It is to be recommended that the former café premises at 24 South Bridge Street in Bathgate be sold and the former Trindleyknowe Day Centre at 63/3 Bathgate Road in Blackburn be marketed for sale or lease.
The final property is a modular building located adjacent to Our Lady of Lourdes RC Primary School in Blackburn which has been recommended for demolition and removal.
By formally declaring a property surplus to requirements, the council confirms that the property is no longer required for the delivery of council services. The report notes that the council must effectively manage its property assets and vacant properties present a risk of dereliction and require continual upkeep.
When the council sells unused properties, proceeds from the sale help to fund investment in infrastructure projects such as schools, parks, roads and care services for vulnerable people. The sale of unused assets is therefore an important funding stream that allows us to continue to invest in services for local people. There are obviously added benefits to the community in that unused land is regenerated and used for another purpose.
If the recommendations are approved by Council Executive, the disposal of each property will be progressed in accordance with the council's approved Surplus Property Procedure.
Community Asset Transfer would also be available to community bodies who are interested in taking over public land and property and council officers will provide assistance to any community group seeking to explore this avenue. Successful asset transfer requests typically provide evidence of significant preparatory work having been undertaken at the pre-application stage and would include evidence of community engagement that establishes need and community buy-in for the proposed project, a detailed business plan that demonstrates financial viability and sustainability, along with evidence that the community body has the capacity and skill-sets necessary to deliver and sustain the project going forward.