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Update on the Programme to Build New Council Homes Funded Through the Combined Authority

04/10/2019 - Update on the Programme to Build New Council Homes Funded Through the Combined Authority

Matter for Decision

The report provided an update on the programme to deliver 500

Council homes with funding from the Combined Authority.

 

Decision of the Executive Councillor for Housing

 

  i.  Noted the continued progress on the delivery of the Combined Authority programme.

  ii.  Noted the funding structure for the Combined Authority programme.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

 

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

 

In response to questions and comments from the Committee the Strategic Director and Head of Housing Development said the following:

 

  i.  The Council had its own sustainability housing standard which all dwellings across the housing programme met or exceeded.

  ii.  The Council’s standard surpassed the national sustainability requirements.

  iii.  Each development was treated differently regarding sustainability, as each site had different constraints and requirements. 

  iv.  The Mill Road development had a 19% improvement on the sustainability building regulations. This was due to certain factors such as a fabric first approach, solar panels, heat and power systems which would reduce admissions significantly.

  v.  Electric vehicle charging points would be installed on certain developments.

  vi.  Stopping the use of fossil fuels on a development would be a long term project for officers to investigate.

 vii.   Passive house standards was impacted by the site constrained as well as type of homes built.

viii.  It was not currently possible to deliver a passive house standard on higher level apartments.

  ix.  Reiterated the Councils build programme had been designed to meet a high level of sustainability.

  x.  The consultation process on the Meadows and Buchan Street development had been voluntary. This was in advance of the statutory consultation process which would follow.

  xi.  Over three thousand leaflets had been distributed to advertise the Meadows and Bucham Street public consultation. Posters had been displayed throughout the area and advertised online. The exhibition finished at 9.00pm for people to attend after work.

 xii.  A follow up meeting was then arranged to discuss concerns raised at the exhibition which covered the loss of open space.

xiii.  In respect of the Cromwell Road development the plans put forward had been for 295 houses, which was above the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) proposal of 225 houses. The profit margin was lower for the council’s joint venture partner compared to what they would have received developing the site themselves.

xiv.  Had listened to public consultation on the Meadows and Bucham Scheme. Officers were currently working with architects on how to enhance the public open space; therefore no clear response could have been given to the public speaker. The public consultation was still open on this matter.

xv.  The demand for housing in the area which the Meadows and Bucham Street stood was one of the highest in the city.

xvi.  The relationship with the Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) was 50/50 joint venture but set up as an independent company. All of the accounting was by open book and had audited accounts

The Committee resolved by 5 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.