A review has found Conwy council "missed steps" and "failed" in its process to acquire the lease of a site in Mochdre.

The Pioneer reported earlier this month Conwy County Borough Council (CCBC) had wasted more then £320,000 on renting a site on the Mochdre Commerce Park they were unable to use.

In May 2016, CCBC entered into a lease for the site in an attempt to centralise its environmental services to one location.

However the council have been unable to use the site since entering into the lease in 2016 due to a major fault with the concrete base which has meant vehicles could no enter.

In February 2017, after a nine month rent free period, CCBC began spending £20,000 a month on rent. It was not until June 2018, having spent more than £320,000 on an unusable site they approached the landlord to strike a deal to not pay rent until a solution was decided upon.

Now an independent, external review has found that there were "process failings" in the way they took on the new lease at Mochdre and CCBC have admitted to missing steps when it entered into the agreement in Mochdre

Cllr Sam Rowlands, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “The report into how the situation at Mochdre came about is a very sobering read, with many parts highlighting weaknesses in our processes which we don’t normally see.

"We must take on board the recommendations to ensure the errors highlighted do not happen again and to allow us to move forward with what has been a very difficult piece of work.”

CCBC said they are set to change the process they undergo when entering into a high value lease using its project management framework as a structure

Other significant changes CCBC will be introducing are set to include: clarifying the roles and responsibilities of staff members involved in acquisitions; introducing a new system of checks and balances so that the most senior staff are aware of and have final sign-off on arrangements on high value leases before they are entered into; and implementing a comprehensive programme of training for staff.

A CCBC spokesperson added: "In addition to learning the lessons, council staff are focussed on negotiating a way forward with the landlord (of the Mochdre site), who is not collecting rent from the Council while these complex discussions are continuing."

The report on the acquisition of leasehold interest at Mochdre Commerce Park was presented to a special meeting of the finance and resources scrutiny committee on Thursday, March 21.