To consider options relating to the Scheme to repair and refurbish the Lido and Promenade in Grange-over-Sands.
Note – Following consultation with Chairman of the Council under the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules set out in Part 4 of the Constitution (Call-in and Urgency, (j)), Call-in had been waived for this decision. The Chairman of the Council gave consent that the proposed decision was reasonable in all the circumstances and to it being treated as a matter of urgency.
The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder presented a report on the Grange-over-Sands Lido and Promenade. He outlined the Council’s plans to open the Lido site to the general public for the first time in 30 years and noted the importance of the site as a heritage asset.
The report provided a summary of the history of the site and highlighted the recent decisions to open the site up to the public and improve the promenade, which had been considered by Cabinet in March 2021 as well as by the Planning Committee (SL/2019/0803, SL/2019/0804 and SL/2020/0103). Members’ attention was drawn to the rationale for intervention and delivery of the full scheme, which was driven by the rapidly deteriorating structural elements at the Lido. It was noted that there was a risk of structural failure and potential heritage enforcement action if the Lido site was not repaired.
The report set out the recommendation for the site, Option 1, which had project costs at an estimated £6.8 million (Undertaking the full scheme to the promenade, playground and lido as set out in section 3.6.2 of the report). The alternative, Option 2 was also presented to members (Undertaking the promenade works in their entirety including playground with only essential fabric repairs undertaken to the Lido site as set out in section 6.3 of the report), which had project costs of £4.35 million.
The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder highlighted the project shortfall, which was £1,793,800 and informed Members that the proposal was to fund the shortfall through CIL contribution and the NNDR Pool reserve. He added that due to the unstable economic conditions there was a risk of increased costs if the project was delayed.
In proposing the recommendations as set out in the report, the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder thanked officers for the detailed report.
Members raised a query regarding the tender process and the timescales involved as well as the potential of increased costs. The Acting Operational Lead for Asset and Commercial Services informed Members that the Council had worked with a Quantity Surveyor to prepare a Bill of Quantities and therefore had a firm idea of the costs involved in the project. He noted that in order to comply with current procurement regulations, the Council had to go out to tender and that this would be a two stage process.
In response to a question on the historic items on the Lido site, the Acting Operational Lead for Asset and Commercial Services informed Members that the planning permissions had a condition that required an inventory of all historic items.
In response to a query on the future Westmorland and Furness decision, the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder informed Members that that the Council could not fetter the Westmorland and Furness decision but added that Members would be informed following the Westmorland and Furness decision.
Following a question on the link between the Grange Lido and Promenade project and Ulverston Leisure Centre, the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland and Innovation Portfolio Holder stated that these were two separate projects with separate funding streams.
In response to the same question, the Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder added that South Lakeland District Council had been clear that the timescales for the Ulverston Leisure Centre had meant that this would be a future Westmorland and Furness decision.
Following a request from Members the Acting Operational Lead for Asset and Commercial Services undertook to provide a critical time line of the procurement process to members.
In seconding the proposal the Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder noted that the Grange-over-Sands Lido and Promenade were a major asset and projects like this would assist in attracting a young professional work force to the area.
RESOLVED – That
(a) the Scheme to repair and refurbish the Lido and Promenade in Grange-over-Sands, taking into account the amended costs and requirements be agreed;
(i) Council be requested to approve and to recommend to the Westmorland and Furness Shadow Authority that additional funding of £1,793,800 for the scheme be included in the capital programme 2022/23; and
(ii) the Director of Strategy and Innovation, in consultation with the Lead Specialist for Strategy, the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) and the relevant Portfolio Holders be granted delegated authority to approve the CIL Contribution.
(b) the Director of Customer and Commercial Services, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder, Procurement Specialist, Asset and Commercial Manager, Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) and the Legal, Governance and Democracy Senior Specialist (Deputy Monitoring Officer be granted delegated authority to:-
(i) undertake a revised procurement process for delivery of the full scheme within the revised budget at a(i) above, in respect of which Call-In of this decision by Overview and Scrutiny is removed for reasons of urgency;
(ii) award a contract for delivery of the scheme, subject to approval of the amended capital programme;
(iii) procure and delivery works, as necessary, to satisfy the pre-commencement conditions to the planning permission (ref. SL/2019/0803) and SL/2019/0804); and
(iv) to appoint such other consultants as the Director considers may be required to progress the scheme.
Reasons for Decision
Working across boundaries – South Lakeland is: delivering sustainable economic growth in the north of England with exceptional quality of life; working across the Bay to secure investment and high value jobs; attracting funding and working with partners to deliver critical infrastructure; promoting unique value propositions.
Delivering a balanced community – South Lakeland is: working to encourage young people to stay and encourage those who have left to return; ensuring that our towns provide the lifestyle including leisure, cultural and recreational opportunities to attract young people and ‘wealth creators’; unlocking development sites and enabling local businesses to grow; using culture and arts to support the unique offer of our towns; using our distinct environment to create opportunities for all; working with communities to reduce isolation and loneliness and providing the best possible quality of life for all ages.
A fairer South Lakeland – South Lakeland is: seeking to strengthen its domestic tourism offer; commissioning services through the third sector to ensure quality services; and ensuring everyone has access to the same opportunities, life chances potential to lead safe, healthy, happy and fulfilled lives.
Addressing the climate emergency – South Lakeland is: ensuring that new development is sustainable, energy efficient, flood resilient and enhances biodiversity; pursuing opportunities to develop renewable energy; enhancing the district’s green infrastructure; promoting active travel including cycling and walking.
SLDC has a long-standing vision of making ‘South Lakeland the best place to live work and explore’. Central to this is place making, whereby local community assets act as catalysts for creating public spaces that are integral to resident’s health, wellbeing and happiness, strengthening the connection between the people and the place.
Officers are eager to emphasise that at this time, there is no ‘do nothing’ option due to the severe deterioration on site at the Lido, along the Promenade and on the playground area. This has therefore not been presented as it is not a realistic option worth considering - interventions are essential and must go ahead. Therefore, the minimum investment that the Council could progress with is detailed in Option 2, which is costed at £4.3million.
The difference between Option 1 and Option 2 of £2,450,000, while significant, will secure the £1m Coastal Communities Funding, as well as bring the Lido site back in to functional use, that is, make it accessible to the public for the first time in 30 years. Option 2 would still have the site hoarded off to public, and would require significant investment from the Council at a later date (with BCIS added cost increases) or a third party before they could occupy the site and open it up to the public. The Lido and Promenade works will act as a catalyst for economic and coastal regeneration of the town and South Lakeland, and the additional investment should therefore be viewed in this light.
Officers are therefore recommending Option 1, and are not recommending Option 2.