DD2117 Disposal of Ordnance Jetty, Greenwich Peninsula

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2117
Date signed: 
25 April 2017
Decision by: 
David Lunts, Executive Director Housing and Land and Interim CEO of OPDC

Executive summary

GLAP has been approached by the Arora Hotels group with regards to a potential sale of the Ordnance Jetty on Greenwich Peninsula.  The jetty is currently part of GLAP’s portfolio and will be sold as a chattel.  As detailed below payment for the asset will satisfy the Best Consideration threshold and the disposal is subject to a number of conditions before completion.
 

Decision

The Executive Director of Housing and Land and the Executive Director of Resources approve:

• the sale of the Ordnance Jetty to Arora Hotels
• initial expenditure of fees up to a maximum of £7,000, part of which will be recovered from Arora upon completion of the sale.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1. The Ordnance Jetty lies to the northwest of the Greenwich Peninsula; it forms part of the Greenwich Peninsula land holdings that passed to GLAP as a result of the transfer of the Homes and Communities Agency London (HCA) in 2012 following the Localism Act 2011.  Since that time GLAP has been responsible for the security and maintenance of the jetty. 

1.2. The jetty is a fixed structure, ie, it does not float and therefore becomes unusable outside of high tide.  Over a number of years, and as a result of the lack of purpose for the jetty, the structure has fallen into disrepair and has required security measures to ensure that members of the public do not gain access to it. 

1.3. It is noted that the jetty disposal is a disposal of a chattel: the structure can be sold but the land upon which it sits is Crown Estate and therefore the land is not passed with the structure.

1.4. The current financial commitment to the jetty is approximately £5,000 per year which includes:

• Maintenance of the four river navigation lights located two at each end of the jetty;
• Installation of a temporary man-safe system to allow for access for the above or other works;
• General pruning and clearance of the top habitat; and
• Monthly visual inspection and security check.

1.5. An additional £5,000 per annum is spent on the PLA licence fee; this fee would be subject to termination on sale of the pier and therefore would not transfer to the purchaser  It would be for the purchaser to make their own application for licence.

1.6. GLAP had not previously identified a disposal route and therefore the jetty was forecast to remain part of the ongoing estate management costs of the Greenwich Peninsula.  Any disposal would represent a saving to the management budget. 

1.7. In October 2016 GLAP was approached by the Arora Hotels Group (AHG) who wish to purchase the jetty to enable the hotel to implement a river crossing strategy to link to a partner hotel on the north side of the Thames and provide guests with direct transport and a river taxi experience.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1. GLAP has undertaken a valuation of the structure to ensure that a transaction at market value is taking place and that a better receipt could not be achieved through marketing the structure more widely.  The valuation report has considered any likely alternative uses of the pier as part of reaching a conclusion as to value.

2.2. By disposing of the jetty to the AHG GLAP would reduce its maintenance liabilities and secure an ongoing use for the jetty which would be a benefit to guests of the hotels and possibly a wider user group.

2.3. The ongoing responsibility for the jetty would pass to the AHG and GLAP would cease to operate any control over the use and form of the jetty.

2.4. Recognising that there are a number of key stakeholders working on redevelopment of the Greenwich Peninsula in close proximity to the site, GLAP has raised the sale with its partners AEG, operating the O2 and Knight Dragon, developing the neighbouring commercial and residential space and no objection was raised to the sale.

Equality comments

3.1. The disposal has been reviewed in relation to GLAP’s equality duty and it is not considered to conflict with the duty.

Other considerations
  1. Mayor’s river crossings

    The proposed crossing facilitated by the refurbishment of the jetty will not satisfy the Mayor’s identified river crossing in this area because it will not be operated for the general public.  However, it is understood that it will provide a guest facility and a commercial benefit to the hotels on each bank.

  2. Best consideration

    GLAP has secured a valuation for the structure and a consideration has been agreed with the AHG for the transfer of the chattel.   

  3. Key risks

    The risk relating to access and potential dangers to the public and responsibility for maintenance and financial expenditure on the jetty would be transferred to the AHG and therefore reduce the risk to GLAP.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Exchange of contracts

April 2017

Conditions satisfaction

May 2017

Completion of contracts

May 2017

Appendices and supporting papers

Appendix 1: site plan