Venue: Walton Suite, Winchester Guildhall
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Apologies and Deputy Members
To note the names of apologies given and deputy members who are attending the meeting in place of appointed members.
Declarations of Interests
To receive any disclosure of interests from Members and Officers in matters to be discussed.
Note: Councillors are reminded of their obligations to declare disclosable pecuniary interests, personal and/or prejudicial interests in accordance with legislation and the Council’s Code of Conduct.
If you require advice, please contact the appropriate Democratic Services Officer, prior to the meeting.
Councillor Lumby declared a non-pecuniary interest concerning items upon the agenda that may be related to his role as a County Councillor. He also advised that he acted as a consultant within the regeneration group of a Southampton based firm of solicitors and that he was a First Tier Tribunal Property Chamber Judge.
That the minutes of the meeting be signed as a correct record.
That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 15 November 2021 be approved and adopted.
To receive and note questions asked and statements made from members of the public on matters which fall within the remit of the Committee.
Members of the public and visiting councillors may speak at Scrutiny, provided they have registered to speak three working days in advance. Please contact Democratic Services by 5pm on 30 November 2021 via email@example.com or (01962) 848 264 to register to speak and for further details.
Mr Gottlieb addressed the meeting regarding the agenda item: “Central Winchester Regeneration – Outline Business Case”. Mr Gottlieb questioned the overall direction taken by the council on this project. He felt that the strategy was overly complex, putting off potential developers and failing to generate effective competition which in turn would mean the public only being presented with a single option. In summary, Mr Gottlieb considered the strategy would generate a poor financial outcome for the council and a poor development outcome for residents. At the Chairperson’s discretion, members asked several questions of Mr Gottlieb regarding his concerns of the archaeology and developer competition elements of the proposal.
Mr Baker spoke on behalf of the City of Winchester Trust regarding the agenda item: “Central Winchester Regeneration – Outline Business Case”. Mr Baker referred to a letter that had been sent from the Chairman of the City of Winchester Trust to scrutiny committee members, dated 1 December 2021. Mr Baker advised that the Trust considered that several issues remained unresolved, and he cited the following as examples; archaeology, the movement strategy, the use of land on other city-centre sites, the type and tenure of housing, the type, and size of cultural buildings required, car parking, the use of The Broadway and the use of the Middlebrook site. He advised that details of these concerns and others were contained in the letter and that when resolved should be embedded within an adopted master plan. Mr Baker urged members to pause, reflect and reconsider before embarking on the procurement exercise. At the Chairperson’s discretion, members asked Mr Baker for further details regarding his proposal for a master plan for the central Winchester area.
It was noted that the Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management had not received the letter from the City of Winchester Trust.
These points were responded to by the Head of Programme, Central Winchester Regeneration as part of her introduction to the report.
(Report Ref: SC058 and CAB3322)
It is recommended that scrutiny committee comment on the proposals within the attached cabinet report, ref CAB3322, which is subject to final legal review, before being presented to Cabinet on the 15 December 2021.
Scrutiny report reference SC058
Cabinet report reference CAB3322
The Head of Programme, Central Winchester Regeneration introduced the report and provided members with a presentation that covered the following aspects of the project, the development proposals, the investment objectives, the critical success factors, the business case process, the outline business case, the procurement process and the key meetings and dates for future approvals. The report sought the committee's views regarding the draft cabinet report and specifically the draft recommendations on pages 7, 8 and 9 of the agenda pack.
The committee proceeded to ask questions and debate the application in detail. In summary, the following matters were raised.
Costs, Income, Expenditure and Risk points raised included; issues concerning consultancy costs, incentivising consultants’ performance, how other regeneration projects supported the CWR business case, the council using its funds or Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) within the project, the potential of loss of income and ability to generate an income from other assets, the robustness of the specified benefit figure, whether the council was borrowing for the investment and if so what was the cost of servicing that borrowing and were all risks suitably addressed - especially the potential for a legal challenge?
The Procurement process, points raised included; the stages of the procurement process, an update on the soft market testing, examples of previously successful competitive dialogues, the practicalities around the handling of the applications received for example who scores them, the council visiting potential bidders and visiting their previous sites, whether any red lines to the procurement process existed, ensuring local traders would be utilised, queries over the scoring methodology (specifically the percentage allocated for collaborative working, the 1,000 word limit for design and finance and capital at 10%), clarity regarding leasehold and freehold and referencing the council’s carbon neutrality plan within the commercial principles.
Public benefit and consultation, points raised included; the differences (in terms of volume and substance) of the public respondents to the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) consultation compared to the respondents to the latest consultation, the scope for public engagement within the procurement process, the benefits for residents being clear and how would services improve as a result of this project.
Archaeology & Development, points raised included; members ability to see the archaeology statement, potential findings from the archaeology study incurring costs and impacting the overall project, the councils' position regarding sites that were not in the development area, compliance with the SPD, the public realm including spaces for biodiversity and calming spaces for people to use, any environmental impact from the demolition of Kings Walk, the impact on Kings Walk tenants, ensuring those developers with green credentials join in the process, specifying the conditions for drawdown, understanding the process for taking back of land, the use of the Broadway, inclusion of the bus station and break clauses for the developer and the council.
These points were responded to by the Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management, officers, and representatives from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), Browne ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
that the work programme was noted