To consider a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed)
Please note the appendices to this report are not for publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 as this report contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information).
The Chair informed members that a conditional offer of additional funding for CSLR had recently been received from Homes England. Cabinet needed time to understand the impact of this offer on the report to be considered in consultation with officers.
The meeting then adjourned at 10.05am and reconvened at 11.30am.
Members considered a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure which sought approval to consider the award of a design and build contract for the construction of Carlisle Southern Link Road (CSLR).
The report also sought approval of an amendment to the Grant Determination Agreement (GDA) between the Council and Homes England for the construction of the CSLR to confirm the revised project funding and delivery milestones.
CSLR was a key piece of strategic infrastructure required to unlock housing growth at St Cuthbert’s Garden Village (SCGV) to the south of Carlisle, and would provide a high-quality link between Junction 42 of the M6 and the A595, it also connected to Carlisle Northern Development Route, thereby completing an outer ring road for Carlisle.
In addition to unlocking the development of the Garden Village, CSLR would relieve congestion in Carlisle and provide improved east-west connectivity. The SCGV project was planned to include the development of 10,325 new homes over the next 30 years, new employment opportunities and community facilities, and without CSLR, traffic modelling had identified that development would be restricted to just 1,000 homes.
Despite a number of challenges, the County Council, Carlisle City Council and Government had remained committed to progressing the project, recognising that this multi-million-pound scheme was vital for the economic growth of Carlisle and to deliver the St Cuthbert's Garden Village project.
The project was now ready for the main construction works to start, and timing was critical to both the contractor’s submission and the funding offer. If this opportunity was not taken now it may be many years, if ever, before this project and the associated developments could be delivered.
The revised project budget along with the contractor’s submitted programme had been used to determine the required amendments to the Grant Determination Agreement (GDA) with Homes England.The amendments were merely to update the GDA to take account of the current position of the project.
The revised GDA combined with the agreed investment from the County and City Councils (to be the new Cumberland Authority from 1 Aril 2023) would provide the necessary funding sufficient to deliver the whole project.
On the 16 February 2023 the Cumberland Shadow Executive was informed of the indicative assessment outcome and price and formally granted consent in accordance with the Direction issued under section 24 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Heath Act 2007 to Cumbria County Council awarding a design and build contract for the construction of CSLR to the winning bidder and the amendment of the GDA between the County Council, the City Council and Homes England for the construction of the CSLR.
Members noted that for reasons of urgency the relevant Scrutiny Chair had agreed that this decision would be excluded from call in.
RESOLVED, that Cabinet
(1) notes receipt of the formal written notification from Homes England confirming provision of the additional funding;
(2) approves the award of the design and build contract for the construction of CSLR to Galliford Try Construction Ltd for the target costs of £136,836,761;
(3) approves the necessary amendments to the GDA between the Council and Homes England for the construction of the CSLR which revises the funding allocation to £212m and delegates authority to the Executive Director - Economy & Infrastructure to finalise the form of a Deed of Variation necessary to effect those amendments on satisfaction of the conditions set out in the formal notification received 27 March 2023;
(4) notes, following the approval of the amendments to the GDA, the necessary amendments to be made to Cumberland Council's capital programme to reflect the remaining full project costs and funding, including the additional Homes England Funding;
(5) notes that due to the timing of the decision in relation to LGR and the urgency required to award the contract, an exemption from call in has been approved in accordance with Section 5D paragraph 16 of Cumbria County Council's Constitution.