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Strategic town centre property acquisition – commercial asset.
Decision Maker: Director of Finance
Decision published: 06/01/2022
Effective from: 04/01/2022
Following lengthy due diligence, and assessments, the proposal is to proceed with point ii) and iii) of the Executive report – and acquire the asset.
REASON FOR DECISION
Whilst the asset would be acquired, in the first instance, as a ‘going concern’ the business case anticipates a declining retail rent roll over the medium term. As space is repurposed and alternative uses are secured, it is planned that rental income will stabilise and grow. In addressing the chronic oversupply in retail floorspace, it may be necessary to restrict the supply of floorspace further by considering options for partial demolition of the asset to unlock new development opportunities, improved permeability and an opportunity to create open urban spaces to enhance the appeal of the town environment. The property could be reconfigured and developed, over time, to support the requirement to address market failure by rebalancing the current oversupply of retail floor space and diversifying uses across the town centre area to provide a healthier and more sustainable mix of urban living opportunities, leisure sectors and public services.
In principle, whilst this remains the intention, due diligence has resulted in a more detailed analysis of where the Council may/may not wish to undertake future works, and proposals are in place for future studies to fully understand the cost and benefit analysis of such.
N.B Commercially sensitive information not in the public domain
Lead officer: Richard Horniman, Ian Wright