The Corporate Director Communities presented a report which updated Cabinet on the recent marketing of the food store site (on part of The Green and Salt Lake car park); and sought approval to appoint and dispose of the site to the preferred bidder, in accordance with the proposed heads of terms.
The Corporate Director Communities explained that in September 2020, the site was advertised for sale on the open market by EJ Hales, the Council’s appointed agent. She provided Cabinet with the Bidding Requirements as listed at section 4 of the report.
The Corporate Director Communities outlined the selection process following the bids. She stated that there were 5 bids in total, 3 of which were non-compliant as they did not accord with the planning development brief, and 2 bids that were compliant.
The bid details were commercially sensitive and have been anonymised as follows and were ranked in order of highest to lowest value bids for the price to be paid for the land:
The Corporate Director Communities explained that Bid 1, which was previously non-compliant, had since come back with further proposals. Unfortunately, these considerations were still non-compliant. Bid 2 was submitted by Aldi Stores Ltd and was therefore the selected preferred bidder.
She added that EJ Hales Ltd had certified that in their opinion the selected bid was a highly attractive financial offer and in terms of value delivers best consideration.
The Corporate Director Communities stressed that the stage we were currently looking at was the disposal stage. If Aldi were to continue with the purchase of the land, they would need to submit a planning application for this.
The Cabinet Member - Education and Regeneration welcomed the report and hoped that this was a landmark in the regeneration of Porthcawl. He thanked the Local Members of Porthcawl for their continued support with the strategy that had been a number of years in force. He asked the Corporate Director if there were any design work or images of what the building might look like so that the residents of Porthcawl have an idea of what to expect.
The Corporate Director Communities explained that the sketches that had been submitted were commercially sensitive at the moment as it was a bespoke design. This was until the successful bidder officially become the owner of the land. She explained that once Aldi had submitted the designs to planning for consideration, they would be happy for the designs to be shared with residents and to work with BCBC on joint marketing and consultation with residents regarding this.
The Cabinet Member - Social Services and Early Help welcomed the report and was excited to see this development take place. She added that residents of Porthcawl had showed their support to it on social media. She asked the Corporate Director, subject to the planning procedures etc, when the residents of Porthcawl were likely to see the doors of the new store open.
The Corporate Director Communities explained that it was dependent on the time scales of each stage, but we could expect to see the planning application be submitted within 6 months, should Cabinet approve the report, and then development to begin within 6 months of an approved planning application. However, Aldi were keen to start development as soon as possible.
The Cabinet Member - Communities explained that it was important that this development stood as an addition to the town centre of Porthcawl, rather than against it. He asked what level of integration it would have with the current town centre.
The Corporate Director Communities explained that there were plans for active travel links as well as footpaths to be built to allow the new development to link well with the town centre.
She added that in addition to this, with future developments in Porthcawl, the aim was to open up the older paths and roads to provide a well-established travel link among all developments.
The Leader asked that the successful bidder ensure a high standard development so that the crucial gateway into the town centre and promenade would be fully enhanced. He asked the Corporate Director if this had been fulfilled.
The Corporate Director Communities confirmed that the current plans were promising. They planned to use local and bespoke materials for the development as well as have some architectural features, including open spaces for the public. Their plans also protected some of the key vistas when driving towards the sea.
The Leader asked if further plans were in place to develop the whole infrastructure of Porthcawl following this development.
The Corporate Director Communities explained that further plans were in place to develop more active travel routes in and around Porthcawl, development of the car parks as well as a bus link. She added that this was part of the bigger picture in terms of the regeneration of Porthcawl.
RESOLVED That Cabinet: