Waverley Borough Council Home Page Waverley Borough Council Home Page


Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 10/01/2006
PROPOSED TRANSFER OF SUNNYHILL PLAY AREA TO WITLEY PARISH COUNCIL



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is to gain approval for a devolution request. The subsidiaitry issue is that Witley Parish Council request the transfer of Sunnyhill Recreation ground to themselves for the purpose of better management orchestrated locally.

APPENDIX F
Waverley Borough Council
EXECUTIVE – 10TH January 2006
_________________________________________________________________________
Title:
PROPOSED TRANSFER OF SUNNYHILL PLAY AREA TO WITLEY PARISH COUNCIL
[Wards Affected: Milford]
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to gain approval for a devolution request. The subsidiaitry issue is that Witley Parish Council request the transfer of Sunnyhill Recreation ground to themselves for the purpose of better management orchestrated locally.
_________________________________________________________________________

Environmental implications:

The better management of the recreation ground could improve dog control including faeces removal, improve litter and detritus removal and improve the management of invasive alien plant species.

Social / community implications:

Well managed play areas and open spaces provide the opportunity for play, exercise and a meeting point, potentially reducing crime and disorder.

E-Government implications:

There are none.

Resource and legal implications:

There will be a need for the Parish Council to instruct solicitors to effect the transfer.

Financial Implications

A financial receipt resulting from the proposed transfer is improbable. There will be small revenue savings resulting from stopping the on-going management of the area. There will be small legal costs associated with the transfer, which can be contained in approved budgets. This will include Witley Parish Council’s reasonable costs.

Background

Sunnyhill Play Area in Witley is owned by Waverley and was transferred to the General Fund
from Housing in 1996 along with other amenity areas, for the benefit of the wider community. It was acquired under the Housing Act for providing social housing. It is a relatively small area at 0.42 ha, and comprises a children’s playground and a small informal grassed area used as a kick about facility. From 01/10/87 to 29/09/97 the land was leased to Witley Parish Council. At the expiry of the lease Witley Parish Council did not renew, but now wish to acquire the area.

The Request

Witley Parish Council have formally resolved to request the transfer of the recreation ground to themselves and they have instructed solicitors who have written to Waverley seeking the transfer. It will be necessary to ensure clarity that Witley Parish Council are at the maximum of their potential compensatory grant in respect of recreational open space.

The Consideration

Under the circumstances that the play area has an on-going maintenance liability it is probable that the valuation will be nil. This will need to be confirmed by the Property and Development Manager. This could make the transfer a simple process. As the value will not reach more than 2 million, permissions to effect the transfer will not need to be sought from the Secretary of State in ODPM. Under section 123 of the Local Government Act 1974, Waverley Borough Council is obliged to obtain best consideration in any transfer of land. However, a recent ODPM circular, 06/03 – Disposal of Land for less than Best Consideration has permitted transfers of less than best value for transfers under 2 million.

The Implications

Your officers consider that the local management of the play area could improve the quality of the amenity, especially in relation to dog control issues, litter, vandalism and controlling the alien Japanese Knotweed , which has invaded a corner of the play area.

Conclusion

It is proposed that officers are authorised to effect the transfer of the area, outlined in the plan contained at Annexe 1, to Witley Parish Council, at nil consideration for the purposes of the management of a play area for the local community.

Recommendation

It is therefore recommended that the Director of Environment and Leisure and the Property and Development Manager are authorised to negotiate and to effect the transfer of Sunnyhill Play Area to Witley Parish Council under the circumstances contained in this report and subject to any other terms to be agreed.

________________________________________________________________________


CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Peter Maudsley Telephone: 01483 523428

E-mail: pmaudsley@waverley.gov.uk



comms\executive\2005-06\234.doc
46918