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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

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Items
No. Item

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Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Tenant Representative Lulu Agate.

 

Christabella Amiteye was unable to attend the meeting in person but attended virtually via Microsoft Teams.

 

Councillor Bennett, a reserve member of the Committee also attended the meeting virtually via Microsoft Teams.

 

It was noted that those who attended the meeting virtually could not vote but could contribute to debate.

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Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Name

Item

Interest

Councillor Thittala Varkey

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Prejudicial interest – Recipient of Tenants Contents Insurance Scheme via the Council. Left the Chamber during this item.

 

Diana Minns

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Prejudicial interest – Recipient of Tenants Contents Insurance Scheme via the Council. Left the Chamber during this item.

Christabella Amiteye

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Prejudicial interest – Recipient of Tenants Contents Insurance Scheme via the Council. Left the Chamber during this item.

 

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Minutes pdf icon PDF 365 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 21 June 2022 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

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Public Questions

Minutes:

Members of the public asked a number of questions, as set out below.

 

Question 1

i.  A resident of Ekin Road attended the meeting to speak to agenda item 12 and referred to a letter which was circulated to Committee Members on 19 September from the Save Ekin Road Group.

ii.  The Save Ekin Road Group was a community group of over 50 people from the Ekin Road estate. They opposed the proposals to demolish their estate.

iii.  Asked the Council to investigate and pursue an upgrade and refurbishment plan for the estate.

iv.  Felt the demolition option being presented by the council was disproportionate as they felt it:

a.  Was an example of gentrification and social cleansing;

b.  Would create significant disruption to their lives and families;

c.  Would substantially impact many vulnerable members of society, such as the elderly and disabled;

d.  Would displace a vast number of people who had no desire to leave their homes.

v.  Explained that the community on Ekin Road was a strong and long-standing one, they had friends and essential support networks nearby (childcare, help for the elderly).

vi.  Many of the residents had been in their homes for over 30 years; some as long as 60 years.

vii.  Felt the adverse impacts of demolishing Ekin Road outweighed the purported benefits.

viii.  Noted that some of the residents had protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

ix.  Did not feel that this was a project of national significance; it simply added more housing.

x.  The increase in new homes was not vast compared to the number being demolished.

xi.  Felt the investigation and consultation process was rushed and that only demolition options had been presented to residents.

xii.  Noted that there was no steering committee and felt that it had been difficult to get information or updates from the council.

xiii.  Felt the resident’s questionnaire was inadequate as the questions were leading and biased, all presupposed a full demolition. Felt the language was misleading. Residents understood the term redevelopment to mean fix up and repair but felt the council interpreted this as completely demolish.

xiv.  Felt the statistics collected had been misrepresented.

xv.  The questionnaire was poorly advertised and poorly circulated and noted that a copy was not posted to all residents. Noted 57 out of 250 estate residents completed it.

xvi.  Commented that they felt the consultation process was defective as several groups had been indirectly excluded, and the questionnaire was inappropriate and ineffective. Commented that the council must not rely on any consultation work done to date as it was not representative of the estate.

xvii.  Requested a restart of the entire consultation process, with refurbishment options investigated.

xviii.  Felt a vote on Ekin Road should not be taken by this committee in January 2023 as it was premature.

xix.  Asked for an update on:

a.  Steps taken by officers to explore refurbishment as an option for the estate;

b.  What information officers had regarding the existing demographics of the estate;

c.  What work had been done by officers to understand the full impact of demolition on their community as well as any mitigation measures.

xx.  Requested the following action:

a.  A revised resident consultation, with due consideration given to the points raised above;

b.  A programme of work commissioned to explore the feasibility and specifics of the refurbishment option. The Save Ekin Road group was prepared to cooperate on such work.

c.  A programme of active engagement with residents which sought their views and communicated information in an effective manner.

 

The Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development responded:

  i.  Confirmed that no decision on Ekin Road would be made at the committee meeting that evening.

  ii.  Noted that the consultation referred to was a very early voluntary consultation.

  iii.  The Council appreciate that the houses are people’s homes, but we also need to work to develop homes for the circa 2500 people on the housing register that need homes too.

  iv.  Before an option for possible development is identified an extensive review process was undertaken. This included looking at the existing condition of properties, longer term repairs needs/capacity and the potential for upgrade. Noted that sometimes the level of works required meant that residents would need to move out of their properties whilst any work was undertaken.

  v.  Noted that a number of options were being considered. Retrofit was also being considered this would also carry a substantial cost.

  vi.  Noted that some tenants did not think their homes were up to modern standards.

  vii.  The consultation was at the very early stages and a report would be brought to Housing Scrutiny Committee in the future.

 

The Member of the public commented that they accepted that there were 2500 people on the housing register who needed housing but noted that 250 people on Ekin Road would be sacrificed to meet that. Felt that those who were worse off in Cambridge were being asked to solve a Cambridge wide housing issue.  Noted that there were 55 signatures of people from Ekin Road who said they did not want their properties to go. The number of people referred to in the survey who stated that they wanted redevelopment was based on a misunderstanding of what was meant by the term redevelopment. Asked for clarification of what would happen to tenants and leaseholders if redevelopment went ahead. Thought that people could not return to live at Ekin Road if the redevelopment went ahead. 

 

The Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development responded:

i.  Noted that current proposals were looking at Abbey Ward but there were a number of new homes being built in other City Council wards.

ii.  For other developments for leaseholders, the City Council paid the market value for their property and helped them move to another home, which was equal to or potentially better than the one they left.

iii.  The Council is investigating space for new homes in every ward, this included Abbey ward. 

iv.  Some of the detailed responses given as part of the initial consultation regarding Ekin Road detailed such extensive repair works which would necessitate residents to move out of their homes for these works to be undertaken. 

v.  Would work with all residents regarding any proposals put forward for Ekin Road.

vi.  Noted some residents wanted the redevelopment of the Ekin Road flats.

 

Question 2

  i.  A representative of Acorn Cambridge attended the meeting to demand that the City Council properly regulated Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the city.

  ii.  Stated that it was a legal requirement for a person renting out a HMO to be licensed. This was to protect tenants and ensure decent, safe housing. Noted that the council stated there were over 600 unlicensed HMOs in Cambridge.

  iii.  Felt the Council’s failure to enforce this basic regulation put tenants’ safety at risk and left them vulnerable to exploitation which was unacceptable.

  iv.  HMO landlords who rented out unlicensed properties were breaking the law. By not properly enforcing these standards, the City Council was sending the message that it was ok to offer people substandard living.

  v.  ACORN Cambridge demanded the City Council:

1.  Commit at least two full-time staff to identifying the unlicensed HMOs;

2.  Publish a timeline to achieve full licensing of HMOs;

3.  Get all HMOs in Cambridge licensed.

 

The Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities responded:

  i.  There are 9.6 full-time members of staff undertaking proactive and reactive work in the Private Sector Housing Team. The team was increased in 2018 and since then an additional 414 HMOs have been licensed. 

  ii.  During the Covid-19 pandemic officers were redirected to other duties in addition to having to undertake their day-to-day roles.

  iii.  Targeted proactive work was being undertaken in particular wards.

  iv.  Residents were directed to report suspected HMOs via contact details on the city council website. An article about HMOs would be in the next issue of Cambridge Matters.

  v.  It was a challenge to identify HMOs, but a significant amount of enforcement was being carried out. Recognised there was still more work to be done.

 

The Member of the public requested that a timeline be published to achieve full licensing of all HMOs in the city.

 

The Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities advised:

i.  That the Council was working towards a more proactive approach of identifying unlicensed HMOs and hoped to be able to come back with a date.

ii.  Wanted to focus resource on getting landlords to licence HMOs with the City Council where necessary.

iii.  Invited the member of the public to attend a Landlord Forum which was taking place the following week.

 

Question 3

i.  Within a city that had declared a climate and ecological crisis questioned why they were not aware of a well organised and effective insulation and retrofit scheme.

ii.  Had lost hope with national government to 'Insulate Britain' and their last grain of hope was that the City Council would step in to protect the most vulnerable in society and put pressure on landlords to do the same.

iii.  National government was doing nothing effective regarding the cost of greed crisis.

iv.  Asked what the City Council was doing to Insulate this part of Britain.

 

The Executive Councillor for Housing responded:

i.  With regard to the Council’s existing housing stock, there were a number of planned works programmes to insulate existing Council homes, which included:

a.  a programme to externally insulate around one hundred Council homes every year, prioritising older solid-walled houses;

b.  an upgrade to loft insulation to 300mm in all Council homes;

c.  the extraction and refilling of old cavity wall insulation where existing insulation needed replacing;

d.  an ambitious “net zero retrofit pilot project” to get fifty Council homes as close to net zero carbon as possible;

e.  carrying out trials of internal wall insulation to properties where external insulation was not possible;

f.  working toward a target for all homes to be at least Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) “C” rated by 2035.

 

Question 4

i.  Saving Ekin Road would be the worst thing the City Could do. In the last 7 days the resident had had to have their kitchen sink plug and overflow replaced after it started leaking.

ii.  Their family had no heating over the weekend and had a leaking boiler.

iii.  The flat was horrible and not up to family living.

iv.  A list of some of the issue the resident faced included:

a.  damp and mould

b.  silver fish

c.  plaster falling off the inside wall due to a leak happening from outside after months of different things being replaced or repaired was finally resolved.

v.  Would be glad to see Ekin Road flattened, and new updated houses and flats put in its place.

 

The Executive Councillor for Housing responded:

i.  The City Council would be undertaking consultations regarding Ekin Road and potential proposals and a Steering Group would be set up.

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E&F Compliance Update pdf icon PDF 232 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The report provided an update on the compliance related activities delivered within the Estates and Facilities Team, including a summary on gas servicing, electrical testing and fire safety work.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

i.  Noted the report

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Property Compliance and Risk Manager.

 

The Property Compliance and Risk Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  Confirmed that officers would be in touch with Leaseholders about the Fire Safety Risk Assessment Programme and officers would work with residents if they had a non-compliant fire door.

ii.  Officers were looking at properties which had had adaptions done and had been adding personal risk assessments. 

 

The Executive Councillor proposed that the recommendation in the report be amended to simply note the report. They requested a meeting with officers to discuss the matter of publishing data on the City Council website rather than in committee reports. This amendment was carried unanimously.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the amended recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

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Future of Tenant's Contents Insurance Scheme pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

This report reviewed the future provision of the weekly paid, ‘with rent’ Tenants Contents Insurance Scheme.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

i.  Approved that the Council ceased to directly offer Tenants Contents Insurance with immediate effect and terminates the existing contract on 31st March 2023, notifying all existing customers of this in the intervening period.

ii.  Approved a delegation to the Strategic Director, in consultation with the Executive Councillor, Chair, Vice Chair and Opposition Spokespersons, to determine whether an ‘arm’s length’ scheme could be offered to council tenants as an alternative, implementing this if due diligence confirmed it was viable.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager.

 

The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  Noted that some tenants would need extra support if this service was no longer provided by the City Council however Officer’s also needed to be careful not to give any advice to ensure that they did not fall foul of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulations. 

ii.  Noted Member’s concerns about residents potentially being digitally excluded.

iii.  Officers would communicate with the Vice-Chair and Spokespersons as part of the proposed delegated investigation process into whether the Council could recommend certain insurers on an arm’s length basis, to tenants who currently had contents insurance through the council. 

iv.  Confirmed that if it was deemed viable to proceed with the ‘arm’s length’ process referred to in recommendation ii, then a procurement process would need to be undertaken.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

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Tenancy Audit Visits pdf icon PDF 255 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The report detailed the background to the Tenancy Audit Visits pilot, which commenced in April 2022, and sought approval to permanently adopt this function within City Homes.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

i.  Noted the report and the findings of the Tenancy Audit visits pilot to date.

ii.  Approved the adoption of a permanent tenancy audit function by City Homes.

iii.  Agreed to incorporate a budget bid into the 2023/24 HRA budget process for the addition of a permanent, full time equivalent, housing officer to support this work, considered alongside other spending priorities.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Housing Services Manager (City Homes).

 

The Housing Services Manager (City Homes) said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  Confirmed that if the additional resource detailed in recommendation iii was not agreed then the tenancy audit work could not continue.

ii.  Noted that Housing Officers had worked closely with other council departments as part of the Tenancy Audit and that issues that were identified as part of the tenancy audit could also impact resources in other council departments.

iii.  Would provide additional information outside of the meeting detailing:

a.  if any language support had been given,

b.  what the living conditions were of those tenants audited,

c.  the status of repair work identified as part of the tenancy audit.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

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Accommodation for Ukrainian Refugees pdf icon PDF 202 KB

A key decision by the Executive Councillor for Housing is required which has not been on the Forward Plan giving 28 days’ notice of that decision. Under the Constitution, Part 4B-Access to Information Procedure Rules, this decision can still be taken if a notice is given setting out the reasons why compliance with the publicity requirement is impractical.

 

Officers have been working on a homelessness prevention plan for Ukrainian households and some of the data informing this plan only became available after publication of the forward plan. Consideration of this issue at the next committee in January would risk missing the October/November peak of host arrangements ending as highlighted in the report.

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

In response to the war in Ukraine the Government launched its Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme in March 2022. UK households were invited to host Ukranian refugees for a minimum six-month period or preferably longer. As at 1 September there were 383 guests spread across 203 households in Cambridge City.

 

These arrangements were not permanent and Ukranian households had initially been offered 3-year visas. The Council is devising a homelessness prevention plan and the potential allocation of a small number of properties formed part of this plan.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

i.  Approved the allocation of up to 20 Council properties to Ukrainian refugees to support the Council’s homelessness prevention plans and avert the need for temporary accommodation.

ii.  Allowed these allocations to be made outside of the Council’s Lettings Policy.

iii.  Delegated authority to the Head of Housing, in consultation with the Executive Councillor and Opposition Spokespersons, to extend this scheme beyond 20 units, in the event that there is excessive pressure on temporary accommodation.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Housing.

 

The Head of Housing said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  If the decision was approved at Committee, then further discussions would take place between the Council and Housing Associations.

ii.  The City Council had Ukrainian speakers within the workforce and external translators were also used to assist Ukrainian refugees.  Officers also hoped to introduce English language support for Ukrainian refugees in the future.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

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Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) provides an opportunity to review the assumptions incorporated as part of the longer-term financial planning process, recommending any changes in response to new legislative requirements, variations in external national and local economic factors and amendments to service delivery methods, allowing incorporation into budgets and financial forecasts at the earliest opportunity.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

i.  Approved the Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Strategy attached to the officer’s report, and included all proposals for changes in:

a.  Financial assumptions as detailed in Appendix B of the document.

b.  2022/23 and future year revenue budgets, resulting from changes in financial assumptions and the financial consequences of changes in these and the need to respond to unavoidable pressures and meet new service demands, as introduced in Section 5, detailed in Appendix D and summarised in Appendices G (1) and G (2) of the document.

ii.  Approved that delegated authority be given to the Strategic Director to confirm that the authority can renew its investment partner status with Homes England.

 

The Executive Councillor for Housing recommends to Council to:

iii.  Approve proposals for changes in existing housing capital budgets, as introduced in the officer’s report at sections 6 and 7 and detailed in Appendix E of the document, with the resulting position summarised in Appendix H, for decision at Council on 20 October 2022.

iv.  Approve proposals for new housing capital budgets, as introduced in the officer’s report at sections 6 and 7 and detailed in Appendix E of the document, with the resulting position summarised in Appendix H, for decision at Council on 20 October 2022.

v.  Approve the revised funding mix for the delivery of the Housing Capital Programme, recognising the latest assumptions for the use of Grant, Right to Buy Receipts, HRA Resources, Major Repairs Allowance and HRA borrowing.

 

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager.

 

The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager and the Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  With reference to Section 6 of the MTFS, it was noted that the contract for external planned works to housing stock was with Fosters Property Maintenance and the Council was looking to extend this contract. The outcome of the recent procurement regarding the internal planned investment works would be announced soon. It was also noted that the companies currently running both contracts did sub-contract some of the works.

ii.  Noted the challenge regarding financing the retrofit of existing council housing stock. Looked to Government funding to bring forward more opportunity for retrofit financing.

iii.  Noted comments on section 8 of the MTFS which referred to how amendments to the budget would be member led rather than officer led going forward.

iv.  There was a risk that interest rates could increase further, the MTFS assumed an interest rate of just under 3.5%. If the interest rate increased, then there could be an impact on the new build housing programme and the council would need to consider what type of housing it could deliver. Noted that a lot of the services provided by the Housing Department are in response to statutory responsibilities.

v.  The Council had considered whether it could deliver its own cheaper electricity however it was noted that other Local Authorities which had explored this option had not been successful. This issue would require significant investment and consideration would need to be given as to why other Local Authorities had failed.

 

The Committee resolved by 9 votes to 0 to endorse recommendations i and ii.

 

The Committee resolved by 5 votes to 0 to endorse recommendations iii to v.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

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Cambridge City Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Enforcement & Fee Policy pdf icon PDF 423 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

The report sets out the proposed policy for how the Council will carry out its statutory responsibilities for ensuring minimum energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector including enforcement of the regulations and fee setting in relation to financial penalties.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

i.  Approved the adoption of the proposed Cambridge City Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Enforcement & Fee Policy as attached in Appendix B of the officer’s report.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Team Manager (Residential).

 

The Team Manager (Residential) said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  The Council was carrying out a proactive communication approach with landlords when they elected to receive communication from the Council. If the Policy was adopted, then the council would investigate who the ‘responsible person’ was for the management of a property and pursue enforcement action against them if necessary.

ii.  Noted that a Landlords Forum was taking place the following week which would look at housing health, the cost-of-living crisis, the rules contained in the new Policy and how landlords could support their tenants.

iii.  Confirmed that when Officers had been making proactive contact with landlords, they had been stressing the need to strive to meet energy efficiency standard ‘C’ for their properties which the minimum energy standard rating may be increased to in future by the Government in respect of private rented sector housing. 

iv.  There was an enforcement process set out in the Policy which officers would follow. If a landlord failed to ensure that their property met energy efficiency standards, they could be issued with a financial penalty. If a landlord still failed to bring their property up to standard, then officers could consider other powers to require improvements / stop them renting out properties. These powers were contained within the Housing Act 2004. 

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

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Update on New Build Council Housing Delivery pdf icon PDF 843 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

This report provides an update on the housing development programme.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

i.  Noted the continued progress on the delivery of the approved housing programme.

ii.  Noted the further review of budget and housing mix required to be undertaken at St Thomas Road, with a further update to be brought to the Committee as design work progresses.

iii.  Approved changes to the Budgets for St Thomas Road as outlined in part 6.6 of the officer ‘s report with the revised budgets to be incorporated as part of the HRA MTFS in September 2022 for the delivery of 4 net new homes.

iv.  Noted the revised housing delivery and amended rental regime at Paget Street, revised to the development of 4x 3-bedroom homes within the approved budget.

v.  Approved changes to the Budgets for Fanshawe Road as outlined in part 6.7 of the officer’s report with the revised budgets to be incorporated as part of the HRA MTFS in September 2022 for the delivery of 4 net homes.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Head of Housing Development Agency.

 

The Head of Housing Development Agency said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  Confirmed that it had been hoped that external grant funding through the European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) programme could have been used to top up the funding for the Paget Road development to build the development to a net zero standard however the funding was not available. An estimate of the cost to build to net zero standard had been built into the Medium-Term Financial Strategy.

 

The Executive Councillor proposed that recommendation 2.6 on page 201 of the agenda be deferred. They requested a meeting with officers to discuss the matter of publishing information on the city council website rather than in committee reports.

 

The Committee resolved by 8 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

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Report on Proposed Development - East Barnwell pdf icon PDF 1012 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Matter for Decision

Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridge City Council have developed proposals to work together with the Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) to deliver a new community centre, library and pre-school facility in the context of a regeneration scheme across three sites owned by the two Councils.

 

Decision of Executive Councillors

 

The Executive Councillor for Housing:

i.  Noted the completion of the work on the Framework for Change document and the officer’s report.

ii.  Granted delegated authority to the Strategic Director in consultation with the Executive Councillor for Housing to enter into development/relevant agreements and finalise and approve terms with Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) and Cambridgeshire County Council, to deliver the proposed scheme. 

The purpose of the Development Agreements will be:

iii.  To enable land owned by Cambridge City Council HRA (as shown in Appendix 2) to be transferred to CIP via a long lease for the purposes of development as set out in section 6 of the report and subject to independent valuation.

iv.  To note that upon completion of the development CIP lease would collapse (except where new houses are sold freehold) with interests to be transferred to the County Council in relation to facilities for which they will maintain overall responsibility. 

v.  That the development be brought forward by CIP to include:

a.  A new Community Centre

b.  A new library

c.  A new pre-school facility

d.  New commercial premises

e.  New publicly accessible open space

f.  New high quality sustainable housing including affordable housing

vi.  That the agreement will provide for:

a.  A programme

b.  Phasing of development

c.  Financial contributions by the parties

d.  Other matters as required to give effect to the agreement

vii.  Granted delegated authority to the Strategic Director, in consultation with the Head of Property Services and Head of Legal Services, acting on behalf of the Council as the landowner to finalise and approve the terms of any disposal, leases, easements, agreements and contracts that may be required to deliver the scheme.  This may include any planning obligations under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 which is required by the Council in its capacity as the local planning authority pursuant to the planning application or applications for the development of the sites, S278 highway agreements and other similar agreements required to be entered into.

viii.  Noted that consultations are in progress to clarify community needs which can be met within the facilities to be provided on the land jointly owned by the two Councils and to identify needs which cannot be met on these sites.

 

Following the meeting the Executive Councillor for Finance, Resources and Transformation watched the recording of the meeting as they were not able to be present in person and made the following decisions: 

i.  Agreed to enable land owned by Cambridge City Council General Fund (as shown in Appendix 2 of the officer’s report) to be transferred to CIP via a long lease for the purposes of development as set out in section 6 of the officer’s report and subject to independent valuation, and specifically:

ii.  Approved the use of the Bowls Club site (See plan at Appendix 2 of the officer’s report) to provide a mixed-use development including but not limited to the community centre, the library and the pre-school facility.

iii.  Approved the redevelopment of the overflow car park at the Abbey Leisure Centre (ref Appendix 4 of the officer’s report) to re-provide the Bowls Green (ref Appendix 4 of the officer’s report) and the grant a new lease to the bowls club on terms to be agreed to enable the vacation of the existing bowls club.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Senior Housing Development Manager.

 

The Senior Housing Development Manager and the Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  The report only contained decisions regarding the East Barnwell site on Newmarket Road. An update on Ekin Road had been included in the report for information only as part of a wider update.

ii.  Confirmed there was a requirement to re-provide open space as part of the East Barnwell redeveloped and this included: a sports club, a bowls facility, a tennis court and a multi-use games area and grassed area.  Consideration was being given to where these facilities could be re-provided. Initial conversations had taken place about the Bowls Club being located with the Abbey Leisure Centre.

iii.  Wanted to create a framework for discussions between the City Council and the County Council to take place.

iv.  Was considering what energy standards could be achieved for the proposed housing and this would be reported back in a future report. Would be working towards BREAAM excellent for the community facility.

v.  Work on the East Barnwell redevelopment had been going on for 15 years.  Residents of Abbey ward had wanted the redevelopment of the site for a long period of time. There was no plan to remove the community centre, it was just going to be re-positioned. Acknowledged that there was still work to be undertaken.  Noted a similar report was being taken by the County Council to their relevant Committee on 30 September 2022.

 

Diane Best, Leaseholder Representative encouraged Ekin Road residents to contact the Tenant and Leaseholder Representatives to discuss their concerns.

 

Councillor Porrer proposed and Councillor Lee seconded a request to defer the decisions contained in the Officer’s report pending more information being provided about accessible open space. The proposal was lost by 2 votes in favour to 6 against with one abstention.

 

The Committee resolved by 6 votes to 0 endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.