Ross Enterprise Park – Phase 1 Development
Decision Maker: Cabinet member contracts and assets
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To approve the budget and development arrangements of the first phase of employment land at Ross Enterprise Park including the main contractual arrangements to enable a timely commencement of development of the site.
Ross Enterprise Park – Phase 1 will release 8.5 acres of net developable serviced employment land that will be utilised by businesses and developers to undertake their own design and build. Works to create the infrastructure will include the construction of site access, internal roads, groundworks, utilities and drainage.
The Phase 1 of the park will enable the creation of up to 250 jobs, provide space for around 20 local businesses (including some that may relocate their operations out of the county), generate a land receipt of up to £1,700,000 and a retained business rates income up to £200,000 per annum.
(a) the Acting Director of Economy and Place, in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer, is authorised to enter into construction contracts with Engie Regeneration Limited for the development of Ross Enterprise Park, Phase 1, as defined by the appended redline plan, and subject to costs being within the maximum project cost of £7.07million, and in accordance with the council’s following requirements:
i. Delivery of an enterprise park infrastructure (to exclude construction of buildings) to provide circa 8.5 net developable acres of land that will be disposed to private sector users for employment development (offices and industrial units)
ii. A design and specification in line with normal market practice and demand, subject to the other requirements set out here;
iii. Delivery of the site access, required section 278 highways works, internal estate roads, soft and hard landscaping, drainage, utilities, remediation and other reasonable infrastructure requirements of a business park;
iv. To achieve the earliest possible completion date to allow disposal to end users;
v. Ensure compliance with all planning conditions and other regulations relating to development (including health and safety and ecological requirements) during the design and construction.
(b) The Acting Director of Economy and Place is authorised to take all operational steps necessary to give effect to the above recommendation.
Alternative options considered:
1. Not to undertake the project (do nothing). This would involve not developing the site and retaining the site as small holdings let to tenant farmers. Advantages would be no capital expenditure required and the opportunity for the council to invest in other initiatives. This option was discounted as the employment needs of Ross on Wye, including the needs of growing local businesses, would not be addressed. The strategic employment needs identified within the core strategy would also be lost.
2. Delivering the whole 15ha employment park immediately (rather than a phased development) was another option considered. This was discounted and not explored in any detail as the market assessment did not evidence a need for this quantum of employment development at the current time and therefore delivering the infrastructure would not be prudent. The council could deliver the remainder of the site subject to another decision.
3. The council could choose not to procure this work through the DRP Programme, however, that would delay the implementation of the phase 1 employment land and this could have a significant implication to the scheme delivery programme and the realisation of benefits.
4. Alternative commissioning options exist for the project. The proposed approach was recommended as the partnership approach will allow the council to take advantage of its partners’ expertise to ensure the success of the project.
Reason Key: Expenditure and strategic nature / impact on communities;
Wards Affected: Ross East;
Contact: Gavin Stephens, Economic development officer Email: Gavin.Stephens@herefordshire.gov.uk Tel: 01432 260177.
Publication date: 12/02/2019
Date of decision: 12/02/2019
Effective from: 19/02/2019