Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

(Special), Cabinet Member for Housing
Tuesday, 30th July, 2019 5.00 pm

Venue: Executive Meeting Room - The Guildhall

Contact: Joanne Wildsmith Democratic Services Tel: 9283 4057  Email: joanne.wildsmith@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

16.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

17.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of members' interests.

18.

Forward Plan Omission (information item)

The Doyle Avenue Development of Council Homes report, by the Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Building Services, was omitted from the Forward plan giving 28 days public notice.  The Chair of the City Council's Scrutiny Management Panel has been notified and a public notice published, and the Forward Plan has since been updated to reflect this item.

 

RECOMMENDED that

(1)       the omission to the Forward Plan for July 2019 be noted;

(2)       that publication of the omission notice be noted.

Decision:

For the following item relating to Doyle Avenue Development of Council Homes the Cabinet Member for Housing noted:

 

(1)       the omission to the Forward Plan for July 2019;

(2)       publication of the omission notice.

Minutes:

For the following item relating to Doyle Avenue Development of Council Homes the Cabinet Member for Housing noted:

 

(1)       the omission to the Forward Plan for July 2019;

(2)       publication of the omission notice.

19.

Doyle Avenue Development of Council Homes pdf icon PDF 152 KB

The report by the Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Building Services seeks approval from the Cabinet Member for Housing to engage the Regeneration team to deliver a new development of 16 homes; 9 two bedroom flats, 3 four bedroom disabled adapted houses and 4 three bedroom houses on the site at the corner of Doyle Avenue and Northern Parade. It also seeks approval of the financial appraisal which confirms that these homes will be delivered by and retained within the HRA.

 

RECOMMENDED

 

(1)  that the Cabinet Member for Housing approve the following:

 

(i)            Capital Expenditure amounting to £4.2m:

a development of 16 units (a mixture of flats and houses) on the Doyle Avenue Site at a total cost of £4.2m

 

(ii)        to fund the £4.2m of Capital Expenditure, with unsupported borrowing of £2.94m and Right to Buy receipts of £1.26m

 

(iii)       that subject to the requirements of recommendation (iv), authority be        delegated to the Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Building in consultation with the Head of Finance & S151 Officer to amend the composition and spending profile of the proposed schemes in order to meet planning and design requirements.

 

(iv)      that a financial appraisal approved by the Head of Finance & S151 Officer must be completed prior to the commencement of any scheme, that confirms that the proposed scheme remains viable and provides an overall benefit to the 30 year HRA Business Plan

 

 

(2)   That the Cabinet Member for Housing approves immediate consultation with relevant stakeholders to ensure the community are engaged and informed about this development.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)          the Cabinet Member for Housing approved the following:

 

(i)           Capital Expenditure amounting to £4.2m:

              a development of 16 units (a mixture of flats and houses) on the Doyle Avenue Site at a total cost of £4.2m

 

(ii)          to fund the £4.2m of Capital Expenditure, with unsupported borrowing of £2.94m and Right to Buy receipts of £1.26m

 

(iii)         that subject to the requirements of recommendation (iv), authority be delegated to the Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Building in consultation with the Head of Finance & S151 Officer to amend the composition and spending profile of the proposed schemes in order to meet planning and design requirements.

 

(iv)         that a financial appraisal approved by the Head of Finance & S151 Officer must be completed prior to the commencement of any scheme, that confirms that the proposed scheme remains viable and provides an overall benefit to the 30 year HRA Business Plan

 

(2)          the Cabinet Member for Housing approved immediate consultation with relevant stakeholders to ensure the community are engaged and informed about this development.

Minutes:

James Hill, Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Building Services and Jo

Bennett, Head of Business Relationships, Growth & Support, introduced the report, setting out the background to the proposals for 16 new, purpose built homes, with three of the homes specifically designed for disabled needs.  The proposed occupants of the disabled homes had been on the housing waiting list for a long time and these properties will be exempt from the Right to Buy scheme.

 

Wayne Layton, Finance Manager, reported a correction to the report under the Director of Finance's Comments (paragraph 7.1), as whilst all the narrative reflected the cost of £4.2m, the table showed £3.8 which was incorrect. The tables should have stated the total cost of the scheme was £4.2m and would be funded by prudential borrowing of £2.94m and £1.26m of Right to Buy receipts. The scheme at this cost would not be viable if rented at Social Rent but is viable at Affordable, which is defined as being the same as the Local Housing Allowance Rate.

 

Councillor Sanders invited comments from the Residents' Consortium representatives.  Mada Abrams was pleased to see these good plans for the community and for the City Council.  Adrian Blackwood welcomed disabled homes being provided.   Maria Cole raised some queries regarding Ravelin Housing Company as the Residents' Consortium had not received information on this, the need for drying space, and who would occupy the homes.

Maria Cole also welcomed the help being given to disabled families and the carbon neutral considerations.

 

In response to the points raised it was confirmed that families had been identified and the design level was not yet so advanced as to show drying areas.  These properties would remain within the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and was not a site being developed by Ravelin Housing Company.

 

Councillor Cal Corkery, Labour Housing Spokesperson, raised queries regarding the process of reviewing the rent levels.  Jo Bennett explained that the process for the development was to seek planning permission before contracts could be entered into, at which point the final build costs would be known (which could include unforeseen land issues) and the relevant rent level would then be set.   Councillor Corkery was glad to see PCC bringing forward disabled high needs adapted properties and that these would all be for rent on the site, but had some concerns regarding the calculation of rent levels as "affordable" when people's circumstances can change. He referred to the Norwich example of providing properties at social council rent levels and wanted to ensure that all had been done to ensure these are affordable. Councillor Corkery asked Councillor Sanders to consider bringing back a decision, rather than delegating power to officers, should the rents need to be reviewed.

 

Councillor Scott Payter-Harris, Conservative Housing Spokesperson and a ward councillor, asked questions regarding how the composition of the scheme might be amended; Jo Bennett responded that this was to ensure the adapted properties, when designed to incorporate the required adaptations for the families, would fit on the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.