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East Midlands agency wants majority of assets to stay in public hands

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The East Midlands Regional Development Agency (Emda) has recommended that the majority of its £18.5m in land and property assets remain in public hands, in order to “maximise [their] development potential”.

The agency’s land and assets plan (attached right), which was heavily redacted, said that of its 36 separate sites, only five should be put to open market sale ahead of Emda’s closure in March 2012.

These include two sites at Sherwood Energy Village development in Ollerton; the Abbey Meadows site in Leicester; the Rail Centre site at Pride Park, Derby; and the 10 Newark Street site in Nottingham.

The agency said “discussions have taken place” with the local authorities regarding these sites and they would have the first option to purchase them at market value.

Of the agency’s other assets, the plan said 15 former coalfields sites should remain in public hands, most likely with the Homes & Communities Agency, though the specific recommendation was reacted from the plan provided.

Three key strategic regeneration sites - the Bold Lane regeneration site in Derby; the Albany Works regeneration site in Nottingham, and a site in George Street, Corby - are likely to be passed onto the agency’s joint-venture property vehicle Blueprint, a public private partnership between Emda, developer Igloo and the HCA.

Two further specific regeneration schemes for which the agency holds several assets - the Castleward scheme in Derby and the Trent Basin scheme in Nottingham - are to maintained in the public sector, though the specific recommendations for the sites are redacted. LGC has appealed Emda’s decision not to provide this information.

A further six sites of “nil value” comprising four highways sites and two sites in Sherwood Park are to be transferred to public bodies, the report said.

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