Issue details

24/00030 - Granting of Formal Lease for Electricity Sub Station at Bapchild and Tonge Church of England Primary School, Sittingbourne

Proposed decision:

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services to agree to:


1.    authorise the granting of a Lease for a term in excess of 20 years to UK Power Networks for occupation and use of a new Electricity Sub Station to be located within the grounds of the school; and


2.    delegate authority to the Director of Infrastructure, in consultation with the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services to take necessary actions, including but not limited to entering into relevant contracts or other legal agreements, as required to implement this.



Reason for the Decision:

The granting of a Formal Lease in excess of 20 years requires a Decision from the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services in accordance with the County Council’s Property Management Protocol.



UK Power Networks is currently planning an infrastructure improvement project in the local area.  An existing substation is sited on the edge of the school playing field on land leased by Kent County Council (KCC) to the (former) Southern Eastern Electricity Board with approximately 43 years unexpired on the term of the Lease. The current location of the substation is now considered unsuitable by the school due to its proximity to a school building which the school wish to expand. It is proposed that a new substation is installed in a more appropriate location within the school site and housed in a glass reinforced plastic unit, rather than a transformer in a compound. The new substation will supersede the existing substation which will then be removed upon completion of the project and the remainder of the existing Lease surrendered afterwards.


For consistency with other leases granted on operational school sites to UK Power Networks and similar Statutory Undertakers, a lease of 99 years will need to be granted for the provision and operation of the new substation.


Options Considered: 

KCC has an option not to grant what is effectively a surrender and regrant of the utility lease. Not doing so will mean that the current substation would remain in situ for the remaining 43 year lease term (which will impact on the school’s ability to expand its building) and prevent the substation from being re-provided to a modern specification).


Since the substation is required to provide electricity to the school and ensure it remains operational agreeing a relocation utilising a surrender and regrant under standard utility lease terms is the preferred option.  This relocation will also enable an existing school building to be extended to provide enhanced facilities to users of the school.    


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 ensures the school remains operational and enhances facilities, supporting KCC's commitment to maintaining its strategic role in supporting schools in Kent to deliver accessible, high – quality provision. Communities will be maintained from the new substation to all the properties served by the existing substation, using modern materials and technologies associated with prevailing substation design and construction and protected for long term use by the presence of a long lease.  Environmental Step Change objectives will also be achieved, as the proposed lease will compel the operator to use sustainable materials and reduce any carbon emissions compared to the existing substation, which will help the County Council achieve its Net Zero targets.

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

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

Contact: Lesley Andrews, Head of Commissioned Services (Customer and Communities) Email: Tel: 01622 221638.


The decision was considered and endorsed at Policy and Resources Cabinet Committee on 15 May 2024.

Financial implications: The rent payable under the proposed formal lease shall be £1 (one pound) per annum, for consistency with other similar leases granted to UK Power Networks and other Statutory Undertakers for the provision of substations within operational school sites.

Legal implications: External legal advisors will be appointed as appropriate, in consultation with General Counsel.? UK Power Networks are to cover the County Council’s reasonable legal fees up to a maximum specified amount of £1,700 (one thousand seven hundred pounds). KCC is contractually bound for the existing sub-station for c.43 years. In order that UKPN will move the existing sub-station, KCC needs to agree a surrender of this old lease by agreeing a new lease to cover the position of the new substation.

Equalities implications: The substation is required to provide power to the school at this location. This will benefit all users of the school, and the local community. An Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) has been completed and this decision presents no overall change to the present position regarding equalities. Data Protection Implications: No Data Protection implications as a result of entering into the Formal Lease