Friday, 16 October 2009

Land Disposal will be Cabinet Decision

Over on the Bristol Blogger web-site, in reference to the disposal of council-owned land at Ashton Gate, Cllr Gary Hopkins has stated that "Any decisions on this sort of issue will be taken in open cabinet and this has already been confirmed in writing"

I suspect he may be referring, in part, to an email sent by Cllr Barbara Janke to myself and copied to the rest of the cabinet members (including Cllr Hopkins of course) which included the following statement of mine, and agreed with by Cllr Janke;

" if, as a result of the entirely separate planning process regarding the proposal for a food store at Ashton Gate, there arises the need to consider the future of the council-owned land included in that development, that the decision on this land will be taken at Cabinet level and will not be delegated down to officer level"

The email above followed on from a discussion that Cllr Janke and myself had following an event hosted by the Bristol Civic Society on Thursday 8th October.

That conversation itself followed on from the full council meeting of 15th September, where Cllr Simon Cook, in response to a question from a member of the public, provided a written statement that;

"BCFC have been in discussion with BCC officers around the possible acquisition of the freehold of land owned by BCC. These discussions are on-going and a report will be taken to Cabinet when negotiations are complete and the planning applications determined. This is likely to be in the next few months."

In that same meeting, in response to my own question;
"Has a valuation been placed upon this land by Bristol City Council in the event of it being sold for redevelopment?"

Cllr Cook provided the following written response;
"No value has been placed on this land at present as this is dependent upon any successful planning application for a change of use"

So, to summarise, BCFC have been in negotiations with BCC about acquiring the freehold of the council-owned land, but the value of the land is dependent upon any successful planning application. In addition, the decision regarding any potential land disposal will not be delegated down to officer level, but will be taken in open cabinet, sometime in the next few months but after planning permission has been determined.

If anybody thinks that I have misrepresented the statements of Cllrs Janke, Cook and Hopkins, please feel free to let me know by adding a comment below. I am also emailing the councillors concerned so that they can correct any errors on my part.

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