SNC Could Be Sued For £ Millions
|Author: Councillor Andrew Wilby||Published: 29th February 2012 08:55|
Moat Lane Development in Towcester
“If SNC were to listen to the LibDems and abandon the move to Moat Lane it could cost the local tax payer up to £10 million pounds and damage the town’s prosperity for generations.” say Towcester Mill Ward Councillors Andrew Grant and Andrew Wilby.
The office move is a crucial part of the legally driven procurement process to find a development partner. This is now about to be finalised after two years of intense negotiations.
Any change of plan would cost the town all the promised new public facilities such as a community theatre, restaurants and public toilets that are promised in the new Civic building as part of the compensation to the community for the massive southern housing development through which the town will double in size over the next 20 years.
The Councillors for Towcester Mill Ward, which includes the town centre, are accusing the LibDems of making irresponsible misleading claims to the voters. “When negotiations are completed we will be able to reveal all the detail and Towcester residents will see the benefits they are getting as part of the deal. Then they will ask why they were being mislead!” say the Councillors.
Moat Lane Fact file:
- The development brings new shops, bars, restaurants, houses, flats, office accommodation and a new civic amenity to the town centre which will generate renewed cultural and commercial activity in the centre of our community ahead of the town expansion.
- SNC now has a joint administration with Cherwell District Council and a requirement for only about 50% of its current office space.
- The present council offices sit on 6 acres of valuable Brownfield development land which will be used to reduces the take of Greenfield land that the town faces.
- The present building requires major refurbishment to bring it to current government Eco standards... the cost will be in £millions that the rate payer would have to fund.
- The location of SNC’s office is a matter for all the residents of the District. They all have to bear the cost, not just the citizens of Towcester, although they are the ones who stand to gain.
- The decision to move was taken after thorough evaluation of the options over two years ago. It has been part of the development scheme tendered to the development industry. It is impossible to change the terms without suffering major and even catastrophic penalties.
- Without a major tenant the Moat Lane scheme would have been abandoned and the town centre would have missed out the massive regeneration investment that it has had. It probably would lay derelict for many years ahead.
- The award winning Bury Mount and the Watermeadows scheme would not have happened without Moat Lane.
- If the scheme were to collapse, the multi-million pounds of inwards investment into Towcester may have to be paid back at the rate payers’ expense.
- The Springfields office contributes nothing to the local community: the new Civic Centre will provide many of the civic amenities that a town the size of Towcester should have... greatly to the local benefit.
- The new office will reduce SNC running costs and has considerable potential to generate the Council income steams which have not been factored into the financial plans as yet.
- Development work is expected to start very soon and take 5 years to complete.