Decision details

Development and Regeneration Programme : Holme Lacy former School site

Decision Maker: Cabinet member contracts and assets

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To approve the scope and cost of the first stage of appraisal services to be provided by the council’s developer partner, Keepmoat Homes, in respect of a potential project to deliver new housing on the former education campus at Holme Lacy.


The Herefordshire Economic Vision was adopted by Council in December 2016 as the Economic Development Strategy for the county. This identifies new housing in ‘Aim 3 - A great place to live’. The council has undertaken an initial assessment of redevelopment options presented by the former education campus and considers that the site offers a sustainable location for a diverse range of new well located housing.


The council has entered into an overarching agreement with Keepmoat Homes, a developer, for a programme of development and regeneration over the next 10 years and potentially beyond. In accordance with that agreement, the developer partner will be commissioned to develop a project through the mechanism of a “New Project Request” and will progress the project in “Stages”.


The New Project Request specifies the council’s initial requirements and its criteria for the development, which can be refined as the project moves forward.


The developer partner has estimated the cost of the Stage 1 appraisal services which include the development of the outline business case and a proposed programme for delivery. These costs are required to be underwritten by the council as specified in the overarching agreement.



(a)       the redevelopment of the former education campus at Holme Lacy be placed into the Development and Regeneration Programme (DRP); 

(b)       a new project request to carry out a preliminary (“Stage 1”) appraisal of development options for the Holme Lacy site be issued the council’s development partner  Keepmoat Homes

(c)       , the following Council Criteria for Stage 1 of the Holme Lacy project be approved :

1.    The stage 1 submission will provide an estimate of the cost, a proposed layout and design for a scheme, together with an outline business case and programme for residential redevelopment of the Site, the proposed development will be based on a set of standard assumptions for Keepmoat Homes as to product range, tenure mix and general amenity (“the Standard Offer”). 


2.    The Standard Offer will be fully policy compliant


3.    In cooperation with the council, as a basis for comparison with Criterion 1, an outline cost, design, business case and programme for residential development of the Site which makes an enhanced contribution to the council’s social, environmental and economic objectives over and above that which would be required by relevant law or existing planning policy (“the Enhanced Offer”) in respect of:


(a)  Enhanced environmental sustainability including   energy efficiency, transport, protection/enhancement of natural habitats, and/or

(b)  Increased affordable housing, and/or

(c)  Health and wellbeing of communities and residents, and/or

(d)  Use of modular construction..


4.    In cooperation with the council  the stage 1 submission will define the evidential framework for Stage 2 to assess the project against the council’s requirement to demonstrate best value and meet all other relevant legal obligations.


(d)       a Stage 1 Development Fee of up to £30k be approved to be underwritten by the Council under the terms of its overarching agreement with Keepmoat Homes

(e)       a capital sum of £20k is approved for drawing down from the Development Partnership capital budget in order to support the council in delivering Stage 1 of the project, including the covering of staff costs and external advisers to the council.


Alternative options considered:

1.         The council could choose not to proceed with this work and simply dispose of the site on the open market as it is surplus to its operational needs. However, this is not recommended at this stage, as a high level feasibility study has indicated that there is potential for the redevelopment of the site.  The work being requested will inform understanding of the opportunities including costs and benefits of potential redevelopment options. Implementation of the project will be subject to further governance, informed by the business case. 


2.         The purpose of the preliminary appraisal work recommended in this report is to ensure that the council is well informed as to the potential opportunities. Once that work is complete both the council and its development partner, Keepmoat Homes, have the ability to decide if they wish to proceed with further detailed work on the project, or not. If the decision was not to proceed then other options, including offering the site to the market, could be explored at that time.


Wards Affected: Dinedor Hill;

Contact: Peter Clasby, Growth Programmes Technical Manager Email: Tel: 01432 261968.

Publication date: 11/02/2019

Date of decision: 11/02/2019

Effective from: 16/02/2019

Accompanying Documents: