Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document
Meeting of the Executive held on 25/05/2004
Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is to inform Members of the cost of the work proposed to Montrose House, Farnham, so that the ground floor of the premises can be leased to Farnham Citizens Advice Bureau.
Quality of Life Implications
Prevention and Control
There are none directly arising from this report. The Farnham CAB has introduced a new computerised case recording system (CASE) and has been able to take advantage of central government funding towards the implementation costs.
Resource and legal implications
Any capital cost of converting Montrose House will need to be funded from existing General Fund capital receipts, which should in due course be reimbursed from the future capital receipt arising from the East Street Development. There is a risk to using this funding as the amount and timing of the receipt is uncertain.
An additional amount of £6,000 was included in the revenue budget, being the increase in rental in 2004/05 of the new premises compared to the CAB’s current premises.
1. The Council on 29th July 2003 agreed that Farnham CAB be offered the use of the ground floor at Montrose House, Farnham and that a further report be presented to the Executive with detailed costings highlighting any effect on the 2004/05 budget.
2. Members will recall that a feasibility exercise had been carried out to ascertain that the Farnham CAB could be housed in Montrose House. It was found that the ground floor could accommodate the CAB and would provide an additional 10% of floor space. It was anticipated that to make the premises fit for purpose would necessitate a capital investment in the order of £50,000.
3. After discussion with the CAB, a scheme has been drawn up for the ground floor of Montrose House and tenders have been obtained. This is to be a permanent home for the CAB.
Farnham CAB and Montrose House
4. The proposed move of the CAB to Montrose House would mean that the temporary relocation of the CAB during the East Street redevelopment would not be necessary and that the Council would no longer have to provide an alternative location as part of the regeneration scheme. Consequently the premium due would increase. In July 2003 Members were given an estimate of the premium.
5. Montrose House is well located centrally in Farnham, close to public transport links and near the Council’s locality office. It is in a more prominent position than Bright House and would therefore make the CAB more visible to the public.
6. If the East Street scheme does not proceed there will be a vacant property within the proposed redevelopment area, as well as the remaining two floors of Montrose House, to let.
7. Four tenders have been submitted for the works, the details of which are set out in the (Exempt) Annexe to this report.
8. The tenders include a contingency of £3,000. The two lowest tenders have been checked and are both arithmetically correct. The lowest tenderer has previously carried out work on the Council’s behalf to a high standard and within budget.
9. Officers have spoken with the CAB about potential sources of funding for the capital works. The CAB does not have any major sources of funding for the capital works. They are however able to apply to Homebase and B & Q for nominal amounts towards the kitchen units and furnishings. They are hoping the local business community will help with new furniture.
10. The tenders include a provisional sum of £3,000 for new carpet and other flooring. The Farnham CAB has made an application to B & Q for funding for new carpets for the scheme and if successful, the provisional sum of £3,000 will be omitted from the contract.
11. Officers are of the opinion that the proposed use of the building by the CAB requires planning permission. This is because the use represents a material change of use from a B1 office use to an A2 financial and professional services use.
12. The proposed alterations to the ground floor of Montrose House will allow the Farnham CAB to move to a permanent location in advance of the East Street redevelopment and will also provide an increase in space, which it requires to function more effectively.
It is recommended therefore that
1. subject to planning approval, the lowest tender, as indicated in the (Exempt) Annexe, be accepted;
2. a variation to the capital programme be made in the sum indicated in the (Exempt) Annexe to cover the cost of the works, including Planning and Building Regulation fees, to be met from the General Fund capital receipts in anticipation of the capital receipt arising from the East Street redevelopment; and
3. a resolution in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General) Regulations 1992 be made to allow a planning application to be submitted for a change of use.
Mrs J Turner