The next steps for a £10million commercial development in Bexhill are to go before Rother council leaders next week.
On Monday (November 4), Rother District Council’s cabinet are to consider proposals for commercial properties and a doctors’ surgery, as part of the Rosewood Park site off Barnhorn Road.
The site, which was bought by the council for £600k earlier this year, already has outline planning permission for the development of office space, light industrial units and a doctors’ surgery with space for ten GPs.
In a report to be considered by cabinet on Monday, a Rother council officer said: “This project presents the opportunity for the council to bring forward a scheme that will bring significant benefit to the local community.
“It will offer the opportunity for improved healthcare provision and improved local employment opportunities.
“In addition to the economic and social benefits to the area, this scheme will generate much needed additional income into the council to support services into the future.”
According to the report, a scheme with the same mix of office and light industrial space as the outline planning permission would be expected to bring up to £160,000 into the council’s coffers each year, once its costs are factored in.
However, the report also says it may be possible for the council to achieve a better return by altering the proposed mix of site, reducing office space and increasing light industrial space.
According to the report, this is because light industrial space would cost less to build than office space and also has a more ‘proven demand’ in the local area. This could see the cost of development fall from £10m, the report says.
The outline plans currently have a mix of 2,750 sqm of office space and 750 sqm of light industrial space.
Changing this approach, however, would require further planning permission and the costs involved.
At the meeting, cabinet members are recommended to set aside £10m from its £35m property investment strategy to bring forward development of the site.
They are also recommended to give officers the authority to appoint contractors to manage the development and to negotiate a lease on the doctors’ surgery with the NHS.
The report said: “Should cabinet approve the recommendations, officers will begin the procurement of the necessary professional team to bring the scheme forward.
“It is anticipated that full planning consent will be achieved by March 2020 with enabling works to begin on site soon after.
“Construction is likely to take place on a phased basis, with a detailed delivery plan developed by the professional team once appointed.”