Issue - meetings

Disposals Report - Tranche 2

Meeting: 19/09/2023 - Cabinet (Item 30)

30 Disposal of Land - Tranche 2 pdf icon PDF 22 KB

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The Portfolio Holder presented the report, which sought the disposal of two assets deemed to be surplus to the Council’s requirements. The report was also considered by the Finance & Investment Advisory Committee (FIAC) on 5 September and following their discussions, he requested further information from Officers. He advised that it was important to note that in accordance with good asset management practice, the Council regularly reviewed its asset register to determine if its estate was still generally speaking fit-for purpose and met the Council’s operational requirements. Officers had undertaken an asset review resulting in these sites being identified as surplus. The review involved amongst other activities, consideration of the site for alternative operational uses or needs, and even the potential for the Council to undertake housing development. Alternative uses for Council purposes were therefore considered.


Reviews were undertaken collaboratively and involved officers from across the Council. The sites were then discussed with the Portfolio Holder prior to entering the formal approval process. In accordance with council policy, the relevant Ward Councillors and the Parish Clerks had been notified and commented in advance of the report going to FIAC. As neither site was necessary on an operational level since they were originally held under the Housing Act in conjunction with adjacent land, they needed to be declared surplus to requirements for accounting purposes before any alternative usage could be considered.


As a Local Authority, the Council was obliged to obtain best consideration in accordance with s123 of the Local Government Act 1972 and if applicable, the Housing Act 1985, otherwise it would need to apply for permission from the Secretary of State. The purpose was to ensure, as far as reasonably possible, that public assets were not sold by public authorities at an under value, save, if at all, with the consent, general or specific, of the Secretary of State. It imposed a duty to achieve a particular outcome, rather than follow any particular process.


The Portfolio Holder further advised that the assets had been valued by an independent valuer in order to demonstrate transparency, assist with setting the reserve price and adhere to statutory and policy requirements. From a capital asset management perspective a disposal entailed not only a capital receipt but also a cost saving in terms of ongoing maintenance. The Asset Management Strategy supported the disposal of assets in order to improve the financial position of the Council.


The Strategic Head of Commercial and Property advised that the two sites identified were surplus to the Council’s requirements as they were originally held under the Housing Act in conjunction with adjacent land, prior to the transfer of the Council’s housing stock to West Kent Housing Association in 1989. The two sites (Clarks Lane, Halstead and The Forstall, Leigh) were identified following an internal asset review process. Alternative uses for the sites were explored and it was decided that the sites were not required for operational purposes and as such were considered surplus to the Council’s requirements. The procedure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30


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