The Corporate Director Communities sought a formal resolution of the Cabinet to make, advertise, notify and progress confirmation of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to acquire land, and to authorise the advertisement of the proposed appropriation of Council owned land to planning purposes to support the Porthcawl Waterfront Regeneration Scheme.
The Corporate Director Communities reported on the steps taken and next steps in the making of a CPO to acquire land to enable delivery of this project. She stated that the Council owns land in the Sandy Bay and Coney Beach area, and in 2011 entered into an agreement with a third party land owner to jointly market and dispose of all of the land to enable the wider Porthcawl Regeneration Area scheme to come forward as a key strategic mixed-use development. Disposal was proposed to be to either a single developer or to multiple developers. She stated there are some unoccupied land parcels where title needs to be cleansed or which are in third party ownership and need to be acquired. She stated that the Council has attempted to acquire the third party land through negotiated agreements, where ownership is known. However, to date, it had not been possible to acquire the third party land by agreement and it was considered that the Council should seek to use its powers under section 226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to acquire land compulsorily within the red edged boundary in the draft plan, as described in the draft CPO and for the reasons set out in the draft Statement of Reasons.
The Corporate Director Communities reported on a proposal to provide a mixed-use development consisting of the following components in accordance with the acquiring authorities’ strategic plans and policies to create a primary east west vehicular link; a new large open “Griffin Park”; approximately 912 dwellings on the Sandy Bay/Coney Beach Amusement Park sites and in excess of 328 dwellings on the Salt Lake site; recreational and leisure opportunities; retail and commercial development; new and improved parks and open spaces a new school or expansion of existing educational facilities.
The Corporate Director Communities informed Cabinet that the current target for the completion of the scheme is the late 2020’s, with the Council seeking to achieve acquisition of the land to be acquired by early 2023 at latest. It was planned to identify the preferred developer or developers, depending upon whether a single or multiple developers are chosen via open marketing of the first phase of the site in early to mid-2022. The aim is to secure the requisite planning consents for the first phase by late 2023. The Council proposes to dispose of the land by tender, once acquisition is complete. It was considered that that there is a compelling case for compulsory acquisition to secure these remaining small areas of land required to deliver comprehensive redevelopment in advance of resolving all the uncertainties; and there are realistic prospects of the Council subsequently securing the necessary planning permission for the Scheme. To achieve the Scheme it was considered necessary for the Council to unify all the interests in the land to be acquired.
The Corporate Director Communities referred to the special categories of land to be acquired, along with the appropriation of Council’s land. She referred to the human rights implications in that for the purposes for which a compulsory purchase order is made and any decision to appropriate land justifies interfering with the human rights of those with an interest in the land affected.
The Cabinet Member Education and Regeneration stated that the proposed redevelopment of the waterfront will encompass Salt Lake and Sandy Bay, stretching from Rest Bay to Newton. He confirmed that the consultation will include a car parking strategy. The consultation will commence following the conclusion of the consultations for the Local Development Plan and the Masterplan. He stated that no development would take place until a car parking strategy was agreed and he asked the Senior Development Surveyor to clarify the position regarding the purchase of the former model village leisure park.
The Senior Development Surveyor clarified that the Joint Venture partner has a lease of the former model village leisure park, with the freehold interest held by a family trust. Many of the trustees are elderly and some had passed away, the Council would be acquiring the leasehold interest. He stated that compensation will be paid to the owners based on a valuation of the land by valuer’s appointed by the Welsh Ministers.
The Leader informed Cabinet that a CPO on its own would not secure the development of the site and there would need for planning consent, the LDP and Masterplan to be in place before any development could take place. The Corporate Director Communities confirmed this is the case and that the CPO changes ownership of the land and that there would need to be detailed surveys, transport and place making briefs in place, prior to a detailed planning process.
The Cabinet Member Communities questioned the owners’ agreement and the calculation of the 60/40 split. The Corporate Director Communities stated that it is based on land value as opposed to the area of the land and that independent valuations had been done, with the third party invoiced quarterly. She stated that the freehold of the former model village leisure park would then be in the ownership of the Council following the CPO.
The Leader stated that the next steps is that orders will be made giving the opportunity for objections which would be referred to the Welsh Ministers to make a decision.
RESLOVED: That Cabinet:
(1) Authorised the Corporate Director-Communities and the Chief Officer Legal, HR and Regulatory Services to make a Compulsory Purchase Order in the form at Appendix 1 to the report (subject to such amendments as the Council’s Corporate Director-Communities may authorise) and to publish a Statement of Reasons in the form at Appendix 3 (subject to such amendments as the Council’s Corporate Director-Communities may authorise) to acquire the land edged red on the attached plan, for the purposes of enabling the comprehensive development of the Porthcawl Waterfront Regeneration Scheme.
(2) Authorised the Corporate Director-Communities and the Chief Officer Legal, HR and Regulatory Services to make an application to the Welsh Ministers for a certificate under section 19 of the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 that the beach area is to be purchased in order to secure its preservation or improve its management
(3) Authorised the Corporate Director-Communities and the Chief Officer Legal, HR and Regulatory Services to advertise and give notice of the making of the Compulsory Purchase Order; and to submit the same to the Welsh Ministers for confirmation,
(4) Gave authority to the Corporate Director Communities and the Chief Officer Legal, HR and Regulatory Services and those who may be authorised by her to respond to any objections received and to progress any public inquiry which the Welsh Ministers may wish to convene in respect of the making of the Compulsory Purchase Order.
(5) Authorised the Corporate Director-Communities and the Chief Officer Legal, HR and Regulatory Services to advertise the Council’s intention to appropriate the open space land as shown on the plan at Appendix 5 of the report, to a use for planning purposes and to report back to Cabinet to consider any objections received to the proposed appropriation.