ADD271 Armada 2 Expenditure

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD271
Date signed: 
25 February 2015
Decision by: 
Simon Powell, Assistant Director of Strategic Projects and Property

Executive summary

Armada 2 is a site of approximately 3.3 Ha in the Royal Albert Basin that is currently vacant.  The site is challenging; its northern boundary is safeguarded for the Beckton Reach river crossing and it sits adjacent to a light industrial facility. 

The area has been designated as mixed use, incorporating employment and has been identified as potentially suitable for a school and for a potential relocation for a tenant currently occupying another site of which the GLA requires vacant possession.  In advance of a more detailed development/disposal approval for the site, we require up to £45K expenditure for due diligence, legal fees, architects fees and a valuation of the site over the period 14/15 and 15/16 until disposal. This can be accommodated within existing budgets.

 

Decision

That the Assistant Director approves up to £45K budget to be spent on the items of expenditure listed in this paper in order to further assess the suitability of the Armada 2 site in the Royal Albert Basin, for the proposed uses.

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Armada 2 (A2) is a site in the Royal Albert Basin, to the east of the Royal Docks.  A site plan is included at Appendix A.  

The site has been identified as potentially suitable for the relocation of a tenant currently occupying a site at Silvertown Quays on which the GLA has a contractual requirement to obtain vacant possession.  It has also been identified for the potential provision of a school in line with the Mayoral commitment to provide ten sites in London for occupation by free schools, and in accordance with educational requirement in the area.  

We will require a full title review before disposal of the site for any purpose, and we will also require additional ongoing legal support for work such as the transfer documents (assuming this use is approved at HIG).  This is estimated at £20K.

As it is the intention that the site is divided between the two users we will require a valuation of the two parts of the site prior to restricted disposal, estimated at £15K.

As the site sits within an area where there is a relatively large amount of future residential development in the later stages of planning we will need to ensure that any non-residential development on this site is of a high quality and sympathetic design.  Whilst this will be subject to the planning process the specific situation of this site means we require a budget of £10K for the provision of design guidance to ensure that this is the case.

Therefore the following expenditure is required from 14-15 onwards: 

•    Title review and ad hoc legal work- £20K
•    Valuation - £15K
•    Architects fees/Design guidance - £10K

With a total lifetime spend of £45K.  

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

The objective of this is to ensure that we have performed adequate due diligence on the site in advance of disposing of it, and ensuring that the potential occupiers are provided with sufficient information to be able to deliver the style and quality of development required by the GLA, and that parties are aware of expectations from the outset.

 

 

Equality comments

We have considered the impact on equality considerations in this action and have concluded that, being financial in nature, there is no negative impact on those with protected characteristics.  Work will be procured in line with GLA best practice and in delivery of our statutory obligations.

 

Other considerations

a)     Given the majority of this work will be instructed only once we have HIG approval and agreement in principle with the occupiers the risk of this work being abortive is slim.
b)    The Mayor has made a commitment to find suitable sites for free schools.  He also has an obligation to relocate tenants to be displaced from Silvertown Quays. 
c)    We are consulting with relevant stakeholders and an Albert Basin steering group has been set up to ensure key decisions are considered by all parties.

 

 

Financial comments

This site has an earmarked budget of £45k in 2014/15, within which the expenditure detailed in this paper can be met.

This expenditure will be managed by the Strategic Projects and Property team in Housing and land. 

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

As this request for funds comprises a number of instructions they will all have different timescales.  The below refers to the overall project and is indicative and subject to HIG approval.

Activity

Timeline

Target date for Site Disposal

Dec 15

 

Appendices and supporting papers

Site Plan (included in signed PDF)