Agenda item

Housing Delivery/Welland Homes Interim Business Plan

In the light of the new housing and planning bill and the anticipated impact on and implications for the Council as a Landlord in housing delivery across the District, members are asked to consider an interim business plan for Welland Homes and agree arrangements to accommodate anticipated increase in housing delivery requirements in the longer term.  (Report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing (Share-Holders’ Representative) and the Board Chairman of Welland Homes enclosed.)

 

(Please note that the appendix is not for publication by virtue of Paragraphs 3 (Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) and 5 (Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings)in Part 1 of Schedule 12a of the Local Government Act 1972, and is therefore attached to this agenda as Item 14. )

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing (Shareholder Representative) and the Board Chairman of Welland Homes Limited which sought changes to the company’s Business Plan to address anticipated changes in demand for the development of Council housing.  The report summarised the information contained within the exempt Appendix 1 which had been circulated with the agenda as item 14.

 

The interim Business Plan would see a fast track delivery of 82 properties by Welland Homes, 46 of which would be developed for the Council’s housing stock.  A fully revised Business Plan would not be produced until the full implications of the Housing and Planning Bill were known.

 

Councillor M G Chandler queried the timescale in respect of building the 82 properties.  Councillor P Coupland explained it was a guideline for the development period at its longest scenario.  He advised that the properties would be built in phases and that other projects would be investigated at the same time.  Further details on timescales were included within the exempt appendix.

 

Councillor A Casson queried why only an outline planning permission had been sought in respect of Servern Road and Parkside Crescent.  Councillor Coupland explained that at the time of the application details in relation to the Council’s requirements in terms of style and types of housing was still being considered and additionally concerns had been raised by the Civic Society regarding open space, both of which had since been addressed. 

 

Councillor G J Taylor pointed out that the sites were mostly Spalding based.  Councillor C J Lawton advised that the greatest housing need had been identified in Spalding, however other locations would be investigated as part of the ongoing work.

 

Members agreed that, as only the principles of the report would be discussed rather than specific financial details; there was no need for the meeting to go into private session.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS TO FULL COUNCIL:

 

a)      That the interim business plan for Welland Homes be approved in order to provide fast tracked delivery of 82 homes (46 to the HRA) with a projected contribution, over the term of the programme, to the general fund of £1.039 million alongside contribution to the HRA of £139k;

 

b)      That the current £2.5million funding limit for acquisition of residential housing investments be increased to £3million; and

 

c)      That, subject to obtaining planning consent, redevelopment of Council owned land and assets at Small Drove, Weston be approved with a view to facilitating a development of 34 affordable homes for the benefit of the Council’s Housing Revenue Account.

 

DECISION:

 

d)      That officers be requested to consider the emerging details, of the housing and planning bill, alongside the housing delivery ambitions under devolution to identify the impact, risks and opportunities for the Council and to provide options for future consideration by Cabinet to support any expanded housing delivery programme;

 

e)      That (subject to Council approval of the revised business plan, including the development of Small Drove) delegated authority be granted to the Portfolio Holder for Housing, in consultation with the Council’s S151 Officer, to approve detailed matters in relation to Small Drove, including design, development layout, build specification and the nature of the affordable tenure; and

 

f)       That Councillor Malcolm Chandler be appointed as a Director of Welland Homes, to replace Julie Kennealy.

 

(Other options considered:

·         Not to approve the recommendation; or

·         To approve the recommendation without amendments.

Reasons for decision:

·         An interim business plan provided the best delivery option during a period of uncertainty in relation to the future scale of development required.)

Supporting documents: