The Oasis developer, Moirai, has breached the terms of their development agreement for the Oasis with Swindon Council. In 2014 it was discovered that Moirai had breached the terms of the original development agreement and a revised agreement had to be agreed with Swindon Council. Moirai had breached its development agreement with the Council by failing to obtain approval for a master plan of the development by the contractual deadline, March 2014, and because Moirai’s shell company, MW Contract Services Ltd (formerly Oasis Operations Ltd), went in to liquidation after owing £850,000 to creditors, including local small businesses like Storm Recruitment, based in Commercial Road.
The current terms of the Oasis Development Agreement included Moirai being set the following targets:
- All remaining works to the Oasis Leisure Centre be completed by no later than 31st March 2015 and the works commence no later than 31st October 2014
- A planning application with associated masterplan be submitted by no later than 31st May 2015
- The backstop date for Moirai securing detailed planning consent for the scheme now is 31st January 2016
- Repayment of rent owed to Swindon Council
To date an detailed planning consent has been given to this application and the Labour Group has been told it is commercially sensitive as to whether Moirai have paid the rent they owed to Swindon Council.
Moirai was awarded a 99 year lease to develop the Oasis site in April 2013 by Swindon Council.
Swindon’s Labour Group Leader, Cllr Jim Grant, has called on Swindon Borough Council to withdraw from their lease with Moirai. He said:
“After Moirai breached the terms of their 99 year lease with Swindon Council on two occasions, I believe the Council must withdraw the lease from the company. In my opinion this is long overdue.
We already know that Moirai’s shell company owed near to a million pounds to its creditors, before it went in to liquidation and with the economy growing for the last few years there is no excuse as to why they have done nothing to meet the terms of their development agreement. And, make no mistake, the land the Council is agreeing to give away to Moirai is worth millions of pounds so to give it away to a company whose record so far has been very disappointing, doesn’t make sense.
The Council should now be looking for a new private partner, who has a proven track record of delivering developments of this size, to take over the running of this development. After nearly 4 years of broken promises, I think the Swindon public will be desperate for the council to finally draw closure on this sorry affair.”