Throughout this library debate the need for business rates has been reiterated as one of the many points used to justify this “proposal”.
Although I do understand that the potential income generated by business rates does need to be taken into account.
It appears that by disposing of the Northgate site completely, the council could potential lose all income generated by business rates from a shopping centre on the Northgate site.
That is if it was to become (occupied) by spending £300,000 annually on renting office/retail space within the Broad street plaza complex.
So if this proposal goes ahead then it is highly likely that the council will be throwing a considerable amount of money down the drain, if not all, to afford this shopping centre in the first place.
Although these are two different pots of money, it is the council’s moral duty to maximize every penny to the greatest extent possible.
So if a new library has to be built then why not build it on the site of Northgate House and incorporate this Customer first facility within the building?
Although this will half the potential income generated by business rates from a shopping centre on the Northgate site, the savings by not having to rent out expensive office/retail space within the Broad street plaza complex would surely cover this.
This also would open up a substantial amount of land in a prime area of Halifax for developing into another shopping centre, which members of the council are dying for. Which would generate business rates on top of the savings already made. This would also be nice and square, what developers like.
So there should be no problem in the selling of the site. So all the council has to do is to reach an agreement with a developer to pull down Northgate House and build a new library before releasing the central library site for development.
Which was one of the options a few years ago when the council did consult the public on the location of the library.