FLINTSHIRE Council could demolish business units it owns to save money and potentially sell the land in future.
The authority’s corporate resources scrutiny committee meets this week to discuss the council’s capital programme for 2024/25 to 2026/27.
This programme covers the council’s investment in assets for the long term “to enable the delivery of high quality and value for money public services”, according to a report to be read by councillors ahead of the meeting.
The report states: “Historically, much of the council’s programme has been funded from capital receipts and grants.
“The council’s ability to generate significant capital receipts is challenging as the assets the Council has available for disposal diminish.
“Wherever possible every opportunity to identify assets for sale and other sources of funding such as specific grants and revenue contributions will be explored. However, the council will need to use prudential borrowing to finance more of the programme going forward.”
One asset the authority is looking at to potentially save money and raise capital is the units it owns at the Greenfield Business Park which are empty and deemed at the “end of life”.
The report states that there has not been much commercial interest in the vacant units, and they are costing the council money in business rates and maintenance.
It says: “The units in the council ownership at Greenfield Business Park are mostly at the end of their serviceable life and can’t, in most cases, be upgraded further.
“Their size and condition would make them very unlikely to be lettable in the future as they no longer meet modern business needs.
“There will be a need to consider their future with options including a) demolition with no further units being constructed, b) demolition for future council development or private sale, c) wholesale redevelopment and construction of new business units.
“Capital funds may be required to cover some of these costs including acting as match funding should external capital funding become available.”
Earlier this year the council missed out on the second round of UK Levelling Up funding, with a bid to develop new industrial units on the Business Park in Greenfield, including the demolition of derelict units and the refurbishment of one tenanted unit.
Had the bid been successful, the council would have match-funded the project.
The report to the scrutiny committee adds: “There are three units on this site which have fallen into disrepair and are no longer lettable or economic to repair.
“They are creating a nuisance for neighbouring businesses on the business park and cost the council upwards of £40,000 each year in business rates and to maintain and keep secure from vandalism.
“It is proposed to demolish all three units to leave clear platforms for future development, through land sale or council development. This is the first phase of planned regeneration on the business park.
“This proposal would pay back in five years and would make the land available for future developments, providing a revenue stream to the council.”
Flintshire Council’s corporate resources scrutiny committee meets on Thursday (November 16) to discuss the report.