A TROUBLESOME piece of contaminated land in Hythe is set to be sold off by Colchester Council.

The authority’s revolving investment fund committee is set to approve plans to dispose of the site, called Breakers Park, in order to raise funds for other projects.

The council says the area has been marketed a number of times over the past decade.

The area was set to be regenerated as part of the Rio Ferdinand-backed Legacy proposals, which would have seen hundreds of homes and state-of-the-art sports facilities built.

However, due to the cost of clear up required plans stalled when the council could not secure outside funding to assist with the regeneration.

A report set to go before the committee states: “It has been problematic to deliver a scheme due to the high cost of decontamination required on the site, estimated at circa £4m.

"Previously, the cabinet agreed to pursue the Legacy proposal, which delivered homes, sports facilities and student accommodation.

“Whilst this proposal carried risk for the council, it did bring the benefit of regeneration to the area, including some open and green space provision.

“The Legacy proposal has not progressed as the scheme viability showed a funding shortfall of £10 million and the council’s bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund to breach the gap was unsuccessful.

“This scheme also relied on the transfer of the site from Homes England to Colchester Council, however, they decided to sell the property at auction, meaning the scheme could not be delivered.”

Colchester Council’s revolving investment fund committee is being advised to approve the sale of the land to the identified preferred bidder which is offering the “best potential capital receipt” on a long-term lease.

How much the council will receive for the lease will be discussed in a private section of the meeting, which takes place on Wednesday.

The cash raised would be reinvested by the council into other projects.

The site is allocated in both the adopted and emerging Local Plans for mixed use development including housing, small scale commercial and community uses.