(Director of Neighbourhoods) To consider the attached report (AMED-014-2016/17).
The Director of Neighbourhoods presented a report to the Cabinet Committee on the progress of the Asset Management Economic Development Projects. The Chairman noted that there was also a late updating report issued on ‘yellow’ and under section 278 road works it should have said that a progress meeting had been held on 7 April. It was agreed that they would have a general update but would then go into private session when they came to consider the Epping Forest Shopping Park to enable members to ask questions about the individual leases etc.
Mr Macnab introduced this regular update. It was noted that:
· In respect with the Oakwood Hill Depot in Loughton, a replacement depot for front line services, relocated from Langston Road. The opportunity was taken to increase the office accommodation by adding a mezzanine floor. The opportunity was taken to look to the re-accommodation of our Housing Repair service, relocation from the St. John’s Road redevelopment. An officer working team has been formed and members have had some site visits. They would bring some options in the near future;
· In Pyrles Lane Nursery in Loughton they had undertook initial marketing work on this site, but held in abeyance as to such time as the council reached a position on the formation of a housing company; a good site for them to start with. But after due consideration the Cabinet Finance Committee and the Council House building Committee had agreed that this would not be happening. A report will go to the June Cabinet meeting on the marketing of the Pyrles Lane nursery site;
· St John’s Road Epping; we acquired the Essex County Council’s interest, back in December 2016. Since then there has been tripartite negotiations between EFDC, Epping Town Council and Frontier Estates, aimed at ensuring that not only the socio-economic development benefits were achieved but that also the community benefited;
· As for North Weald Airfield, after some soft market testing by Savills on prospective development partners, we were disappointed with the number of external partners that came forward. However with the progress of the Local Plan we have taken the opportunity for Arup Ltd to assess the potential scale and mix of employment uses for the airfield and have completed their initial employment assessment as part of the Local Plan;
· The site of the former Winston Churchill Public House in Loughton, the show home on the site was now open and being advertised, along with two bedroom flats. We had appointed joint marketing agents for the ground floor retail spaces on this site. Potentially looking to be open around September of this year; and
· The S106 agreement for the Hillhouse Development in Waltham Abbey has now been completed and Places for People will be submitting their planning application by the end of this month, with a view of opening their new facilities in November 2018.
Councillor Mohindra said that he had asked for a report on the Oakwood Hill Depot on the alarm system and problems and any lessons learnt. Mr Macnab added that the problems with the alarm system has now been resolved but at considerable costs by appointing an overnight security guard in the absence of an alarm system. We will be discussing this with the contractor with a view to getting some recompense.
That the current progress on the Council’s Asset Management and Development projects were noted.