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096/2014 Seek approval to purchase Athena House, Clifton Moor, York – 17 March 2014

Executive Summary and recommendation:

Athena House is a leased premises located at Clifton Moor, York.  The leased premises were acquired with Home Office funding and occupation commenced in 2005 on the basis of a 15 year lease with a break clause after 10 years (i.e. 2015).

NYP and CPS hold separate leases, but up to March 2013 have always jointly occupied the building.  In March 2013 CPS vacated the building, and since that date the property has been wholly occupied by NYP, with the York North Safer Neighbourhood team moving into the facility.

Having considered the Estates Strategy, and the ongoing Estates requirement for NYP in the York locality, it is considered that it would be prudent to purchase Athena House, and that this property will form a valuable property asset in for the City of York area.

The proposals within this Decision Notice have been reviewed by the Chief Finance Officers and represent Value for Money for the organisation.  The overall financial impact of the proposal has no detrimental affect on the revenue budgets.  The financial information that demonstrates this assessment is included in Part 2 of this Decision Notice, and will be disclosed at a later date, following the completion of the commercial arrangements.

 This paper recommends the purchase of Athena House.

Police and Crime Commissioner decision:  Approved

Signature:  signature

Date:  17 March 2014

Title:  Police and Crime Commissioner

Part 1 – Unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

1.  Introduction and background

Athena House is a leased premises located at Clifton Moor, York.  The leased premises were acquired with Home Office funding and occupation commenced in 2005 on the basis of a 15 year lease with a break clause after 10 years (i.e. 2015).  NYP and CPS hold separate leases, but have always jointly occupied the building.

CPS announced their intention to move out of Athena House in March 2013 and withdraw from their lease in at the break point in 2015.  This left NYP in the position of having to take action, as:

·   Neither party wholly occupies the part of the building their lease refers to

·   There is a joint storage area that is fully utilised that does not form part of either parties lease

NYP had to make a conscious decision about whether to remain in the premises and move into that area of their lease.

Athena House currently provides accommodation for the following functions/teams:

  • Criminal Justice Team and their Management
  • Safety Camera Van team
  • York North Safer Neighbourhood Team (re-located from Clifton Moor as there was insufficient space at that facility)

The Decision Report dated 7th January 2014 set out the various options and associated costs for Executive Board members’ consideration.  That paper also provided indicative budget costs, and articulates the financial benefits of the recommended option, which was to negotiate the purchase of Athena House.  Part B of this Decision Notice sets out the negotiated sum and other costs that would be incurred as part of the acquisition; the purchase price of the property would be public knowledge once the purchase was completed and Land Registry records updated accordingly.

2.      Matters for consideration

 All of the teams that are currently accommodated in Athena House will still need to be accommodated (and in the York area), so there is a need to understand the options and associated costs in relation to accommodation.  This decision needs to be taken at an early opportunity to ensure that the organisations has sufficient time to ensure that the necessary work is undertaken and there is no disruption to service delivery.

3.      Other options considered, if any

Other options have been and these include:

  • occupation of the currently leased first floor, and finding suitable alternative accommodation for other (displaced) teams
  • leasing the whole building
  • vacating the building and moving to other leased or purchased premises

4.  Contribution to Police and Crime Plan outcomes

The proposal contributes to the Police and Crime Plan Goal 4 (Fit for the Future) by ensuring we have a fit for purpose Estate, make best use of force assets and supports our sustainability and collaboration goals.

5.      Consultations carried out

In considering both the current and future Estates requirements and options, consultation has been carried out with the current Head of Criminal Justice, the York Commander and senior operation officers.

6.      Financial Implications/Value for money

The Chief Constables Chief Finance Officer comments on the financial implications are included in part 2.

 7.      Legal Implications

Having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, the Head of Legal Services and Force Solicitor is satisfied that this report does not ask the PCC for North Yorkshire to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.

8.      Equality Implications

None of the protected characteristic groups are adversely impacted by this proposal.

Public Access to information

The Police and Crime Commissioner wishes to be as open and transparent as possible about the decisions he/she takes or are taken in his/her name. All decisions taken by the Commissioner will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

As a general principle, the Commissioner expects to be able to publish all decisions taken and all matters taken into account and all advice received when reaching the decision. Part 1 of this Notice will detail all information which the Commissioner will disclose into the public domain. The decision and information in Part 1 will be made available on the NYPCC web site within 2 working days of approval.

Only where material is properly classified as restricted under the GPMS or if that material falls within the description at 2(2) of The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 will the Commissioner not disclose decisions and/or information provided to enable that decision to be made. In these instances, Part 2 of the Form will be used to detail those matters considered to be restricted.  Information in Part 2 will not be published.

Is there a Part 2 to this Notice – YES

If Yes, what is the reason for restriction – commercially sensitive

Originating Officer Declaration – Author name:      Julie McMurray            Collar number:     6038


Name      (Collar Number)

Date of completion (√)

Head of Departmenthas reviewed the request and is satisfied that it is correct and consistent with the NYPCC’s plans and priorities.




11th March 2014

Legal AdviceLegal advice has been sought on this proposal and is considered not to expose the PCC to risk of legal challenge or such risk is outlined in Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice.

Simon Dennis 3638


Financial AdviceThe CC CFO has been consulted on this proposal, for which budgetary provision already exists or is to be made in accordance with Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice.

Jane Palmer 004364


Equalities AdviceEither there is considered to be minimal impact or the impact is outlined in Part1 or Part2 of this Notice.  Author to complete as Equalities matters are mainstreamed within departments.




11th March 2014

I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decision


Signature                                                                                                      Date

Julie McMurray                                                                                           11th March 2014


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