In 2014, the Isle of Wight Council granted permission for two separate planning applications to build supermarkets on land just outside Newport.
One application was from South Coast Leisure (SCL), who own three acres of land adjacent to the council’s on St George’s Way and the other application was from ASDA, who the council have agreed to dispose of their land to.
Although South Coast Leisure has planning approval for the development of a food retail store on its site (which is largely, the football ground and car park) it says it would need the council’s surplus land in order to carry out any future development, so are seeking an option to buy the council’s surplus land within the next five years, but at £100,000 less than the valuation.
It looks as though SCL plan to still develop something on the site, although not a food retail store.
Executive to discuss at emergency meeting
An extraordinary meeting of the Executive has been called for 20th January to discuss the recommendation.
The paper states,
The council is contracted to dispose of part of this land to Asda and is therefore not in a position to discuss the disposal of this land to South Coast Leisure.
South Coast Leisure cannot therefore implement its existing planning approval, as a consequence it is reviewing its plans for its existing site and has concluded there would be greater development potential if it were to incorporate the council’s adjacent employment land at Pan into its future plans.
In order to give South Coast Leisure time to develop these plans it has asked the council to give it an option to purchase the land for a period of five years and in return is prepared to agree a price of £350,000 for the acquisition of the land should it choose to proceed with its purchase at any time during this ‘option’ period.
£100,000 less than the valuation
SCL are proposing to pay a sum of £350,000 at the point of the freehold transfer despite the council’s independent valuation coming in nearly £100,000 more at £441,450.
The council say the the difference is offset by the economic benefits that may be achieved from a combined development of the sites and the savings the council will secure from not having to market or develop the surplus land itself.
The report goes on to say,
The vice-chairman of the Scrutiny Committee has been consulted on this report and the reasons for the urgency of the decision. He has met with officers and raised a number of questions which were all answered to his satisfaction.
He has therefore agreed the decision is necessary and that the provision for Scrutiny ‘call in’ be disapplied; given the short timescales involved and the potential economic benefits should a scheme be developed.
Disposal of employment land at Pan, Newport
Area of Isle of Wight Council Owned Surplus Land at Pan to be Included in the Proposed Option Agreement with South Coast Leisure
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