Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been studying the financial viability reports. There are lots of inconsistencies in these reports so this has not been an easy task.
Clearly the consultants have inflated the costs of the leisure centre on Nickoll’s Quarry to make it look less viable than PP.
They claim that the leisure centre on PP will need a contribution from the council of £2m after taking into account the income from the housing but that figure has been calculated by cobbling together figures from two different reports which were prepared using different bases and assumptions.
Because of this they have failed to take into account all the exceptional costs that apply to phases 3 & 4 (ie the housing phases) so it’s likely that the cost to the council will be considerably more than £2m.
They have also tried to inflate the income for PP eg by including the £1.4m off site affordable housing contribution from the Imperial Green development.
At this stage so much about the project is still uncertain so nobody can be sure of the exact costs. Therefore from a planning point of view we don’t think much weight should be placed on the viability studies.
From a financial point of view we think the council has a lot more work to do so that they have a better understanding of the risks involved and the cash flow implications of this project.
We have sent a more detailed comment on the FV calculation to the planning dept.