West Northamptonshire Council to consider 'disposing of' these 17 freehold and leasehold assets

Duston United Tennis Club's lease could be granted at cheap rate while the former Buddies restaurant could be rented out

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:50 pm

A list of 17 freehold and leasehold assets owned by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is set to be considered for 'disposal' by the authority's cabinet.

A meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday (July 13) will consider the list of assets recommended for selling or renewing leases in some cases.

The granting of some new leases, at lower than market value, includes organisations like Duston United Tennis Club which uses Mendip Road Tennis Courts in Northampton, which benefit the community and does not take a profit.

West Northamptonshire Council's cabinet will meet at One Angel Square in Northampton on Tuesday
West Northamptonshire Council's cabinet will meet at One Angel Square in Northampton on Tuesday

A report to the cabinet states: "Included within this report are several freehold and leasehold asset disposals which were being progressed by the predecessor councils prior to LGR (local government reform) but had not been concluded by Vesting Day (April 1).

"While some of these were subject to previous cabinet, cabinet member or delegated decisions, the monitoring officer has advised that a previous decision from one of the predecessor councils cannot automatically be implemented by WNC. New decisions are required.

"This report therefore seeks authority from cabinet to continue with the freehold and leasehold disposals as set out in the appendices.

"The freehold disposals relate to assets either with a value exceeding £500k, or where the disposal is considered to represent a value at less than best consideration.

"The leasehold disposals either exceed 10 years or are regarded as representing a less than best consideration."

The report provides further detail that in relation to Bellinge Community House, Cherry Orchard open space, Farmclose Road land, The Elgar Centre and St Crispin’s Community Centre and open space, several Northampton Borough Council Cabinet reports over the years considered the maintenance and ownership of community held land.

It resolved that some community assets would be better managed in the longer term by the respective communities that they serve, owned and maintained by parish councils.

NBC agreed at cabinet to move forward with the transfer of the community facilities to the relevant parish councils.

The transfer of these community facilities has all progressed to the point where heads of terms have been agreed and most of the legal work, for example solicitors’ enquiries, title searches, have been completed.

Another property on the list is the former Buddies Restaurant in Dymchurch Lane, Northampton, which is vacant and generates no revenue.

The proposal of a 15-year-lease would generate a revenue of £23,000 per annum. The council would also save on holding costs.

It is being recommended that cabinet delegates authority be given to the assistant director assets and environment to dispose of the assets listed below and where relevant agree the terms of such disposal in line with the proposals:

The Hill Shop, Hunsbury Hill, Northampton; Beckets Park Pavilion, Northampton; Bellinge Community House, Northampton; Cherry Orchard open space, Northampton; Farmclose Road, land adjacent to cemetery, Northampton; The Elgar Centre, Northampton; St Crispin’s Community Centre and open space, Northampton; Former Buddies restaurant, Dychurch Lane, Northampton; Hazelrigg House, Northampton; Delapre Golf Club;Unit 1 Farmfields, Northampton; Unit 2 Farmfields, Northampton; Tennis courts, Mendip Way, Northampton; (Part of) Wantage Farm, Northampton; Land at Radstone Fields, Brackley; Monksmoor Park Primary School, Daventry (enter into 125 year lease for school site at peppercorn rent)

For full details of the asset proposals, click here.