Details of the contract

Our initial Freedom of Information request in September 2012 for details of the contract between Cheshire East and the developers was met with the production of heavily redacted (blacked out) documents that stand in striking contrast to our council’s stated commitment to transparency.  In a bid to get the information made public, we took the case through to a Freedom of Information Tribunal.  During the process, the council released piecemeal various further details.  Though we didn’t get full disclosure, we do now know a lot more than we did at the start.

Here is our interpretation of the contract’s key terms

Timescales

Some key information is still redacted, but we have pieced together what we can.

We believe that under the terms of the contract, the development need not be completed until 2019 – and even then, there is scope for further delay.

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Pre-conditions

There are a number of pre-conditions that have to be met before the development can start. These include obtaining funding and having a legally-binding agreement with a tenant for the department store and an occupier for the cinema.

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Viability

There may – or may not – be a viability appraisal by the developers before work starts.

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Financial arrangements

Cheshire East will get a percentage of the rental income plus a share in any profit made should the development increase in value/be sold on.

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Incentives

The developers are giving substantial financial incentives to attract tenants.

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If you would like to see the redacted version of the contract, please email us here.

The paperwork takes up two large lever arch files, so we haven’t been able to make it available electronically.

Section 106 Commitments

Not part of the contract, but conditions that form part of the planning approval.

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