Extra cash is needed to pay for Epsom and Ewell Borough Council to seek planning permission to develop an empty community hub.

Officers are seeking approval from councillors for an additional £68,000 to cover all the costs in connection with a submission of a planning application for The Wells Centre site.

The request comes after a review of the site into how it can be developed.

The council engaged PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) in February to advise on how to develop the site for residential use.

In papers to go to the Strategy and Resources Committee on Thursday (July 26), it states PwC “has indicated that the most efficient structure would be for the council to undertake the redevelopment itself and, upon completion, transfer any units for rent to a wholly owned trading company”.

A professional team of development consultant, architect, planning consultant and quantify surveyor are working on a draft development brief ready for September.

If approved, officers will then carry out consultation with residents.

A business case will then be formed and a planning application for a final scheme can be submitted if approved by the committee.

The proposed development must include residential units, a community facility, children’s playground, public right of way and parking.

If approved planning permission could be submitted by November.

The professional team working on the project is already costing £92,000 and an additional £68,000 is needed to “cover all the costs associated with the submission of the planning application”.

Committee papers quote the chief finance officer Lee Duffy saying: “Developing the Wells site has the potential to deliver a long-term residential asset with associated income streams.

“However, the viability of the development and its long-term financial impacts will only be accurately established once the professional advice and full due diligence exercises have been undertaken.

“The estimated £68,000 additional cost of the professional team could be met from the Corporate Projects Reserve, which at 30/06/18 holds a balance of £2,574,390.”

A decision was made in 2015 to move community activities and services from The Wells Centre in Spa Drive, Epsom to the Longmead Centre in Sefton Road.