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New Social Housing, Community Centre and Commercial Units on Akeman Street

08/08/2018 - New Social Housing, Community Centre and Commercial Units on Akeman Street

Matter for Decision

The report sought approval for the delivery route and a revised capital budget for a Housing Revenue Account (HRA) site at 74-82 Akeman Street. The scheme was based on the indicative capacity study which had been undertaken for the site and the outline appraisals referenced as detailed in the Officer’s report.


Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Noted the indicative mix of the proposed scheme to include a mix of affordable housing (8 one bedroom flats and 6 two bedroom flats), 3 replacement commercial units and a replacement community centre.

  ii.  Noted the replacement of 82 Akeman Street with a City Council managed centre which was approved as priority as part of the Community Centres Strategy as the evidence base supports it being a strategically important centre due to its area of high need for outreach

  iii.  Approved the indicative capital budget for the scheme of £3,731,180 to cover all of the construction costs, professional fees and associated fees to deliver a scheme that meets an identified housing need in Cambridge City as well as re-providing the community spaces and commercial units. An indicative budget of £4,118,680 was included in the Housing Capital Investment Plan approved in January 2018, recognising the desire to be in a positon to proceed with the higher density scheme.

  iv.  Approved that the site was offered to Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) to progress for development to deliver a scheme which will meet the strategic aims of the Council in the delivery of new social housing.  The scheme would be developed in accordance with the CIP process which was approved at Strategy & Resources Committee on 9th October 2017.

  v.  Noted that the Executive Councillor had a delegated authority to approve the transfer of land to CIP for the redevelopment of the site at a later date. This would be subject to CIP demonstrating that its development proposal meets the Council’s strategic aims for the site and the development and delivery milestones are in accordance with the CIP Approvals Process agreed at Strategy & Resources Committee on 9th October 2017.

  vi.  Approved the cost of the community centre re-provision in line with Local Plan policy 5/11 (Protection of Existing Facilities), to be met from the HRA as part of the overall scheme cost, as there would be a planning requirement (as part of the Local Plan) to re-provide this to allow the housing development to proceed.

 vii.  Approved the cost of the commercial provision to be met from the HRA, as the existing commercial offering on the site is HRA owned, with the assumption that the ongoing revenue stream would also fall to the HRA to replace that lost through the vacation and demolition of the existing provision. Consideration had been given to the General Fund acquiring the commercial units either at the outset or in the future, and the Officer’s report recommended this option was considered in the future, if deemed appropriate, with all the required transactions and resulting impact between the two funds fully quantified 


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 Development Officer.


The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Welcomed the assurance that existing tenants would be able to return to the site if they choose to do so.

  ii.  Discussed concerns that existing commercial traders were not guaranteed the return and if they choose to do so would face higher rents.

  iii.  Stated that they were small traders who provided a service to the community.


In response to Members’ questions Strategic Director (Fiona Bryant) confirmed that the Hill Group would deliver the build in a timely fashion. They would recruit staff as required for the various sites they were delivering across the area.


The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.


The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.