ECC | Information about the business case for Exeter’s new leisure complex

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Information about the business case for Exeter’s new leisure complex

This factsheet is intended to provide high level information concerning the business case for the Exeter Active Leisure Centre Project.
exeter leisure 1_Retail Street West_Press issue
Why do we need a new leisure complex?
Having opened in the 1940s, Exeter’s Pyramids pool has reached the end of its lifetime. It has become very costly to run and needs substantial multi-million pound investment just to consolidate its continued operation before any improvements can be made to enhance the user experience. The physical constraints of the Pyramids building and site mean there is no scope for extension to offer more facilities.
What is the project cost summary?
The council has a total budget of £26 million for the leisure complex.
This figure covers all building work costs, including statutory and professional fees, costs
associated with the acquisition of the site and the cost of procuring a leisure operator.
We are unable to release specific figures at the present time, as they are commercially sensitive and may prejudice the tendering process.
How does this cost compare to other leisure centres of the same standard?
Sport England have confirmed that the base building cost for the leisure complex compares favourably to similar facilities across the UK.
The cost equates to £3,333/m2, which is in keeping with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors BCIS (Building Cost Information Service) rates of between £2,750/m2 to £3,350/m2 for other leisure schemes which reflects the high quality construction required forpassivhaus and the city centre location.
As the design progresses through the ‘detailed design’ and ‘technical design’ stages, the Quantity Surveyor will continue to work closely with the design team to manage and control successful delivery within the project budget.
What is the phasing of this expenditure over the development period?
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What is the estimated revenue income for the council?
The leisure complex is expected to deliver a trading surplus in every year of its operational life, with a share being returned to the council through a profit share agreement with the leisure operator.
We expect overall income (not just expected revenue) after the first full year of trading to be somewhere in the region of £1.7m to £2m.
More detailed information on revenue will not be released until a leisure operator has been procured. To release the information before the tendering process would impact on the council’s commercial interests. However, in the long term the development will pay for itself and offer a long-term source of income to the council.
This income will be re-invested in facilities and services around the city.
How is the development being funded?
The funding is being sourced from money received via the New Homes Bonus and Community Infrastructure levy.
The council has passed a resolution that the underlying need to borrow will not increase as a result of the leisure complex. Therefore long term borrowing costs will not be incurred.
What assumptions have been made when costing the project?
Costs current at Q3 2015.
Anticipated form of contract is JCT.
Anticipated procurement route is Design & Build, with design up to RIBA Stage E / New Plan 5.
Start on site date Q1 2017.
All works to be in normal working hours other than those specifically mentioned.
Total vacant possession at start on site.
Any excavated material which will need to be removed will be categorisedas ‘inert’ beyond allowance.
Ground conditions will be suitable with no significant cut and fill exerciserequired beyond allowance.
The services to the site do not require reinforcement.
Demolition and asbestos removal from the bus station will be undertaken outside of this project.
Building to be constructed to high quality due to city centre location.
External works to consist of only those shown in the site area, no allowance beyond this.
Costs arising from decontamination of site and removal and disposal of contaminated materials/debris beyond allowance.
A dig and dump remediation method for oil, oil filters and brake fluids from vehicles and machines to site area only. The exact volume is unknown, the allowance includes for a disposal volume of approximately 4,000m3. The allowance could vary considerably based upon timeframe for remediation, depth and distribution of contamination, patterns of surface drainage,location of existing on- site services, depth of necessary foundations and below-ground services. (A contingency sum has been set aside to mitigate such eventualities)
BREEAM Excellent energy criteria requirements only.
The commercial retail space will be constructed outside of this project.
Costs for all surveys required have been included within the Design Team Fee.
Have you undertaken a risk assessment in relation to funding?

In respect of the risk assessment, the council has already set aside £7.9m from New Homes Bonus (with the remainder coming from CIL income). Short term borrowing to cover any timing differences will be undertaken (current cost 0.65% per annum, expected torise to 1.75% by 2018). Provision for the repayment of debt is 2% for a long term asset. The cashflow has been mapped to the timings of receipts and on current projections is not significantly different.

What is the life cycle costing?
At the initial feasibility and options evaluation stage of the project, full 25 year life cycle costing models were developed to consider ongoing running and maintenance costs of the facility. This exercise identified that the selected use of Passivhaus as a build standard would reduce energy consumption by circa 70% per annum. In addition the forecast total spend on plant repair / replacement would be reduced over the 25 year period due to the specification of higher quality products and the improved internal environment reducing normal deterioration and repair requirements.
How will you mitigate against future climate changes?
Exeter University as appointed Climate Change Consultants for the development have assisted the design team in ensuring that the new facility is specifically designed to mitigate future climate changes in the Region up to 2080. This work has influenced the design and specification of the building ensuring it does not overheat in future years, that surface water drainage from the building can drain sufficiently  even in peak flash flood conditions and there is sufficient solar shading. The retrofit of climate mitigation measures can be substantial, for a conventional built building (not
Passivhaus), research undertaken by the Technology Strategy Board on similar projects shows these costs could easily exceed £750,000 over the first 50 year lifetime of the building.
What procurement process have you gone through?
To date, the procurement and appointment of the Professional Team has been competitively tendered via full OJEU compliant procurement procedures. The appointment of the main building contractor will be competitive, in a manner fully compliant with the 2015 Public Contracts Regulations.
Where can I find more information about the leisure complex?

Update from @DevonCC on #SWExeter Park & Ride

I’ve had a update from Devon County Council to summarise the current position, which I post unedited – I trust this is helpful…

The County Council maintains that there is a strong case for a Park and Ride site (with opportunities to Park and Cycle, Park and CarShare) at the interchange of the A30/A377; however, we took a decision to pause and re-evaluate the alternative options as we may at some point need to demonstrate why no other alternative site is suitable. We have always been clear that the site must be within the vicinity of this junction because it will attract people from both the A30 and A38 directions, therefore our assessment included sites within 500m of the junction. Outside of this range and traffic is expected to find it too remote and there would also be substantially increased revenue costs associated with running bus services to the facility.

I’ve set out below some of our reasons for proceeding with pre-application discussions on the basis of the ’round field’ site…

Environmental
There are a number of challenges in delivering a Park and Ride facility on the Oaklands site, which is part of the Alphin Brook Conservation Area and Valley Park.

Whilst we believe that there are opportunities to sensitively design the site to minimise landscape/visual impacts and enhance the park with additional planting and new improved routes, it remains a sensitive issue amongst the local community and key stakeholders, including English Heritage.

The Round Field site is part of an Area of Great Landscape Value; however, is an isolated field located between the A30, which runs directly alongside one edge of the field and the road that leads to Ide (it is largely out of view from this approach). Although a raised site, we believe that with appropriate planting, the impacts from long distance views can be minimised.

Accessibility
Given the busy nature of Alphington Road, in order to serve the Oaklands site there would need to be significant junction works to introduce signals and also address the level changes between Alphington Road and the site itself. Furthermore, at some places, a 4 lane-wide carriageway would be needed to provide for an inbound bus lane, an inbound all-traffic lane, an outbound traffic lane and an outbound right turn lane into the P&R. This would require loss of the screen of trees running along Alphington Road and would be costly in engineering terms.

The round field site, by comparison, is served off a less busy road and could be accessed by a simple roundabout junction. A junction in this location may also have the benefit of slowing speeds for traffic exiting the A30 and heading towards Ide.

In the morning peaks, traffic exiting the A30 (and turning right towards the city) can queue in lane 2 on the slip road.

Similarly, traffic exiting the A30 (from Okehampton) queues in lane 1 on the slip road.

The Park and Ride traffic would be able to use the comparatively empty lanes towards Ide to bypass the queues and gain easy access to the facility.

There would still be plans to create an inbound bus lane but this would make Alphington Road only 3 lanes wide and could retain the screen of trees along its length, therefore minimising the environmental impacts.

There is scope to improve cycle routes from the round field site towards the city centre as there is a route under the A30 adjacent to it.

There is also potential to improve walking and cycling routes to local communities, offering opportunities for residents to interchange with a frequent and direct bus service to the city centre.

Size
Our most recent assessment concluded that a 600-space P&R facility would be sufficient based on predicted demand; however, the ’round field’ site was previously rejected on the basis of a 900-space car park. Our assessment suggests approximately 600 spaces could be accommodated at the round field site and therefore should not be discounted as an option for being ‘too small’.

Cost
Both the County Council and District Councils have less funding directly available to them and there are significant demands on Community Infrastructure Levy, therefore it is important that we find a solution that delivers best value for money.

There were significant costs associated with the Oaklands Site, namely the need to raise the site by 1 metre in order to achieve satisfactory drainage and the highway works described above under ‘Accessibility’.

Although a full cost assessment has not been carried out for the ’round field’ site, the fewer environmental constraints and ‘simplified’ highway works would suggest it could be delivered at a reduced cost to the Oaklands site.

We are planning to host a public consultation at West Exe School between 4pm and 8pm on 21st July, where there will of course be opportunities to ask officers questions about the proposals.