Earlier this year, Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council successfully concluded negotiations with Tesco Stores Ltd. This followed the company’s confirmation that it no longer wished to develop the Northgate site in Bridgwater.
Part of the agreement included a compensation payment and within negotiations all parties signed a confidentiality clause. However, councils have to balance the public interest in disclosure against the public interest in maintaining confidentiality.
Sedgemoor District Council has recently responded to a number of Freedom of Information requests on various aspects of the negotiations. The information provided includes details of the compensatory package, as summarised below:
Somerset County Council – has received £3,562,420 and retains ownership of its land.
Sedgemoor District Council – has received £5,324,280 and retains ownership of its land.
Looking forward, both authorities are committed to an outcome that is best for the site and for the town, and will be working together closely to achieve this.
Cllr John Osman, Leader of Somerset County Council and portfolio holder for Resources, said: “This has been a long process but the end result is one that is good for Bridgwater and good for tax payers.
“This is a rare win-win situation. The County Council has received £3.5m but still has a very important site in the middle of Bridgwater for future use.
“We will be working closely with colleagues at the district council to secure the best possible future use of the Northgate site.”