Issue - meetings

Sandbrook Way, Ainsdale – Acquisition and Development Brief

Meeting: 02/02/2023 - Cabinet (Item 117)

117 Sandbrook Way, Ainsdale – Acquisition and Development Brief pdf icon PDF 388 KB

Assistant Director of Place (Economic Growth and Housing)

Additional documents:


The Cabinet considered the report of the Assistant Director of Place (Economic Growth and Housing) which provided details on the progress made with the acquisition of leasehold interests in property at the Ainsdale Neighbourhood Centre and an update on the delivery of the Sandbrook Way Neighborhood Centre project including agreement to progress market testing of the site development opportunity to identify market interest in the site.


Decision Made: That


(1)      the content of the report be noted, and in particular progress on the acquisition of outstanding lease interests;


(2)      the Development Brief for the site be noted and officers be authorised to progress market testing of the site to identify developer interest in the site;


(3)      the Assistant Director of Place (Economic Growth and Housing) report to the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills on the outcome of the market testing process; and


(4)      the Assistant Director of Place (Economic Growth and Housing) be authorised to undertake preparatory work for the use of Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers, if required to assemble any remaining outstanding interests in the site and bring forward comprehensive development of this site.


Reasons for the Decision:


In order to bring forward comprehensive development of the site, the whole site needs to be within Council ownership. Considerable progress has been made (through negotiation by agreement) with a number of the leasehold interest for the site however, there remain a number of leaseholders with which Sefton Council had been unable to yet reach agreement. Sefton Council was considering using compulsory acquisition powers to conclude these negotiations and in order to do this, the Council needs to be able to demonstrate it had a viable and deliverable development proposal for the site.


Sefton Council therefore needs to market the opportunity and establish market interest. This would enable market testing to be undertaken based on a development brief prepared for the site.


Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:


Do not acquire leasehold interests


The risk is the continued physical deterioration of the property in Ainsdale and associated problems for the local community.


Not acting now simply risks delaying the inevitable requirement for the Council to intervene at a point in the future with higher cost to the public purse. The Council could continue to negotiate by agreement with the existing owners and not consider using its compulsory acquisition powers. Given the time taken to date and reluctancy of the outstanding leaseholders to agree terms for buying them out, officers are of the view that the use of compulsory acquisition powers is needed to draw these negotiations to a conclusion.


Do not progress the marketing exercise


If the Council wish to use compulsory acquisition powers, it needs to demonstrate that a viable scheme can be delivered. Establishing market interest at this point is required to have confidence that a viable scheme is capable of being delivered. Market demand for the site needs to be established before proceeding with any formal process and the market testing will establish what interest there is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 117