Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Exempt report of the Chief Executive provides an update on Friendship House, Hatfield.
Friendship House is a Council-owned property, currently leased to Hatfield and District Age Concern until 2098 at a fixed rent of £130 per annum.
Age Concern had taken the decision to close their facility at Friendship House, having struggled financially in recent years. Their decision is unrelated to the level of rent.
Initially they asked the Council if it would be possible to assign the lease to another organisation. But with an assignment, there is no opportunity to review the rental, which is well below current market levels, even if the site were restricted to community use.
We have a duty to make the best use of Council-owned assets for the benefit of all residents. Accordingly, the request to reassign was declined.
As noted in the report, negotiations are currently underway with the lessee for a surrender of the lease.
To ensure that the Council optimise the use of the asset once lease surrender is completed, it is therefore sensible to undertake an options appraisal for the site before any decision is taken to lease or market it. This is to avoid us being “locked in” to a solution that is not in the best long-term interests of the Council or residents.
(1) Cabinet noted the proposals regarding negotiations on the surrender of the lease.
(2) Cabinet approved that an options appraisal be undertaken for the site and that the site is not leased out or marketed (both short and long term) until this has been completed. A report will be returned to Cabinet in June 2021 on the options recommended.
Publication date: 12/02/2021
Date of decision: 09/02/2021
Decided at meeting: 09/02/2021 - Cabinet
Effective from: 19/02/2021