South Oxford Science Village - appointment of legal advisors
Decision Maker: Executive Director (Development)
Decision status: Recommendations approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The appointment of legal advisors will ensure the Council’s legal interests are properly addressed in the drafting of the collaboration agreement. The procurement of commercial and legal advisors for the partnership will enable work to be progressed towards the procurement and selection of a development partner to support the delivery of development on the site.
The decision is:
• to appoint Anthony Collins as legal advisors to Oxford City Council to advise upon and draft a collaboration agreement to govern the existing partnership arrangements between Oxford City Council, Magdalen College and Thames Water, further to the tender process of summer 2020, with revised fee in July 2021 of the sum of £15,230;
• to commence a procurement exercise to jointly procure a consultant to act for the above 3 parties in securing a development partner (such appointment to be subject to Cabinet approval in October 2021, and funding agreement in place for reimbursement of a third of the cost from each of the other two partners);
• to commence a procurement exercise to jointly procure an external legal advisor to act for the above 3 partners in respect of procuring a development partner and their partnership work at South Oxford Science Village (SOSV). Such legal advice will support the Council to work with partners to bring forward the site for the development identified in the emerging South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) local plan. (such appointment to be subject to Cabinet approval in October 2021, and funding agreement in place for the reimbursement of a third of the cost from each of the other two partners).
A budget has been allocated to progress SOSV and this will cover the cost of the appointment of Anthony Collins to advise the Council on the collaboration agreement.
The cost of the appointment of the consultants is expected to be up to £200,000 and the appointment of the external legal advisors to the 3 partners is expected to be up to £200,000. These appointments will be considered at the Cabinet meeting in October 2021. Subject to a funding agreement being entered into with the other 2 partners it is anticipated that two thirds of the costs of these appointments will be recovered with the Council’s exposure being £66,000 for each of the two contracts.
Reasons for the decision:
The decisions were taken to enable work to progress towards the bringing forward of the SOSV site for development. To delay would prolong the programme and delay development taking place on the site, which has been allocated for development to meet Oxford’s housing needs.
Alternative options considered:
There are alternative option was not to appoint specialist advice. This was rejected as it could result in the Council failing to optimise its asset.
Signed off by senior officers:
Decision taken by Tom Bridgman, Director of Development
Publication date: 13/08/2021
Date of decision: 02/08/2021