To consider the report of the Director (NE) (reference 17/233) attached
The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 17/233) in respect of the demolition of the Futurist Theatre, adjoining buildings and stabilisation of the cliff. With the permission of the Chairman, Councillors Randerson, Jefferson and Vesey all addressed the meeting. Councillor Randerson expressed concern (shared by Councillor Jefferson) that only Cabinet Members had seen the cost breakdown of the demolition and cliff stabilisation scheme. In reply, Councillor Cockerill reminded the meeting that a cost summary of the scheme had been considered by the Major Project Board on 9 October, and importantly, the final cost of the scheme came within the allocated budget. Councillor Jefferson then put the following questions to Councillor Cockerill to which he undertook to provide a written reply:
(i) Is it still the case that of the £4m, £1.536m will be financed from borrowing (as outlined in the Budget report to full Council in February 2016)?
(ii) Does the £4m include payment for alterations to the Foreshore Road under the s278 agreement with the County Council?
(iii) the Risk Matrix No 7. in the report refers to a loss of tenant - (detailing Flamingo Land). The definition of tenant means a person or body who has acquired land/property for which a rent will be payable. - is the Council receiving rent and is there a signed lease –if so where is it?
(iv) According to the report, at the Planning and Development Committee on 11 December 2012 it was stated that planning permission for demolition was not required. What has changed?
(v) How can Cabinet make a decision to demolish when planning permission has not yet been obtained?
(vi) Since the methodology of the demolition has changed from the original proposals, is the Cabinet happy with the present position and figures as it would appear tests and site visits are still taking place?
(vii) The Cabinet being asked to agree recommendations today consist of only three original councillors of the eight councillors who agreed in principle to accepting the preferred bidder and proposals from the appraisal at the Cabinet meeting of 16 September 2014. Is not this of concern?
Councillor Vesey then referred to the Heritage Statement for the site which in recognition of the historic significance of the area, stated that the Futurist Theatre should not be demolished unless it was replaced by a development of equivalent iconic and cultural value and benefit to the local community. This was not guaranteed under the current proposals. In reply, Councillor Chatt commented that the decision to approve the demolition and stabilisation scheme had already been made. The report today provided further details and the assurance that since the final costings came within the budget, the scheme could proceed (subject to planning permission). He reminded the meeting this was a long standing issue that required resolution.
RESOLVED that the Cabinet:
1. Note, that the final cost for the demolition of the Futurist Theatre and adjoining buildings (the Futurist Theatre Site) including stabilisation of the cliff is £3.913m, which is within the £4m budget allocated and approved by Full Council.
2. Subject to obtaining planning permission for the works, authorise entering into a supplemental agreement with Willmott Dixon Construction Limited (Wilmott Dixon) to proceed with the demolition of the Futurist Theatre Site.
3. Approve that a £200k (5%) contingency budget be earmarked within the Capital Contingency Reserve to mitigate any potential cost overruns on the scheme to be funded from the remainder of the £4m committed budget (£87k) and the Capital Contingency Reserve (£113k) which is allocated for such purposes;
4. Subject to obtaining planning permission for the works, approve the Council entering into a s278 agreement with North Yorkshire County Council relating to the carrying out of alterations to Foreshore Road on terms to be approved by the Director (NE) in consultation with the Leader.
To seek approval from Cabinet to proceed with the demolition of the Futurist Theatre Site now that the final contract price submitted by the contractor for the works is within the allocated budget of £4m.