You may remember, a few weeks ago, we circulated details of the Covenant associated with two parcels of land on the Kempton Park estate.
Spelthorne Council sold its leasehold interest in those parcels of land to the owners of the Kempton Park estate for £499 999, around the time that the all-weather track was built in 2005. Essentially, an agreement (the Covenant) was entered into whereby, if the land was developed, or was given permission for development, before 2030, then the Council would be due one-third of the difference between the value of those two parcels when permission was granted and the earlier value (£499 999). The other two-thirds would be split equally between The Jockey Club and the Horserace Betting Levy Board.
So what would that be worth to the Council?
See the attached Document 12b, which shows the Kempton Park estate, which is entirely Green Belt (shown in darker green), in the context of the immediately neighbouring areas of Green Belt (shown in lighter green).
The area bordered in yellow is what The Jockey Club has been referring to as the “Area of Research” – the area in which it wishes to build its housing estate. That area is 90 acres in extent.
The areas bordered in blue are the two parcels of land covered by the Covenant. The wedged-shaped area is 10.728 hectares in size, equivalent to 26.51 acres. The irregular-shaped area immediately to the north east is 6.723 hectares in size, equivalent to 16.61 acres. So, a total of 43.12 acres.
Not worth much, if you can’t build on it (and if you totally ignore the value it has as part of the lungs of London). Right?
Right. The Council asked a Chartered Surveyor for his opinion (see Document 44 attached), and he thought that, as ‘uninteresting Green Belt land’ it might be worth £5000 per acre. So the whole lot would be worth a paltry £215 600 – less than the £499 999 the Council received in 2005.
But if it were given planning permission, it would be worth a lot more?
You bet. £1 million per acre, according to the Chartered Surveyor. And that was in August 2012, and we all know what has happened to property prices since then, so it’s probably worth a lot more now, and rising all the time.
Spelthorne gets how much? Here’s the arithmetic.
( (43.12 acres x £1 000 000) – £499 999 ) / 3 = £14 206 667
£14.2 million quid! That’s quite a lot of money, considering that the Council spent £64 million in the last financial year.
You can imagine that The Jockey Club and the HBLB may not be entirely happy about that. According to the Covenant, Spelthorne would be due its money within 28 days of permission being given for development.
Also, The Jockey Club is being asked to fund a major restructuring of Sunbury Cross Roundabout as part of the overall deal. ‘Why should the Council have its cake and eat it?’: was how they described it in a meeting with residents last year.
But this is surely something that can be sorted out amongst friends. We have been told that in the final weeks of 2013 negotiations were still going on to reduce the amount payable to Spelthorne under the Covenant to reflect the cost of digging a big hole in half of Sunbury Cross Roundabout and filling it in again with more lanes of tarmac. And no doubt also to agree a new schedule for payments.
Secondly, two weeks ago we asked all the Spelthorne Councillors their opinion: Should Kempton Park’s Green Belt status be retained? Last week we showed you what they said. Since then we’ve had a few more replies, as below:
Cllr Alfred Friday Con Sunbury East (Planning Committee)
Thank you for your various emails and I apologise for not having responded until now.
I hope I have always made clear that I oppose development in our Green Belt and fully support Spelthorne Council policy on protecting Green Belt land as set out below by our Planning Department:
“A document called ‘Spelthorne Borough Local Plan 2001 – Saved Polices and Proposals’ (updated December 2009) states that the Green Belt on the Proposals Map will be permanent and within it development will not be permitted which would conflict with the purposes of the Green Belt and maintaining its openness. The policy goes on to identify what development would be allowed and this does not include housing. Any changes to a designated Green Belt can only be made through a formal review of a Council’s Local Plan.”
I trust this answers your question.
Cllr Joanne Sexton Con Ashford North & Stanwell South
Thank you for your email I agree with point A (The reply by Cllr Watts)
Cllr Tony Mitchell Con Ashford East Cabinet – Environment
I concur with Councillor Watts’s views as shown at ‘A’
Cllr Tim Evans Con Halliford & Sunbury West
I agree with Appendix A the leader’s statement on this topic.
And now the matter is closed until and unless a planning application turns up from the Jockey Club
And, finally, we’ve been up and running for a few days online. Visit us at http://www.keepkemptongreen.com, Like our Facebook page, and Follow us on Twitter (links to both on the website).
Regards, as always
for Keep Kempton Green