The Assistant Director of Planning and Regeneration presented to Members the last report of the evening, explaining that the purpose of the report was to update Members on progress with delivery of the Thriving Gainsborough 2024 Cinema and Leisure Scheme and to seek approval for the proposed delivery method and associated expenditure.
Note: Councillor R Patterson left the meeting at 7.46pm and returned at 7.49pm
Members heard that planning approval for the scheme was now in place, which included an historic façade that met the requirements of the Gainsborough Town Centre Conservation Area. Funding for the scheme was also now in place, with the success of the Levelling Up Fund bid increasing the total capital budget available. Despite very challenging times since 2020 as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, Savoy Cinemas Ltd remained committed to the scheme and were in place ready to deliver.
It was explained that the chosen site, the Lindsey Centre, had a complex and restricted title and required intervention from the Council in order to deliver a viable development option. Under Section 203 of the Housing Act (2016) Councils were granted powers to deal with title matters for the benefit of approved development. The Assistant Director set out the steps required in order to progress the delivery of the town centre leisure scheme.
Committee Members were supportive of the proposals and recognised the opportunities available for building a strong future for the town. The need to consider climate related risks, such as carbon impact and also how to make new developments energy efficient, was highlighted with the Assistant Director agreeing that this was a consideration in the development of the plans and proposals.
There were discussions regarding the timescales of the development, with different dates having been stated. It was explained that the developer was keen to be on site and completed as soon as possible, with Officers working to facilitate that as far as it was feasible. Despite concerns raised regarding current instability in the hospitality industry, and having been reassured that there were sufficient options open for the use of the proposed units, Members were positive and supportive of the paper.
On being moved and seconded, the Chairman took the vote and it was unanimously
a) the acquisition of the freehold property title number LL126969, known as the Lindsey Centre for £375,000 as per the Sale Agreement at Appendix 3 (subject to matters at 4.6 being completed) be approved; and
b) the utilisation of section 203 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to make an application to the Land Registry for the purposes of Land Appropriation of property title LL126969 be approved; and
c) the sale of property title LL26969 to Savoy Cinemas Limited as per the draft Sale Agreement at Appendix 6 upon completion of the demolition scheme of works, be approved, with any changes required to this agreement to be delegated to the Assistant Director of Planning and Regeneration in liaison with the Monitoring Officer and S151 Officer; and
d) the delivery model as set out at 7.2 to secure the construction and ongoing operation of a four screen cinema and leisure scheme in Gainsborough be approved; and
e) an increased budget and expenditure of up to £6,105,366 reflecting the cost of the Lindsey Centre acquisition be approved, the increase being met from a capital receipt of £375,000 upon its sale to Savoy Cinemas Ltd.
The Chairman concluded the meeting with thank to all involved and particular thanks and best wishes again to Tracey Bircumshaw, Assistant Director, Finance, Business and Property Services.