The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services to agree to:
1. authorise the taking of an agreement for a lease for a term in excess of 20 years, in order that a new primary and secondary school can be built for use and occupation with the lease term to formally commence upon completion of the new schools in 2024;
2. agree that upon completion and satisfactory handover of the new primary and secondary school, Kent County Council shall take a formal lease of the new schools for a term of 999 years, commencing in 2024;
3. agree that upon completionand satisfactory handover of the new primary and secondary school, and taking of a formal lease, the Director of Infrastructure is authorised to enter into a 125-year lease to the Academy Trust;
4. note that the main heads of terms for the leases are already agreed and recorded within a section 106 agreement which Kent County Council is already a party to; and
5. authorise the Director of Infrastructure, in consultation with the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services, to take necessary actions, included but not limited to entering into relevant contracts or other legal agreements, as required to implement this.
Reason for the Decision:
Proposed taking of an agreement for a lease and formal lease over 20 years requires a key decision in accordance with the County Council’s Property Management Protocol.
The agreement for a lease will need to be completed within the current financial year in order that a contract to build the new schools can be entered into to deliver the schools for 2024.
Kent County Council (KCC) entered into a section 106 agreement with numerous third parties on 28 March 2018, for the provision of a new primary and secondary school within the Eastern Quarry Development. KCC has previously entered into section 106 agreements for the provision of two other primary schools within the development; one school has been built and opened (Cherry Orchard Primary School) and the other school is to be built at a future date.
In accordance with Schedule 7 of the 2018 Agreement, the developer is required to build a new primary and secondary school at Alkerden, and upon practical completion of the buildings, grant a 999-year lease of their use and operation.
Members should know that following a competition, as required by the Department for Education, Kent County Council determined both the provider and that the primary and secondary provisions would operate as an ‘All-Through School’.
In order that the developer can proceed with issuing a building contract for the development of the new School, it requires the KCC to commit to the taking of a 999-year lease by first entering into an agreement for a lease, with a view to granting the formal 999-year lease upon completion / handover of the new school.
Subsequently, KCC would grant a 125-year lease to the Academy Trust.
No other options were considered as KCC are already legally bound under the terms of the 2018 agreement to enter into the 999-year lease. KCC could consider seeking a formal variation to the 2018 agreement not to enter into the lease, but this is not considered necessary as there is demand for the new schools to be delivered and open at this location in 2024.
How the proposed decision supports the Interim Strategic Plan:
The decision supports Outcome 2 (Securing sustainable infrastructure) and Outcome 6 (Opportunities for Children and Young People).
Decision type: Non-key
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: Dartford Rural;
Notice of proposed decision first published: 06/07/2022
Decision due: Not before 4th Aug 2022 by Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services
Reason: in order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements
Lead member: Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services
Lead director: Rebecca Spore
Department: Strategic & Corporate Services
The proposed decision was discussed and endorsed by the Policy and Resources Cabinet Committee on 13 July 2022.
Financial implications: The construction of the new school is to be fully funded by the developer The rent payable within the draft lease provisions within the 2018 agreement will be a peppercorn rent per annum. Upon completion of the new schools and the formal 999-year lease, the schools will open as academies and KCC will be granting a 125-year lease to the selected Academy Trust. Each party will bear its own surveyor fees and legal costs upon completion of the agreement for a lease and formal lease.
Legal implications: KCC is bound by the terms of the 2018 agreement to take the proposed 999-year lease. This decision will ensure all arrangements are in place to open an ‘All-Through School’ to support KCC’s statutory duty of providing school places.
Equalities implications: It is not felt that this decision presents any impact on any of the nine areas specified by KCC under its Equality Impact Assessments (EqIA). Data Protection Implications: No implications anticipated, but Data Protection will be observed.