Agenda item

Affordable Housing Commuted Sums Expenditure

To consider and provide a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposals set out in the attached report.

Minutes:

Councillor Matthew Bailey had registered to speak on Item 6, comments included-

The council has adopted aim to be carbon neutral by 2030 and to encourage others to reduce emissions.  The carbon reduction plan adopted by cabinet means carbon emissions must be taken into account in all decision making.  The Communities and Economic Development Cabinet Advisory Board can play a crucial role in reducing emissions; it advises cabinet on waste and leisure contracts. St John’s Leisure Centre tops the list of co2 emissions in the sector with The Weald Sports Centre in Cranbrook coming third.  The waste contract accounts for 27% of the council’s total co2 output.  Regarding this particular agenda item, by supplying funding we have some influence over the provider and we must try to make this development as energy efficient as possible – I would ask officers to speak to the developer and ask them to add further energy efficiency measures and to come back to members to advise if these are measures which are possible to implement.

 

Sarah Holmes, Housing Register and Development Manager, responded to Councillor Bailey with the following comments –

We will discuss with the developer if further carbon reduction measures can be put in place which may result in further funding requirements.

 

Sarah Holmes introduced the report.  Comments included -

Council holds section 106 contributions for affordable housing where it isn’t available on site.  This report is asking for section 106 funding.  Town and Country cannot offer enough contribution to provide the developer to offer five  2 bed social rented housing units, therefore this needs to be subsidised by section 106 funding.

 

Members of the Committee took account of the report and raised a number of questions and issues within their discussions. Points raised included:

·         There is no stipulation on time framed this needs to be used by.

·         Concerns that Town and Country and Peabody are joined together and whilst Peabody are proactive in providing social housing Town and Country seem more reluctant. 

·         After 3 years tenants will get the right to acquire but this is very rarely done.  Right to acquire should be reinvested.

·         There has been no social rented housing built in Southborough since 2011.

·         There are other projects coming up in the coming months which may also need subsidy to make them social rent instead of affordable rent so this will be budgeted for.

·         Planning officer will see what developer has to offer in terms of green technologies but the Housing Team will try to go above and beyond.  Planning condition 21 states developer has to advise officers what technologies they will be using.

·         Thanks were given to Sarah and her Team for delivering social rented homes within the borough.

 

RESOLVED:

1. That the Cabinet agree the release of Section 106 funding for affordable housing totalling £292,250 held by the Council in lieu of affordable housing provision on the site known as ‘Barretts 66-68 Frant Road, (Planning permission TW/17/01608/FULL applies) to Town and Country Housing Group; and

2. That the Cabinet authorise the Head of Housing, Health and Environment, in

consultation with the Head of the Legal Partnership, to enter in to a grant agreement and all associated legal documentation with Town & Country Housing to facilitate the delivery of five 2 bed social rented houses at Hornbeam Avenue, Southborough using the Section 106 funding released.

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