ACQUISITION OF FORMER HOUSE OF FRASER BUILDING – 92 GRANGE ROAD, BIRKENHEAD
Decision Maker: Director: Governance and Assurance (Monitoring Officer)
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
92 Grange Road, Birkenhead (“the
Property”) is situated at the heart of Birkenhead town centre
and therefore forms a key site in respect of enabling any future
redevelopment of the town centre to take place. The Property, shown
edged red on the plan appended to this report as Appendix 1,
includes a car park with 86 spaces and a rear service yard. This
purchase is recommended as this Property is key to enabling the
comprehensive regeneration of Birkenhead town centre which is a
strategic priority for the Council.
The purchase of the Property will increase the Council’s holdings and influence over the town centre. The Property occupies a prime gateway site at the entrance to the planning central business district of Birkenhead, in close proximity to the proposed redevelopment of Milton Pavements and the residential proposals for Hind Street.
The acquisition of the Property will enhance the Council’s existing portfolio, giving it the ability to exercise control of the future use and development of the site which could influence the value of existing holdings and projected values of other Council properties in the area.
The Acquisition of the Property will defend against an alternative use which could have a negative impact on the development plans for the town. This is also a defensive acquisition to prevent an undesirable use or development which could detract from the Council’s plans to regenerate the area.
The Director of Law and Governance authorises
the completion of the purchase of the property known as the former
House of Fraser Building, 92 Grange Road, Birkenhead from its
current owner Autumn Properties Ltd at a price of £2M.
Alternative options considered:
The Property is currently vacant. Having
regard to the lack of demand for retail property, the retraction of
that market, the re-positioning of retail from the physical stores,
the Property is unlikely to return to retail use. The vendor is
keen to dispose of its interest and mitigate its losses having
acquired the property in 2015. For these reasons, should the
Council not acquire it, the Property is likely to be sold for
non-retail use and it is likely to be developed for residential
use. The Council will have little ability to control the future of
the site. Permitted development rights could enable this retail
property to be converted to residential use which would be liable
to create high-density poor-quality development providing the
highest immediate returns for developers.
Publication date: 12/01/2021
Date of decision: 12/01/2021