The Assistant Director (Housing, Property & Development) presented a report to the Cabinet Committee advising of the current progress on Marden Close and Faversham Hall, Chigwell Row and Phases 1-5 of the programme.
Marden Close and Faversham Hall
This was the first of the Council’s developments to be completed in December 2015, under the housebuilding programme providing 12 new 1-bedroom flats which have now been let to applicants on the Council’s Housing Register.
Phase 1 – Waltham Abbey
This had been covered earlier in the agenda.
Phase 2 – Burton Road
Planning permission was achieved in September 2015 for 51 new affordable homes at Burton Road, Loughton. Tenders were issued to 6 contractors from the East Thames’ approved list. With one contactor withdrawing, 5 tenders were received and opened by the Housing Portfolio Holder on 17 November 2015 in accordance with Contract Standing Orders.
Interviews were held on 17 December 2015 with each of the two lowest tenderers to explore any qualifications as part of the evaluation process. In attendance were Pellings LLP, Council Officers as well as the Housing Portfolio Holder.
It was anticipated that the successful Contractor would take possession of the site in February 2016 with work commencing on site around June 2016 once the planning conditions were discharged and the detailed designs prepared and approved. The contract period set out in the contract was 20 months.
Phase 3 – Epping, Coopersale and North Weald
Planning permission has been achieved for eight sites making up Phase 3 of the Council’s house-building programme, which will deliver 34 new affordable homes at an estimated cost of £6,757,650 inclusive of fees.
It was anticipated that work would commence on site in August 2016 and completed around 20 months later in March 2018.
Phase 4 – Loughton
The Cabinet Committee have agreed feasibility studies at 13 sites across Loughton, which will deliver 40 new affordable homes made up of a mix of bungalows, houses and flats. Pre-app discussions have taken place with Planning Officers and applications have now been registered for each of the sites. If approved, the estimated cost of delivering each of the new affordable homes making up Phase 4 would be £9,426,686..
It was anticipated that work would commence on site in April 2017 and completed around 20 months later in November 2018.
Phase 5 – Buckhurst Hill & Ongar
The Cabinet Committee have agreed feasibility studies at 10 sites across Buckhurst Hill and Ongar, which would deliver 33 new affordable homes made up of a mix of bungalows, houses and flats. Pre-app discussions have taken place with Planning Officers and applications were being drawn up by Pellings LLP for each of the sites. If approved, the estimated cost of delivering each of the new affordable homes making up Phase 5 was £6,464,028.
It was anticipated work would commence on site in October 2017 and completed around 20 months later in May 2019.
The purchase of 11 new affordable homes at Barnfield, Roydon (Section 106 Development)
The Cabinet Committee have now met on 12 occasions in total. The outcomes from each meeting have set in place the policies and strategy that have shaped the house-building programme. This year, the main Policy challenge had been around the need to accelerate the house-building programme to keep up with the rate of Council-house RTB sales, therefore avoiding returning 1-4-1 receipts to the Government. A range of contingency measures in place include:
(a) to purchase individual vacant properties for sale on the open market;
(b) to purchase affordable rented housing that is required to be provided by developers in accordance with Section 106 Agreements; and
(c) That subject to planning permission, the Council buys the affordable rented housing provided by a private developer following the sale if the Council’s former Nursery in Pyrles Lane.
In order to avoid returning unspent 1-4-1 receipts to the Government, the Cabinet Committee have agreed to the purchase of new affordable homes on Section 106 developments.
Negotiations have taken place with Linden Homes, who have an Option Agreement on a site at Barnfield, Roydon that has planning permission for 24 new homes at Barnfield, Roydon, of which 11 are for affordable housing. The affordable housing is for 11 new homes, of which 8 are for affordable rent and 3 are for shared ownership.
A joint bid was put to Linden Homes between the Council and B3Living, who are one of the Council’s Preferred Housing Association Partners, with the Council purchasing the 8 x affordable rented homes and B3Living purchasing the 3 x shared ownership homes. The Cabinet, at its meeting on 3 December 2015, agreed a bid of £1.464m for the 8 affordable rented homes, funded from a combination of 1-4-1 receipts and the existing HRA Capital resources.
That the Annual Progress Report on Council house-building be agreed and presented to the Cabinet.
Reasons for Decision:
The Cabinet Committee is required to monitor progress and expenditure in relation to the Council House-building Programme and report to the Cabinet on an annual basis, as set out in its Terms of Reference.
Other Options Considered and Rejected:
This report is on the progress made over the last 12-months and is for noting purposes only. There are no other options for action.