Decision maker: Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Regeneration
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To vary the use in the covenants in order to allow the sale of part of the site, as part of a land swap.
1. That Cheshire East Council (CEC) agree to modify the Covenants in order to allow the Club to sell part of their site to the adjacent landowners, the Jehovah’s Witness Congregation for Crewe (JW’s), for a larger Kingdom Hall to be built as part of a land swap, for that use/purpose only and in return for a payment of £1.00 (one pound) foregoing any consideration payable for the uplift in value on the change of use. The uplift in value therefore being an undervalue to the Council.
2. This will be on the basis that the undervalue and any additional proceeds of sale be reinvested by the Youth Club into the future provision of youth services from the existing Kingdom Hall Building and retained proportion of the site. The existing covenants will then be applied to the new Youth Club which restricts the use of the Site to a Community/Youth Club use only . The JWs would have the benefit of the modified covenant with CEC retaining the covenant on the land restricting it to the Kingdom Hall use only (subject to agreement).
3. That authority be given for CEC to enter into any necessary legal documentation in order to vary or modify the Covenant by agreement and then to subsequently enter into a new Deed of Covenant which binds the (retained) Youth Club Site by way of a S.33 (positive) Covenant over the Site restricting its use to that of “Youth Club/Community Use” only.
4. That the proposed release/modification of the Covenant will also require the Crewe Youth Club to agree to an Overage provision which will bind the new youth club/community building. In the event that the club decide to sell the site at any time in the future then CEC shall be entitled to a 50% share of the proceeds of sale. This condition forms part of the agreement in order to protect the financial interests of CEC as this proposal involves CEC foregoing a Capital Receipt now.
The site is derelict following an arson attack on the building and the Club does not have funds to re-build. The site is continually subjected to vandalism and is currently on the Fire Service “at risk” register.
There have been long standing discussions between the Club and Cheshire East Council about getting the site back into an economic use and for a new youth club to be built in order to provide youth services from the site.
The Club previously anticipated that they would sell the site to an affordable housing developer who would in turn build out a new youth centre as part of a development. This has been confirmed that this is not considered to be viable on the basis that the new facility was costed up above £500,000 with the residual land value substantially below this sum. Therefore the modification of the Covenants to allow affordable housing only has proved to be unfeasible for the Club.
Publication date: 11/05/2018
Date of decision: 11/05/2018
Effective from: 19/05/2018