The Executive Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities submitted a report that sought the approval of the principles of the Middlehaven Development Framework for the basis of public consultation and for authorisation to make a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO).
Middlehaven was one of the town's key economic regeneration sites. Covering an area of 42 ha (105 acres) Middlehaven was one of the north east's largest regeneration schemes. The regeneration of Middlehaven was a long-term commitment by the Middlehaven Partners - Middlesbrough Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
In 2004, Will Alsop Architects prepared a Strategic Framework for the Middlehaven area which had set out the broad principles of development. The framework established a highly conceptual vision for Middlehaven, focusing on predominantly residential development.
Subsequently the public sector partners had acquired the ownership of the vast majority of the Middlehaven area. The Council had concentrated on the acquisition of the area west of Cleveland Street, with the other public sector partners focusing on the area to the east and around the Dock.
The former Dock area was marketed in 2004/05 and Bio-Regional Quintain (BRQ) were appointed in 2006 as the preferred developer. Following their appointment they developed a masterplan for the Dock in accordance with the earlier Alsop vision. However the prospect of an early start on residential development was not forthcoming, due to the combined impact of the economic downturn; falling house prices; reduced developer return, and the overall uncertainty in the apartment market.
The Community in a Cube (CIAC) apartment block was finished by BRQ in Autumn 2011. Shortly after this BRQ's London-based parent company (Quintain) announced they were pulling out of further development at Middlehaven as part of their wider contraction of sites outside of London.
Despite the economic downturn and BRQ's announcement, Middlehaven had developed significant momentum, with over £140m invested in new development. Major anchors were in place and interest in new developments were growing. The site was performing well in a very difficult environment for more northern towns. Key successes to date were outlined in further detail within the report.
During 2013/14 a further £15m would be invested in the Middlehaven, and is outlined in further detail within the report. Furthermore, Middlesbrough College had announced their aspirations to invest a further £20m in their estate, thus significantly expanding their facilities.
The report also outlined information in further detail on:
Key Principles of the Development Framework;
Remaining Land Aquisition.
that the principles in the Middlehaven Development Framework be approved;
a four week public consultation on the Development Framework be agreed; and,
that authority for all necessary steps to secure the making, confirmation and implementation of the CPO and any associated Notice to Treat or General Vesting Declaration, and to acquire the order land including any steps necessary to agree and pay compensation including negotiating and entering into agreements or undertakings with landowners setting out the terms for the withdrawal of objections to the order, including where appropriate, seeking exclusion of land from the order, be given to the Executive Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities.
The decisions were supported by the following reasons:
due to changing economic circumstances and emerging development opportunities over recent years a refreshed Development Framework was required to reflect current market conditions and accommodate new and potential development opportunities;
the suite of documents making up the Middlehaven Development Framework (the framework and Design Code) will guide emerging development activity once it has been out to public consultation;
the Middlehaven Development Framework will form part of the evidence base for the LDF review, thus giving it more weight in planning terms; and,
whilst negotiations will continue to acquire the remaining properties and land, it is necessary to begin making a CPO should the negotiations with the owners of the remaining properties and land be exhausted.