Our land and property
The council’s land and property portfolio was valued at £489.6m in the 2020/21 statement of accounts. The majority of the valuations were calculated on an existing use basis rather than the market value of the asset. The balance includes investment property but excludes infrastructure assets and vehicles, plant and equipment which is not considered as part of this strategy.
The assets held in our portfolio can be segmented into the following categories:
- Operational assets - £99.33 million
- Community assets - £32.71 million
- Investment assets - £66.44 million
- Residential housing - £239.97 million
- Surplus or development assets - £47.23 million
- Other - £3.91 million
For the purposes of this strategy, the categories have been defined as follows:
We have defined operational assets as those owned by the council to ensure we are able to deliver our services. Assets included are:
- The Municipal Offices;
- The Depot;
- The culture and leisure buildings operated by the Cheltenham Trust;
- Public conveniences and car parks
We have defined community assets as those owned by the council, which are mainly in use for the well-being and social interests of our local communities. This is different to the categorisation of community assets in our statement of accounts. For the purposes of our strategic review and assessment, the category of community assets include:
- Scout huts and community centres;
As a council we are proud of how we engage with our communities and this will be crucial in ensuring Cheltenham becomes the cyber capital of the UK which provides benefit for everyone and that the council plays its role in supporting a network of community based facilities and services. This is front of mind in the management of our community assets and we will continue to use the resources at our disposal to support Cheltenham become a place where everyone can thrive.
We have defined investment assets as those owned by the council to generate income used to support our net budget requirement. The majority of these assets were acquired as part of the commercial strategy adopted by the council in 2015. Since the change to the Public Works Loan Board (“PWLB”) guidance in August 2020, we are no longer permitted to use these funds to invest purely for yield. This is a key consideration in how we manage this category of properties as part of this strategy.
Our investment property portfolio includes retail premises, office space and small local shops located within the borough of Cheltenham.
This category includes only residential property held within the housing revenue account (“HRA”) and housing projects which are currently under construction.
The council owns approximately 4,500 residential properties through the HRA, representing approximately 10% of the housing stock in the borough. These homes are both social and affordable rental properties, and are managed on the council’s behalf by Cheltenham Borough Homes (“CBH”). CBH has its own asset management strategy, approved in 2018 and running until 2023. A core role of CBH is to manage those assets appropriately, as set out in their asset management plan.
The plans and strategies will be refreshed as part of the council’s housing investment plan which will outline how the £100 million housing investment fund will be invested 500 new homes in Cheltenham.
Surplus or development assets
The council has set an ambitious vision that involves a considerable development agenda which is why the accumulated value of this asset category is £47.23m. Housing delivery also forms a core component of the council’s development agenda. The housing, homelessness and rough sleeping strategy 2018-23 was approved by CBC cabinet in July 2018. This strategy sets out a range of objectives aimed at tackling housing inequality in Cheltenham. In late 2018, the cabinet and council unanimously agreed to commit £100m to provide a step change in housing delivery in the borough.
This is an extremely diverse category of assets; including land holdings for the West Cheltenham development, sites allocated for housing in the Local Plan and sites currently being developed for commercial use.
It is likely that a number of assets that currently fall under other categories of assets could in future fall into this category of asset. Similarly, an assessment of an opportunity under the framework outlined in this document may result in a decision to acquire addition land or property to support the development agenda the wider housing strategy and our key employment sectors.
The assets categorised as other are those assets owned by the council that do not meet any of the definitions above. These include properties from which other public services operate, former nursing homes and small industrial sites.