of the discounted scheme. Figures in the exempt report gave an overview of the number of enquiries that had been received by Rosedales in respect of the development. Members were interested in the demographics of the people who had enquired about the development; directors agreed to share any demographic information that was available.

     

    In response to a request made at the Committee’s previous meeting, Members were advised of the liquidated damages arising from contract delays.

     

    The Committee asked for an update on progress made in managing the increased costs of the project that were the result of contamination found on site. Members noted that costs had reduced with further savings still to be applied. Negotiations were underway with the developer to eliminate costs that were identified as part of the site survey and known prior to commencement on site. Members stated that the Directors should work to get this figure as low as possible.

     

    A paper was circulated that outlined the profit that would be achieved by Gravitas in the context of benefits that the scheme provided for the Council:

     

    • Income received by the Council from the transfer of land to Gravitas
    • Income from the Section 106 Agreement
    • Income from the re-charge of officer time
    • Interest on the loan made by the Council to the company
    • New Homes Bonus
    • Additional Council Tax

     

    At the conclusion of the project a detailed report would be produced and presented to the Council; the company would also submit the required reports to Companies’ House. Members agreed that Gravitas needed a strong communications strategy to set out the wider benefits of the scheme in a way that was easily understandable to other Members of the Council and Council Tax payers.

     

    Members were advised that expressions of interest in the development had been across all housing types. Discussion ensued on the release of properties, which were being made available in two phases. The Directors stated that the development had not been marketed with investors as the steer from the Committee had been to market it to homeowners in the first instance.

     

    Members asked at what point Gravitas would need to consider adjusting its disposal strategy. If there was not sufficient interest in purchasing the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

Pipeline of future projects

    Report of Gravitas Directors.

    Minutes:

     

    The Directors updated committee members on the pipeline schemes that it had agreed should be brought forward at its previous meeting. Scheme 1 was the Wherry’s Lane development. Schemes 2 and 3 were able to be progressed in 2019/20, bringing a return to the company and delivering in areas where the market would not intervene.

     

    The Directors were working with planning officers on scheme 2 in order to put together a business case which would be formed into a planning application. Details of the scheme would be presented to the committee at a future date.

     

    An acceptable offer had been negotiated in respect of the purchase necessary for the development of Scheme 3. A non-key decision was being prepared to enable the acquisition of the site. Consideration was underway as to whether Gravitas should develop the site itself or whether it would be an enabler, selling individual plots for others to develop.

31.

Close of meeting