Issue details

Disposal of Plot C1B, off the Straight Mile, Hereford Enterprise Zone, Rotherwas

The disposal policy for land at the HEZ requires
• Recommendation from EZ Board
• Sale terms deliver best value to the council
• Sale terms (freehold or leasehold) to reflect the ablility to provide ongoing estate management of the EZ in an efficient and comprehensive manner in terms of maintenance of common areas, recovery of costs from occupiers in relation to services provided, control over the quality and use of land and buildings
• Maximising the land available for development

This disposal is in compliance with the policy for the following reasons:

Safeguard an existing Herefordshire business in the county and facilitate its further expansion.

Deliver private sector investment and job creation in the EZ which will boost confidence and interest from others and help generate further private sector investment and job creation. Speedy occupancy will boost the rates relief pot for the Local Enterprise Partnership (and hence the council).

Following the award of enterprise zone status in August 2011 approximately 45 hectares (110 acres) of council owned land was included, along with other privately owned land, in the designated EZ. The EZ status has resulted in the council and occupiers within the EZ benefiting from a number of government incentives such as significantly increased awareness and profile of the location and opportunity, business rates relief and retention, improved access to broadband etc. These factors have resulted in an increase in interest from local, national and international businesses in active and advanced negotiations with the council to acquire land within the EZ.

This area of land is located centrally within the EZ and has been identified for general employment use.

The sale of the land is on a freehold basis. The purchaser will not accept or proceed with the purchase on any other basis.

All the EZ land is being actively marketed, and is being sold according to independent land valuations and the EZ Land Disposal Policy which was approved by cabinet member on 7 January 2016. The agreed purchase price meets the market valuation. Valuation document attached.

This sale has the full endorsement of the EZ executive board.

The sale is to a local business whose current freehold premises are no longer sufficient for their needs. They now wish to build larger scale premises to enable their expansion and the ability to expand the workforce.

The purchaser and their proposal have been assessed by the Hereford Enterprise Zone Board and deemed to meet the Placement Strategy, the Board’s set of criteria which each oncoming business must achieve in order to progress onto the Enterprise Zone.

The business was assessed to have met the Placement Strategy through its job creation predictions (in excess of 30% over 3 years) and being within one of the Enterprise Zone’s priority sectors (advanced engineering).

The decision to sell this plot supports council policy to use capital receipts from sale of land within the Enterprise Zone to fund the capital expenditure on installing necessary infrastructure across the site. The latest council decision to incur this expenditure is available via this link:

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 15/07/2021

Decision due: 12 July 2021 by Acting Deputy Chief Executive

Contact: Mark Pearce, Programme Director, Places and Communities Email: Tel: 01432383521.