Cornwall news Row over car park could see newly-reopened Bodmin Jail close UK news

MetiNews.Com - Several conflicts have arisen between Bodmin Town Council, which owns the car park land, and the attraction's owners, Mallino Developments, which built it

Cornwall news Row over car park could see newly-reopened Bodmin Jail close UK news

MetiNews.Com - Several conflicts have arisen between Bodmin Town Council, which owns the car park land, and the attraction's owners, Mallino Developments, which built it

Cornwall news  Row over car park could see newly-reopened Bodmin Jail close UK news
30 November 2020 - 16:30

Breaking News ! A row over a newly-built car park adjacent to the recently re-opened Bodmin Jail has resulted in a warning that it could be closed, potentially jeopardising up to 150 jobs. Bodmin Jail owners Mallino Developments and Bodmin Town Council, landlords of the land which the car park for the visitor attraction is built on, have been involved in a long-running dispute over the conditions of a lease agreement which has prevented visitors to the historic site from using the car park. The dispute has also led to the erection of signs on the fence surrounding the land saying “Car park closed at the discretion of Bodmin Town Council”, which have now been covered up. Bodmin Town Council has said that the dispute is due to the tenant not complying with conditions of their agreement and that the car park is “not closed at the council’s discretion", as the signs claim. It also said, "the council has offered Mallino Developments immediate use of the car park pending resolution of contractual issues”. The sign put up on the fence at the entrance to the newly built car park opposite Bodmin Jail (Image: Natalie Roberts) A high-level source for the management of Bodmin Jail told Cornwall Live that opening the car park was a condition of planning permission being granted by Cornwall Council for the attraction's recent £8.5 million upgrade. They said: “The reason the car park isn’t open is because of Bodmin Town Council. Having a car park is one of the requirements of the planning permission for the changes and the only nearby suitable land is land owned by the town council. As part of the deal to lease the land for the car park, it was agreed that the Jail would contribute towards the cost of rebuilding part of the town’s leat which had collapsed and was in a bad condition, with the Jail and the council going 50/50 on cost. "Because it’s (car park) local authority land, there were certain procurement processes followed, such as making sure it wasn’t above a certain price and that the tender to build it was the best possible value. You can stay up to date on the top news and events near you with CornwallLive’s FREE newsletters – find out more about our range of daily and weekly bulletins and sign up here or enter your email address at the top of the page. “We complied with the council requirements such as putting it out to a contract finder portal in 2017, and the nine companies that put in a bid didn’t meet the requirements. So after the planned work was parked while we focused on the main jail construction, we reached out to three companies that had bid before to resubmit their bids, which two did and once again weren’t suitable. Our main hotel contractor had expressed an interest through the portal but hadn’t submitted a bid, and we agreed a deal with them that met the criteria. The council have argued since that it was an incorrect process, even though there was nothing in the lease agreement that said we had to go through the portal. Read More Related Articles Inside Bodmin Jail's new £8.5m attraction ahead of its opening Read More Related Articles The Plymouth-born Bodmin Jail inmate and dad-of-11 who spied against the IRA “The latest argument is the council trying to renegotiate the lease entirely even though we’ve complied with the terms for the agreement to lease. They won’t sign the lease agreement that allows us to use the car park that cost £1.2 million to build, including the costs towards the leat works, on the terms that were agreed at length previously. The council offered temporary opening of the car park on the terms that the council get all the revenue from the car park until an agreement on the lease can be met, which is unacceptable to us.” The dispute has led to a warning that the future of Bodmin Jail and the planned investment of jobs could be under threat if there isn’t a resolution. “We were actually close to not reopening at all at one point as the owner was that fed up of the issues he was prepared to mothball the entire development," the source added.

. The fenced off Bodmin Jail car park at the centre of the dispute, with the covered-up sign claiming it is closed by the council (Image: Cornwall Live) “Ultimately, there are two solutions under our control if there’s no resolution. The first one is to shut up shop and walk away and that’s a very real option rather than just a threat, which means the planned 144 jobs will disappear, along with the £10 million a year that the facilities will bring in extra revenue to a town. For example, 95 per cent of all our products such as food are locally sourced from Cornwall or Plymouth. It would be a sad situation given all that's gone into it. “The second option is to take Bodmin Town Council to court if we can’t reach an agreement but we’re very mindful of the fact to do so could potentially cost Bodmin taxpayers a lot in legal fees by doing so. So while we could do it, we’d prefer not to and hope to reach an agreement. "Because we need to have a car park to open, we said to Bodmin Town Council that we'd accept the suggestion of a tenancy at will to get it over the line but that's still not been done when the deadline was October half term. It feels like that certain members of Bodmin Town Council, such as the mayor, don't want the car park open at all." The source added that while recent coronavirus restrictions and the winter season meant the impact of the car park dispute wasn't as bad as it could be, if there was no resolution by March, the inability to reopen the facility could cost 150 jobs, saying: "Ultimately, if we cannot get an agreement by March, the Jail's attraction cannot reopen and that could potentially jeopardise the 150 jobs the scheme is bringing. Cornwall Council have been very helpful with our situation by agreeing a temporary waiver from the planning requirement to have a car park but that expires in February. It's not as bad over the winter as there's less visitors but if we get to spring and nothing changes, then potentially this situation means we can't reopen and the jobs are endangered. We've invested a lot in addition to the £1.2 million we've spent on the car park including cameras and other measures to make it safe and we want a resolution to this." Read More Related Articles Opening date revealed for Bodmin Jail's four-star hotel Read More Related Articles Bodmin Jail: The dark history of the evil inside over the centuries A spokesperson for Bodmin Town Council said that it understood why residents were annoyed by parking issues in the area and that it would like to see the opening of the car park as quickly as possible. They said: “Signs have recently been displayed on the temporary fencing around the new car park at Hillside Park stating that the car park is closed 'at the discretion of Bodmin Town Council’. “The car park has been constructed on town council land by the developers of Bodmin Jail, Mallino Development Limited, as part of an agreement with the town council for the town council to grant a lease of the car park to Mallino once it has completed the car park and repairs to the town leat, which runs under the car park. “The town council wishes to clarify that the car park is not closed ‘at the discretion of the town council’. Various works have to be completed, and the conditions of the agreement with Mallino satisfied before the lease can be granted. The town council has offered to permit Mallino to use the car park to enable the Jail attraction to open immediately pending the resolution of the contractual issues with Mallino. “Bodmin Town Council understands why residents are annoyed by parking issues in the area. The town council would like to see the resolution of the outstanding works and the opening of the car park as quickly as possible. “Bodmin Town Council are unable to make any further comments at this time.”

Source = MetiNews.Com - Cornwall

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Cornwall news Row over car park could see newly-reopened Bodmin Jail close UK news


Cornwall news Row over car park could see newly-reopened Bodmin Jail close UK news


Cornwall news Row over car park could see newly-reopened Bodmin Jail close UK news


Cornwall news Row over car park could see newly-reopened Bodmin Jail close UK news

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