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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.”
The Chairman reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the internet and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.
To be announced at the meeting.
The Cabinet Committee noted that Councillor A Lion would substitute for Councillor S Stavrou at the meeting.
Declarations of Interest
To declare interests in any item on this agenda.
There were no declarations of interest pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.
To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Cabinet Committee held on 30 August 2018.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 August 2018 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
To consider the attached report (CHB-001-2019/20).
The Housing Development Manager gave an update on the progress that had been made across each of the two phases of the Housebuilding programme that were on site (Phases 2 and 3), and the developments that would make up future Phases 4-6.
Burton Road, Loughton – 15 x 3 bed houses, 2 x 2 bed houses, 23 x 3 bed flats & 11 x 1 bed flats
This development was behind programme and had encountered several delays due to the following:
· The discovery of an unidentified live cable running across the site;
· Additional time spent remediating contamination across the site that had not previously been identified; and
· A fire in August 2018 to the upper floors of Block B which had extended completion to July 2019. There would be a phased handover of all of the houses and flats in Block A through April and May 2019.
The anticipated final account was currently £10,861,015.00 which represents a 10% increase upon the originally agreed contract sum. The additional costs relate to the diversion of the live electric cable, additional remediation costs, and additional offsite works that have been instructed on the main highway. The costs relating to the fire will be covered by the Contractor and their insurers with no implications for the Council.
Handovers at Burton Road have now commenced and the 17 houses are all occupied. The flats at Davis Court are due to be handed over on the 12th and 13th June 2019 with the flats at Churchill Court handing over in September 2019.
Bluemans End, North Weald – 2 x 3b houses, 1 x 2b Flat & 1 x 2b flat
The homes were handed over on the 26 March 2018 which was a total of 8 weeks behind programme. This was due to Thames Water delays in providing their connection.
The Final Account was agreed at £839,170.77 which was 11% above the originally agreed contract sum. These additional costs are made up of variations mostly relating to boundary treatments, the removal of unforeseen contaminated waste and removal of asbestos.
Stewards Green Road – 4 x 2b houses
The homes were handed over on the 13th December 2018 which was a total of 46 weeks behind programme. This delay was due to the discovery of asbestos in the hardcore material that had been used to form the sub-base of the new entrance road.
The final account was yet to be agreed but was anticipated at £852,921.00 which was 13% above the originally agreed contract sum. These additional costs are made up of variations mostly relating to boundary treatments and the removal of contaminated waste over and above what had been allowed for. The Council intends to pursue the Consultant for costs in relation to the additional works that were required to clear the previously unidentified hazardous materials.
London Road – 1 x 3b House
The home was handed over having reached practical completion on the 7 March 2018 which was as per ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To consider the attached report (CHB-002-2019/20).
(1) That the contents of this programme and expenditure update for the Council House Building Programme and its impact upon 141 receipts be noted, and presented to the Cabinet in line with the Terms of Reference.
(2) That the recommendations proposed for taking up future 141 receipts are approved by the Cabinet in line with the Terms of Reference.
The Housing Development Manager advised the report at Agenda Item 7 considered the current construction expenditure profile for the Council Housebuilding Programme against the “Replacement Right to Buy (RTB) Receipts” and considered various interventions to take up the shortfall in expenditure where identified.
Taking the profile of construction expenditure as described we could compare this against the level of RTB Receipts and from this we could see where a shortfall in construction expenditure means there was a deficit against the required spending to take up the RTB receipts.
If the construction expenditure profile proposed was maintained the first time a deficit could be seen in the required construction expenditure in Q4 2020/21 where we will see a shortfall of £1,976,872.00. This equated to £593,061.16 in RTB Receipts. Overall in 2020/21 our construction expenditure was in deficit by £3,281,851.37 against a requirement of £15,430,707.37.
This position becomes progressively worse over the course of 2021/22 when a deficit in construction expenditure of £6,352,077.55 against a requirement of £9,869,497.55 meant that we were £8,328,949.00 behind our construction expenditure target by the end of 2021/22.
Without intervention this could mean that the Council would need to repay £2,498,684.70 in RTB receipts back to the Government by the end of 2021/22.
In considering suitable intervention which would take up the required construction expenditure deficit the Council were making the following proposals in priority order;
· To proceed with planning applications on the following sites;
- Vere Road, Loughton – 4 no. 1 bed flats and 6 no. 2 bed flats;
- Hillyfields, Loughton – 2 no. 2 bed houses;
- Pyrles Lane (Site A), Loughton – 2 no. 2 bed houses;
- Pyrles Lane (Site B), Loughton – 3 no. 3 bed houses;
- Colvers, Matching Green – 3 no. 2 bed houses;
- Hansell Mead, Roydon – 2 no. 3 bed houses;
- Pound Close, Nazeing, 2 no 2 bed houses and 2 no 3 bed houses;
- St Thomas’s Close, Waltham Abbey – 1 no. 2 bed house and 2 no. 3 bed houses; and
- Springfield (Site B), Epping – 2 no. 1 bed bungalows.
· To reconsider the criteria for the selection of garage sites for development particularly regarding occupancy levels. This provided a fresh pipeline of sites for development as well as potentially dealing with issues of fly tipping and anti-social behaviour that was still evident on some Council owned garage sites.
· To consider the purchase of affordable homes provided through S106 agreements by private developers. The Council already had experience of this procurement method and were currently negotiating with developers on sites across the District.
· To consider purchasing land owned privately for development rather than remaining solely reliant on land that the Council currently own.
· To consider the purchase of suitable commercial premises that with a change of planning use could be redeveloped for affordable housing.
· To establish a ‘street property purchase’ programme.
Councillor J Philip stated that to ensure the Council catch up with expenditure and this will ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To consider the attached report (CHB-003-2019/20).
(1) That a second planning application be submitted for an already approved development at Ladyfields, Loughton, recognising the Local Plan looks for reduced parking in proximity to a train/tube station and that we take an approach to maximise the available housing and minimise the parking in discussion with the Planning department.
The Housing Development Manager presented a report to the Cabinet Committee advising that the report sought approval to submit a new planning application for the Ladyfields site in Loughton. The site had an existing planning approval for 6 x 2-bed affordable homes with 23 parking spaces. In line with the policies of the Local Plan, where zero parking was required within 400m of a railway station, it would be possible to increase the number of affordable homes on the site.
The site was located within 400m of Debden Station on the London Underground Central Line and if left as previously approved, this site would not comply with the new Local Plan Policies.
Therefore, by submitting a new planning application for the site, compliant with the intentions of the new Local Plan, the Council could increase the number of affordable homes by better utilising the land to enable the delivery of between 10 and 11 additional affordable homes for applicants on the Council’s waiting list. Improving the districts housing offer, through building more Council-owned Affordable Housing, was a target in the Council’s Corporate Plan.
It was therefore recommended that a new planning application be submitted for the site at Ladyfields, Loughton in line with the Local Plan Policy requirements, thereby increasing the development opportunity for the site to between 10 and 11 affordable homes for Council tenants. It should be noted that this recommendation does not override the existing planning consent on the site.
Councillor N Avey stated that one of his responsibilities as a Portfolio Holder was for parking and although the Local Plan dictated the way forward regarding parking it was counter intuitive as there was already so many problems across the district regarding parking. The people who buy/rent these houses will almost certainly have at least one vehicle which will cause a major problem with displaced parking.
Councillor J Philip stated that he disagreed with Councillor N Avey as advised that we did have to do something to reduce parking across the district. He did say that for 6x2 bed homes 23 car parking spaces was excessive. The original planning permission had been approved and this was a new application which did not override the original one but it might be worth going forward to get a better balance for this site.
Councillor A Lion stated although we do need to reduce the amount of vehicles it was to early to reduce these sites to zero, we as a Council should maintain a level that was acceptable.
The Cabinet Committee agreed to amend the decision as below.
(1) That a second planning application be submitted for an already approved development at Ladyfields, Loughton, recognising the Local Plan looks for reduced parking in proximity to a train/underground station and that we take an approach to maximise the available housing and minimise the parking in discussion with the Planning department.
Reasons for Decision:
The Council has an ambition to develop 300 new affordable homes for Council tenants ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
To consider the attached report (CHB-004-2019/20).
The Housing Development Manager presented a report to the Cabinet Committee and advised that attached at Appendix 1 of Agenda Item 9, was the programme wide risk register associated with the Council’s Housebuilding Programme, which was for review, commenting or noting as appropriate.
(1) That the contents of the report, Agenda Item 9, on risk management in relation to the Council Housebuilding Programme be noted, and presented to the Cabinet in line with the Terms of Reference.
Reasons for Decision:
The Council’s Housebuilding Programme was a major undertaking, involving significant amounts of money and risks, it was essential that the Officer Project Team and the Cabinet Committee record, monitor and mitigate those risks.
Other Options Considered and Rejected:
(a) Not to have a Risk Register – but it would not be appropriate to contemplate such an option; and
(b) To request amendments to the format or content of the Programme-wide Risk Register.
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.
The Cabinet Committee noted that there was no other urgent business for consideration.
Exclusion of Public and Press
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):
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.
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.
The Cabinet Committee noted that there were no items of business on the agenda that necessitated the exclusion of the public and press from the meeting.