The Executive Director of Children, Families and Learning submitted a report which outlined the salient points in the business cases for the Community Asset Transfer of Pallister Park Centre and Thorntree Park Pavilion (and associated playing fields) and sought approval for the asset transfers to go ahead.
The report stated that to promote community-led regeneration and to support an increasingly robust Voluntary and Community Sector, as well as the Big Society agenda, the Council recognises the benefits of transferring surplus assets to community management. To support this process, Executive Land and Property Sub-Committee approved the Community Asset Transfer policy on 3rd February 2012.
As part of the 2012/13 budget reductions, a number of buildings were identified as being surplus to Council requirements. In February 2012, six buildings, including Thorntree Pavilion, were listed on the Council website as available for CAT, with a two-week window for Expressions of Interest. Early informal discussions with a viable interested party (Southlands Judo Club) regarding Pallister Park Centre had already begun, in advance of the CAT policy being established, so this building was not included on the public list.
For Thorntree, the EoI period ended on 29th February and EoIs were received from Cargo Fleet Juniors and Boro Rangers Football Clubs. The EoIs were evaluated and Cargo Fleet Juniors was recommended as the most viable. On 13th March 2012 CMT selected the CATs to proceed to business case stage, which included Cargo Fleet Juniors for Thorntree Park and Southlands Judo Club for Pallister Park Centre.
The report stated that business cases had since been developed by the two organisations to demonstrate that their proposals to take over the properties were sustainable.
The terms of the transfers are 25-year leases, where responsibility for repairs, maintenance and running costs all sat with the tenant. The detail of each business case were outlined in the report.
The report outlined that there were a range of options in relation to the recommendations:
· Option 1: Close and demolish Pallister Park Centre - not recommended
· Option 2: Close and demolish Thorntree Park Pavilion - not recommended
· Option 3: Community Asset Transfer both sites - recommended
That the Executive Land and Property Sub-Committee notes the detail of the business cases for the Community Asset Transfer of Pallister Park Centre and Thorntree Park Pavilion and associated playing pitches.
That Executive Land and Property Sub-Committee gives approval to the transfers of Pallister Park Centre to Southlands Judo Club, and Thorntree Park Pavilion and playing fields to Cargo Fleet Juniors Football Club.
The recommendations were supported by the following reason:
To enable community organisations to contribute to a robust VCS and to maximise savings in relation to the closure of the two sites.