Getting better value from council assets

The council has been awarded £50,000 for a feasibility study to look at how to make better use of land in public ownership in Caterham on the Hill.

The funding for the study has come from the government’s One Public Estate programme, which is designed to help public sector bodies such as Tandridge District Council (TDC) repurpose and get more from their assets. This is with the aim of delivering more integrated, customer-focused services, creating new jobs and new affordable homes, generating efficiencies and reducing running costs.

The sites being considered are:

  • Caterham on the Hill library: owned by Surrey County Council (SCC). The building is dated and needs investment. In October 2020, SCC’s cabinet approved a scheme to deliver a mixed used building to provide a library, family centre (including maternity services) and care leavers accommodation. Issues with the site prevented the development progressing.
  • The Westway Centre: owned by TDC and leased to a charitable trust, which provides an adult day centre facility. The building is costly to maintain.
  • The Community Recycling Centre – TDC owns the freehold and leases the site to SCC. It is poorly located in a residential area and next to Hillcroft Primary School. The CRC also creates local traffic congestion. Aspirations have been to relocate the two local CRCs – Caterham (TDC freehold) and Warlingham (SCC freehold) – to a new single site, possibly at Godstone depot.
  • Caterham Community Centre: owned by TDC and leased to trustees who run the community centre. The building dates from the 1950s and needs investment.

The council is now inviting tenders. Alongside other requirements, proposals must support the following services: library, family centre, adult day centre, community centre, care leaver accommodation, independent living (learning disability and mental health).

In addition, the Community Recycling Centre should be relocated to a more suitable site within the district and if residential is considered as part of a redevelopment of the estate, then a proportion should be affordable housing.

After considering the various proposals, it is hoped to appoint a consultant later this month.

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