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South West RDA to sell off 60% of land and property

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Nearly two-thirds of the £40m in land and property assets held by the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) could be sold on the open market.

The RDA’s plan for the disposal of its assets and liabilities, obtained by LGC, recommends to ministers that 34 of its 58 land and property assets be sold.

The agency said it had been told by the Department for Business, Innovation, & Skills to raise £20m in receipts through the sale of its assets ahead of its closure in March 2012.

A further 21 assets are to be rolled into four packages and transferred to councils in the south-west.

These include the Gloucester Docks regeneration project; the next phase of the Temple Quay regeneration project in Bristol; the Royal William Yard waterfront development in Plymouth; and the Medical & Technology Park in Plymouth.

The agency said these “packages” comprised “concentrations of development assets and liabilities which are of strategic significance but which are at an earlier stage of development such that they would benefit from a further period in public sector control”.

The agency said the aim of transferring the assets to the councils was to “secure the original regeneration objectives before eventual disposal to the market”.

The agency said the packages included “significant liabilities” - mainly sites that require gap funding to make them viable or sites requiring remediation - which balance out the value of the assets.

The report said two further sites, the Bristol and Bath Science Park and the Osprey Quay sailing site, should be passed to the Homes & Communities Agency, while the Wave Hub project should be transferred to a new body.

For full details of the South West RDA’s asset plan, see plan attached (above right)

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