The Conservative’s flagship development project – St Martin’s Park in Stamford (aka the old Cummins engineering works) – is costing council taxpayers around £20,000/month in maintenance costs including rates, electricity, water etc.
Yesterday, SKDC announced that an additional one-off sum of £35,000 is to be spent on essential health and safety works and to decommission the gas supply. Given that the factory was purchased over 18 months ago, at a cost of £7.5million, one might have assumed that all essential health and safety works would have been implemented much earlier but this additional expenditure is now deemed justified because of “the number of times the property has been broken into by unauthorised persons“. Additional security measures have been put in place (presumably incurring additional cost) in the interim to minimise the risk to life but it is now important to switch the gas system off and release all gas from the pipework.
The grand scheme for the St Martin’s Park development changes from one month to the next. Originally it was purchased “in order to preserve its use as an employment site in the town, rather than risk it being taken by private developers solely for housebuilding”.
The site are being promoted for a mixed-use development including commercial, residential and retirement homes along with associated public open space, car parking, retail and infrastructure. These uses are subject to planning consent. The objective is to create space for a minimum of 500 jobs on a mixed-use development site while protecting the setting of Burghley House and its grounds.
Originally the preferred delivery mechanism was going to be a new company called DeliverSK. This entity was supposed to allow the Council to take a much more flexible, commercial approach, while ensuring the council can scrutinise and approve any decisions involving council-owned land or projects requiring further council investment. It has clearly failed on both counts since after 18 months the DeliverSK company hasn’t even been registered at Companies House.
The most recent report to Councillors explains that despite the Council already having spent £77,000 on legal costs, the establishment of DeliverSK has collapsed due to confustion over the legal status of the Guernsey-based partner company who was supposed to be our partners. IAG were supposed “to assist with development and regeneration projects in the area seeing them through from the concept stage right through to completion”, Instead it turns out that they didn’t even tell us their real name!
The site has major 33kv Overhead Power lines crossing it as well. I have looked at the plans and you can add another 20% to the purchase price of £7.5m to divert them around the site. Also, because the existing electricity supply to the Cummins site is High Voltage metering the monthly standing charge is massive. So, I think you might find it will be ‘turn that light off’ as well.