Agenda item

Llynfi Development Sites - Former Maesteg Washery Site West


The Corporate Director – Communities submitted a report, the purpose of which, was to seek Council approval to enter into a Deed of Variation between Welsh Government and Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) that sets out to vary the existing Llynfi Development Sites, Welsh Government Central Capital Retained Fund Loan Agreement dated 12th February 2015.


She explained that BCBC were now considering the re-development of only the Former Maesteg Washery West Site for housing development and wish to vary the original Agreement to allow the carrying out of the feasibility works.


By way of some background information, in 2013 DTZ Real Estate Investment Management carried out an analysis of all sites in the Llynfi Valley that could potentially be brought forward for development but had issues that needed to be overcome before they could be taken to market.  Three sites were originally identified in the study as Priority 1 Strategic Opportunities for residential-led development (see Appendix A to the report):


           The Former Maesteg Washery Site West

           The Former Maesteg Washery Site East

           The Former Maesteg Lower Comprehensive School Site


An application was made to the Welsh Government’s Central Capital Retained Fund which resulted in Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) Regeneration securing a £2.5 million loan with no match funding being required from BCBC. 


The Loan Agreement (see Appendix B) was signed in February 2015 between Welsh Government and BCBC to enable the Council to deal with physical constraints on the sites, in order to bring them forward for residential development integrated with amenity open space.


Following the carrying out of a Feasibility Study, the Council were advised not to pursue the re-development of the Former Maesteg Washery East Site, with the Former Maesteg Lower Comprehensive School Site being deemed as having the potential to be developed by other means, Extra Care Housing (ECH).


It was therefore agreed by the BCBC Llynfi Development Sites Project Board that the Council would progress with the Former Maesteg Washery Site West only.


In June 2022, the confirmed consultancy fees and site works costings for Tranche 1 (Feasibility) were sent to Welsh Government by BCBC and an application made that Tranche 1 be increased to £322,589 to reflect the significant increase. This application also proposed that Tranche 1 become a grant as opposed to a loan and entering into a Deed of Variation (DoV) to the original Loan Agreement will reflect this. Welsh Government grants panel approval and subsequent ministerial approval to vary the original Agreement to this effect via a DoV was obtained in July 2022.


In September 2022 a draft DoV was issued by Welsh Government for BCBC comment. Following input from BCBC Legal and Finance Departments, the wording has now been agreed and the final version appended to this report awaits Council approval and acceptance (see Appendix C to the report).


Paragraph 4.6 of the report, included details on how site works were progressing and the Corporate Director – Communities gave a quick resume of this for the benefit of Council.


In conclusion of her submission, she then outlined the report’s financial implications shown in paragraph 8 regarding the works, etc.


A local Member commended works carried out to date, including the conversion of a loan to a grant and therefore he hoped that the site survey outcomes would prove positive in order to deliver affordable housing at this location, which was very much needed in this valley area.


Another local Member stated that he hoped that the land in question if it could not accommodate affordable housing there, could instead be taken forward for recreational/open space use.


The Leader confirmed was hopeful that the land could be used for developable housing purposes. However, if not, the Authority could look to use it as a site for advanced biodiversity purposes. He added that it was important to at a future date, to organise a local member briefing for all Maesteg Councillors on future options available for the area once all site investigations had been exhausted.


RESOLVED:                                    That Council:


           Noted the amendment of this scheme’s cost and the associated funding in the Capital Programme for the Former Maesteg Washery West Site (Llynfi Valley Development Programme);


           Delegated authority to the Corporate Director Communities to agree and approve the final terms of the Deed of Variation and arrange execution of the same on behalf of the Council subject to such powers being exercised in consultation with the Chief Officer – Legal and Regulatory, HR and Corporate Policy and Section 151 Officer. 

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