Issue details

24/00029 - Proposed Granting of Formal Lease for site for new Pre School at Sheldwich Primary School

Proposed decision:

Approval for Kent County Council to grant a Lease in excess of 20 years to Sheldwich Primary School for development, occupation and use of a new permanent Pre School building to be located within the grounds of the School.. Authority to be delegated to the Director of Infrastructure to be authorised to finalise terms for this transaction.

 

The Cabinet Member will be asked to:-

 

1.    Agree that Kent County Council grant a Lease in excess of 20 years to Sheldwich Primary School for development, occupation and use of a new permanent Pre School building to be located within the grounds of the School,

 

2.    Authorise the Director of Infrastructure to finalise terms for the granting of the Formal Lease.  

 

Reason for the Decision:

Proposed granting of a Formal Lease over 20 years requires a Key Decision in accordance with the County Council’s Property Management Protocol.

 

Background:

The School obtained Academy Status in 2010.  The County Council leased all its freehold land held for and used by the School to the Academy Trust and retained land which was occupied by a separate Pre School provider.  The Pre School provider vacated the County Council’s land a few years later, and at the request of the former Director of Education, the School were to be granted a lease of under 20 years to use and occupy the County Council’s retained land for Pre School purposes, which has been successful for the Trust.

 

A demountable building located on the retained land is reaching the end of its economic life, despite considerable investment into its repair and maintenance by the Trust .  It is desired by the Trust to erect a permanent Pre School building on the site, in a location which is partially within the demise of the existing Academy Lease and partially within the County Council’s retained land.

 

To attract funding for development of a permanent Pre School building, the Trust will need to be granted a lease of over 20 years.  The Trust’s operation of a Pre School at this location is well supported and has been very successful. 

 

A small part of the County Council’s retained land will be included within the proposed long lease; the residue of the site will be leased to the Trust for breakfast and after school club activities, currently operated from the school hall.  Relocation of these uses onto the residue of the County Council’s land will enable the hall to be used for more traditional educational uses.      

 

Options Considered:

 

Three locations were considered for the project but due to site constraints the proposed location is such that it will be the easiest to implement and ensure the remainder of the School’s operational requirements are maintained.     

 

How the proposed decision supports the Framing Kent's Future - Our Council Strategy 2022-2026:  

This decision supports Framing Kent’s Future – Our Council Strategy 2022-2026 as the decision gives opportunity for an enhancement in school facilities, supporting KCC's commitment to maintaining its strategic role in supporting schools in Kent to deliver accessible, high-quality education provision for all families.  

 

Legal Implications:

In accordance with the Property Management Protocol, proposed leases of over 20 years require Members to delegate authority to the Director of Infrastructure to authorise the terms for such leases.  On this occasion, a lease of over 20 years is desired by the Trust in order that it can source and attract funding streams to enable a permanent Pre School building to be built within the grounds of the Academy.

 

Half of the land required for the replacement Pre School setting is already within the Trust’s existing Academy Lease.  For the proposal to succeed, a small part of the County Council’s Retained Land will need to be included within any new lease to the Trust, on terms and conditions which are consistent with ground leases granted by the County Council to Pre Schools at its maintained School sites.

 

The decision to grant such a lease on a small part of the County Council’s Retained Land at this site is a voluntary decision.  The Trust’s Pre School at this site has been very successful within the last 10 years and it is anticipated this will be enhanced by the granting of a long lease for the development of a permanent Pre School building. 

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: Swale East;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 01/05/2024

Decision due: Not before 30th May 2024 by Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services
Reason: To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations

Lead director: Rebecca Spore

Department: Strategic & Corporate Services

Financial implications: The rent payable under the proposed formal lease shall be a market ground rent, to be assessed with reference to comparable rents paid by Pre School operators for ground leases granted within the grounds of its maintained Schools.

Legal implications: Please see above.

Equalities implications: The new Pre School building will further enhance the provision of a Pre School at this location, which in turn will benefit all users of the Pre School, as well as the School for the local community. Data Protection Implications: No Data Protection implications are anticipated as a result of entering into the Formal Lease.

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