Agenda, decisions and minutes

Council Housebuilding Cabinet Committee
Tuesday, 8th September, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting on Zoom. View directions

Contact: Jackie Leither Tel: 01992 564756  Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

10.

Webcasting Introduction

The Chairman will read the following announcement:

 

This meeting is to be webcast.

 

I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the Internet and will be capable of subsequent repeated viewing, with copies of the recording being made available for those that request it.

 

By being present at this meeting, it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in your image becoming part of the broadcast.

 

You should be aware that this may infringe your human and data protection rights. If you have any concerns then please speak to the Webcasting Officer.

 

Please could I also remind Members to activate their microphones before speaking.”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman made a short address to remind everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the internet, and would be capable of repeated viewing, which could infringe their human and data protection rights.

 

11.

Substitute Members

To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Committee noted there were no substitute members.

12.

Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on the agenda.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The were no declarations of interest pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.

13.

Minutes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That the minutes of the Council Housebuilding Cabinet Committee meeting held on 23 June 2020 be taken as read and would be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

14.

COUNCIL HOUSE BUILDING PROGRESS REPORT - PHASES 2-4 pdf icon PDF 396 KB

The Service Manager – Housing Management and Home Ownership to present a report to the Cabinet Committee with regard to updating the Committee on the progress of the Council House Building Programme – Phases 2-4.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)             That the contents of the Progress Report on Phases 3 to 4 of the Council House Building Programme be noted and presented to the Cabinet in line with the Terms of Reference of the Council Housebuilding Cabinet Committee.

 

Minutes:

Deborah Fenton, Service Manager, Housing Management and Home Ownership, presented a report to the Cabinet Committee, she advised that the report set out the progress that has been made across phases 3 to 4 of the Council Housebuilding programme that had either been completed, were on-site or were currently being procured.

 

Phase 3

 

Queens Road, North Weald: HR116

 

10 x 3 Bed Houses and 2 x 2 Bed Houses

 

Scheme

Contractor

Site Start

Contract Period

Original Comp. Date

Queens Road

Storm Bld.

07:01:19

83 Weeks

07:08:20

Ant. Comp.

Variation

Contract Sum

Ant. Final Acc.

Variation

30:09:20

6 Weeks

£2,470,493

£2,816,876

£346,383 (14%)

 

As at the last valuation the contractor was granted an extension of time of 5 weeks due to utility delays which did not as yet attract an extra cost claim. However, there was a further delay of 8 to 10 weeks due to Government Restrictions in place relating to Covid-19 and the consequential effect on the supply chain. There were no cost claim details submitted at this time. 

 

The Current anticipated final account was anticipated to be c£2,850,000

           

Phase 4

 

Phase 4.1 - Contracted

 

 

Programmed SoS

Weeks

Handover

Chequers Road (A), Loughton

HR 124

3x3B units

31:07:20

56

27:08:21

Bushfields, Loughton

HR 122

2x2B units

13:07:20

56

13:08:21

Chester Road, Loughton

HR 130

3x2B units

07:09:20

53

13:09:21

Queensway, Ongar

HR 140

4x1B units

12:10:20

58

26:11:21

Millfield, Ongar

HR 138

2x1B units

12:10:20

58

26:11:21

Totalling

 

14 units

 

 

 

                                                             

The Programmed Start on Site activity had now occurred on Chequers Rd (A) and Bushfields with the other sites to follow shortly. Pre-commencement variations (including the additional works to further address recent rear garden water logging issues on earlier phases) were in the process of being agreed, boundary treatments and drainage outfalls were being reviewed. Non Material and Material Amendment Applications were due to be submitted shortly.

 

Some Asbestos had been found under the slab at Chequers Rd (A) and a small area of potential ground contamination had been found at Bushfields, the cost of which was anticipated to be within the allowed contingency. Pre-design work was continuing and once finalised, if any further None Material/Material Amendment Applications were required, they would be submitted by the Contractor who was continuing to make progress within the Government Guidelines and restrictions with the aim of minimising any further delays.

 

The figures below in bold were the latest and set out the movement compared with the figures previously reported. This was down to several issues but mainly the adjustment in contract value following the Contractor Design and Build exercise and the associated drainage costs reported on previously. There remains a total contingency figure of £128,042.

 

 

Fees

Build Costs

Cont.

Sub Total

Pre-Demo.

Variation

Chequers Rd (A)

114,966

114,164    

838,963

857,246

40,000

28.089

993,929

999,499

48,275

 

+5,570

Bushfields

93,839                91,739

526,518

544,936

30,000

20,003

650,357

656,678

39,050

 

+ 6,321

Chester Road

105,350

104,115

747,395

788,462

40,000

20,331

892,745

912,908

16,922

 

+20,163

Queensway

116,390

114,415          

914,925

934,483

49,594

35,780  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

PROGRAMME PHASE 5 - NEW APPROACH pdf icon PDF 326 KB

The Service Manager – Housing Management and Home Ownership to present a report to the Cabinet Committee with regard to adopting a new approach to the Council House Building Programme – Phase 5.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)        That the Council adopts a new approach that involves early engagement with local community representatives;

 

(2)        That a new process for future CHBP site assessments based on a collaborative and incremental approach be agreed; and

(3)        That all future developments going forward be designed in line with the ‘Passivhaus’ standard – ‘Fabric First’ approach as a minimum and to accommodate future retrospective installations of Low Carbon Heat Generation and Heat Recovery Systems as and when suitable systems are identified.

Minutes:

Deborah Fenton, Service Manager, Housing Management and Home Ownership, presented a report to the Cabinet Committee, she advised that the Council House Building Programme (CHBP) had mostly been developed on former garage sites to date. A number of potential sites have been refused planning permission or been withdrawn, partly due to added limitedneighbourhood improvement and adding to some degree to local existing parking stress problems.  

 

Many of the previous garage sites that have been developed were of poor quality, unlit and attracted anti-social behaviour. Although the loss of the garage sites had been perceived by local residents as adding to parking stress in the local area, many of the garages were no longer suitable for parking cars because they were too small and mostly used for storage.  

A consultation and community planning process had been proposed to engage with local community representatives to openly discuss where potential development opportunities may exist and to better understand and potentially address local issues that may be required to possibly achieve positive support for further Council Housing development in an area.

Some CHBP developments provide more additional parking than was required and have been left unallocated.  However, being mainly small enclosed developments, it was believed that they would be better managed through EFDC licences to local residents allowing improved security and improved community cohesion.  This was proposed in a separate report and a new draft policy – Allocation of Surplus Car Parking Spaces Delivered through CHBP.

 

As a positive response to the Council’s Climate Emergency resolution it was proposed to design all future developments adopting the ‘Passivhaus’ standard – ‘Fabric First’ as a minimum. This would further improve the thermal standard of the properties reducing the future heating requirements for residents. Given the external wall thickness significantly increases from c300mm to c500mm would establish the base approach and thereby simplify the design process and avoid the need for redesign and potentially resubmitting for planning consent and assist the subsequent contractor to deliver the Design and Build contracts. This was anticipated to add c.3-5% to the current specification build cost. 

 

The adoption of a heat generation and recovery system i.e. an Air Source Heat Pump and Heat Recovery System (ASHP-HRS) would add a further c.6-8% to the current specification build cost. The technology to achieve this was available but there are varying views of its reliability and ease of user operation.

It was therefore beneficial to design all future properties going forward to accommodate ‘Passivhaus’ standard – ‘Fabric First’ and to also plan within the design for future retrospective installation of an ASHP-HRS as and when a suitable system was identified. 

A new process was proposed for selecting and developing sites for Council Housebuilding based on a collaborative approach involving EFDC colleagues, Essex County Council and community representatives. The purpose was to assess and develop the potential sites using an incremental approach to ensure successful planning applications, developments that improve local neighbourhoods and limiting resource input into sites which are not feasible or supportable  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

POLICY FOR THE ALLOCATION OF SURPLUS CAR PARKING SPACES pdf icon PDF 317 KB

The Service Manager – Housing Management and Home Ownership to present a report to the Cabinet Committee with regard to adopting a Policy for the Allocation of Surplus Car Parking Spaces.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 (1)       That the Council reviews and adopts the Policy for Allocating Surplus Car Parking Spaces Provided by the Council Housebuilding Programme; and

 

(2)        That the Council adopts and implements the allocation and eligibility criteria including the advertising, selection/allocation, licencing/charging of parking permits and enforcement of surplus car parking spaces.

 

Minutes:

Deborah Fenton, Service Manager, Housing Management and Home Ownership, presented a report and draft policy regarding the allocation of surplus car parking spaces provided by the Council Housebuilding Programme. She advised the Cabinet Committee that the policy aimed to bring clarity and consistency to how surplus car parking spaces from newly built Council housing developments could be allocated to local residents in the surrounding areas and managed by Council staff.   

 

The number of parking spaces provided to these Council housing developments would be determined by the parking standards in the emerging Local Plan, influenced by public transport accessibility and other local issues.

 

The Council were proposing that applicants to the new Council housing developments would be allocated car parking spaces in accordance with the parking standards as specified by the planning obligations.

 

The remainder of those car parking spaces, if applicable, would be advertised and allocated to residents in the surrounding areas of the development in accordance with the allocation and eligibility criteria which was specified in this report.

 

The application rules would also determine process of allocation, including payment and enforcement.

 

It should be noted that some of the Council housing developments may be car free schemes and in these cases, relevant details will be included in the s106 agreement. It was important that housing applicants were notified that these new developments were car free schemes and off-street parking spaces would not be allocated at any time. Alternative responses would be explored where applicable and may include working with car club providers.

 

The draft policy was attached to the Agenda starting on page 55.

 

Council N Avey stated that given all the parking problems in the district he really welcomed this initiative. He asked if people were offered and accepted a property in a development which had no provision for a car, would they then get accepted into this surplus car parking scheme.

 

D Fenton advised that some of the schemes would be car free and if there were no car parking spaces then the Council would not be able to allocate them. The Council were taking a holistic approach to what they were building and would not be building sites that will cause parking stress in the immediate area.

 

Councillor J Philip stated that the Council should be looking to construct sites that include additional parking, as stated in the Local Plan, to minimise the amount of traffic on the roads as the more car parking there was the more traffic there was. If there were any extra spaces on site this could be looked at to get another building on the site and not additional car parking.

 

Councillor D Wixley stated that parking was a problem and always would be but a lot of people who drive company utility vehicles and have to bring them home, there was a need for parking and these individuals were not allowed to use these vehicles for private use, so it has to be taken into account that these residents do  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

POLICY FOR LICENCING AND GRANT OF PERMANENT RIGHTS OF WAY/ACCESS pdf icon PDF 301 KB

The Service Manager – Housing Management and Home Ownership to present a report to the Cabinet Committee with regard to adopting a new policy for Licencing and Grant of Permanent Rights of Way/Access for the Council House Building Programme.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)        That the Council adopts a new policy for the Licencing and Granting of Permanent Rights of Way/Access for the Council House Building Programme subject to clarification of paragraph 4.6 on the draft policy;

 

(2)        That an audit be carried out to review of the current licencing arrangements and fees charged;

 

(3)        That a central database be created to maintain a notification system for issued licences and sale agreements for permanent rights of way/accesses; and

 

(4)        That an annual monitoring and review of licences be carried out and regular site inspections to regulate and prevent the creation of unauthorised rights of way/access.

Minutes:

Deborah Fenton, Service Manager, Housing Management and Home Ownership, presented a report and draft policy regarding the Licencing and Grant of Permanent Rights of Way/Access for the Council House Building Programme and recommended that the Council adopted the policy.

 

The policy was required to prevent the creation of unauthorised rights of way/accesses across Council land which had led to legal proprietors acquiring an easement either by prescription or quasi easement. This had led to the requirement for the Council to compensate proprietors whose rights of way/accesses are permanently or temporarily closed on development sites under the CHBP.

 

A review of the current licensing system was recommended to agree a new form of Licence for Rights of Way/Access. This review would also consider the level of the annual licence fee to ensure it was reflected at a financially realistic relationship to the permanent sale price of the Right of Way/Access in order that the licence fee value was reflective of the value and consistently applied.

The creation of a central data base was recommended which would record issued licences and sale agreements for permanent Rights of Way/Access including a notification process for all relevant Council departments/teams.

 

Going forward a system for the annual monitoring and review of licences as well as regular site inspections to regulate and prevent the creation of unauthorised rights of way/accesses.

 

Councillor J Philip referred to page 64 of the agenda, paragraph 7 ‘the cost of which is to be borne equally by both parties, but the instruction is to be made jointly by EFDC.’ I believe this could just be a minor error and the word ‘jointly’ should read ‘soley’ and therefore would like some clarification.

 

J Cosgrove replied that the wording was correct as valuations were carried out on a joint instruction by agreement with the resident so the valuer offers an equal duty of care to both EFDC and the resident. The reason for doing it this way was to avoid the circumstances where EFDC would get three valuations and the resident would also get three independent valuations and then you would be in a position where you would have to negotiate whose valuation was correct, this method was a much more realistic way of reaching a valuation which was satisfactory to EFDC and the resident.

 

Councillor J Philip stated that he understood the reasoning now that it had been explained but that paragraph 7 did not read correctly. He was also concerned that the wording in the draft policy was the same as paragraph 7 on the report.

 

Councillor H Whitbread asked the officers to tighten up the wording in the draft policy so that it gave a clearer explanation.

 

Decision:

 

(1)        That the Council adopts a new policy for the Licencing and Granting of Permanent Rights of Way/Access for the Council House Building Programme subject to clarification of paragraph 4.6 on the draft policy;

 

(2)        That an audit be carried out to review of the current licencing arrangements and fees  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Any Other Business

Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, together with paragraphs 6 and 25 of the Council Procedure Rules contained in the Constitution require that the permission of the Chairman be obtained, after prior notice to the Chief Executive, before urgent business not specified in the agenda (including a supplementary agenda of which the statutory period of notice has been given) may be transacted.

 

In accordance with Operational Standing Order 6 (non-executive bodies), any item raised by a non-member shall require the support of a member of the Committee concerned and the Chairman of that Committee. Two weeks’ notice of non-urgent items is required.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Committee noted that there were no other matters of urgent business for consideration.

19.

Exclusion of Public and Press

Exclusion

To consider whether, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press should be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below on grounds that they will involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the following paragraph(s) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) or are confidential under Section 100(A)(2):

 

Agenda Item No

Subject

Exempt Information Paragraph Number

Nil

Nil

Nil

 

The Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, which came into effect on 1 March 2006, requires the Council to consider whether maintaining the exemption listed above outweighs the potential public interest in disclosing the information. Any member who considers that this test should be applied to any currently exempted matter on this agenda should contact the proper officer at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.

 

Background Papers

Article 17 - Access to Information, Procedure Rules of the Constitution define background papers as being documents relating to the subject matter of the report which in the Proper Officer's opinion:

 

(a)        disclose any facts or matters on which the report or an important part of the report is based;  and

 

(b)        have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report and does not include published works or those which disclose exempt or confidential information and in respect of executive reports, the advice of any political advisor.

 

The Council will make available for public inspection one copy of each of the documents on the list of background papers for four years after the date of the meeting. Inspection of background papers can be arranged by contacting either the Responsible Officer or the Democratic Services Officer for the particular item.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet noted that there was no business for consideration which would necessitate the exclusion of the public and press from the virtual meeting.