Plans with an estimated cost of more than £2m to build an industrial development in Chichester’s Terminus Road took a step forward on Tuesday.
Chichester district councillors went behind closed doors to debate carrying out their own development of five industrial units on land the council owns at Plot 21, in an area which is likely to see major redevelopment over the next few years.
District councillors have agreed to go forward with the plan in two stages.
According to minutes of the secret cabinet session released this week, Gillian Keegan proposed to cabinet members that they should go forward with their plan to lease industrial units in the hope of making a good financial return for the council.
Now, after a behind closed doors session at full council, members have agreed to a two stage process.
They are to release funds from their capital reserves to draw up a detailed design, carry out the planning application and the pre-construction tender process.
It has been agreed to take back a further report to cabinet on current market conditions and expected return on investment before deciding to release the rest of the budget, find a developer and carry out the construction.
CDC’s cabinet approved the spending of £166,000, a year ago, for the demolition of the existing building, including the removal of asbestos and drawing up a planning application for redevelopment with a single unit subject to a ‘pre-let’ agreement before the development took place.
But council minutes of CDC’s cabinet meeting earlier this month revealed Cllr Keegan told fellow councillors they had been unable to find a tenant for a single unit development.
However, she said a developer had offered to take a long lease of 150 years for a five unit scheme subject to a development agreement.
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