Thank you very much for all the positive responses to the Courier article this week. We are grateful for the publicity and keeping our transfer request in the public eye.
Our Appeal sub-group met with Nicky Donald from Community Ownership Support Services (COSS) on Tuesday 6 July to consider our appeal. COSS has been funded by the Scottish Government to support community based groups in Scotland take a stake in or ownership of previously publicly owned land or buildings. They also support and advise relevant authorities on all aspects of the asset transfer process. Nicky has been supporting us since we began the CAT process and is definitely onside. She has and will give us all the advice, help and support necessary for a successful appeal.
The sub-group met on Thursday to look in detail at each of the 4 reasons from the Board for the refusal and will, over the coming days, set out our reasons to refute them.
The reasons for this decision are as follows:
- The Board identified risks and issues relating to the deliverability, viability and sustainability of the BHG Business Plan proposals. These included the significant shortfall in identified investment required in the site and buildings to bring them up to standard, and the risk of sustainability of funding sources to meet these and ongoing running costs.
We are confident our Business Plan is robust in setting out clearly the viability and sustainability of the Hub through our phased-approach, and that we will be successful in attracting the funding to meet all the necessary costs involved.
2) The Board determined that the additional community benefits proposed by BHG did not generate sufficient benefit to offset the discount requested.
Significant work was put into assessing the community benefits the Hub will bring and again we are confident that this will far outweigh the discount requested.
3) The offer price of £150,000 was significantly below the Board’s market value of £400,000 and would have resulted in a net loss on disposal. The loss of capital receipt would also impact on NHS Tayside’s ability to invest proceeds in patient care.
We have already indicated to NHS Tayside that we are prepared to offer more than £150,000 to purchase the site, but due to the ongoing delay the purchase price must take account of the continuing deterioration of the buildings.
4) The position of the Board in light of the above concerns could not be reliably legally protected in the event of the failure of the proposal.
The concerns of the Board to be legally protected can be mitigated by certain actions that can be taken. For example, a clawback clause would protect Tayside NHS Board if the project fails with the first right of refusal if we were unable to maintain or improve our funding sources and are obliged to put the property on the market.
In the coming days we will put together our appeal and although it may take some time for a decision to be made we are confident that the Reporter will decide in our favour.
Thank you again for your support and we will continue to keep you updated on progress.