Following construction of a new school, the former school site was declared surplus to requirements. The Public Sector Plc partnership in Southend-on-Sea was asked to devise a strategy to maximise the potential capital receipt from the scheme to contribute towards the cost of building the new school.
The partnership put together and funded a capacity study, planning brief and site constraints plan to take to the market to seek a joint venture partner to work with the partnership to deliver new homes. Straightforward bids to purchase the site were received, as well as bids specifying the partnership would receive a share of the selling price of each home built and sold on the site.
Following a rigorous selection process, the preferred developer was appointed. They developed a scheme of 46 new homes comprising a mix of new build houses, new build flats and striking duplex apartments converted from the former Victorian school building. 25% of the homes were built as affordable housing.
In terms of meeting the original objectives of the council, the scheme has been an incredible success. As a result of the initial bidding exercise, it was clear that the disposal model proposed would deliver significantly enhanced levels of value. The final outcome will deliver a land receipt that is more than three times greater than would have been achieved from a traditional disposal.
This project has showcased the flexibility of the council’s development partnership with Public Sector Plc, which has enabled the council to protect the heritage of the old school while bringing forward a sensitive and attractive new development on both sites. This site has delivered much needed new housing including a mix of houses and flats, including affordable housing and the sensitive conversion of the old Hinguar buildings will offer something really special to the local area as well as good financial returns to the council and therefore residents.
Andrew Moring Councillor