Recommendation for potential sites to progress affordable housing delivery in Herefordshire
This paper seeks agreement to proceed with the outline design of a number of selected council owned sites identified across the county. At Cabinet on 26 November 2020 the decision was taken on how the council would progress the delivery of net carbon zero affordable housing across the county over the coming years.
Cabinet also approved Phase 2 of this strategic work to develop a pipeline of sites suitable for development as affordable housing to support discussions with key partners including Homes England.
The cabinet member housing, regulatory services and community safety introduced the report. She highlighted that appendix 1 contained commercially sensitive information and so access had been restricted in line with the advice received.
The interim director of development summarised the key points of the report. There was uncertainty due to a number of factors, including covid, and the approach recommended would retain maximum control for the council so that it could adapt to unforeseen circumstances.
In discussing the report cabinet members noted that:
· The initial brief would be for net zero carbon homes but there was a small chance that the conditions of any grants from Homes England might require something different;
· Ward members would be kept informed as sites progressed;
· The current intention was to develop sites of affordable rent properties (typically 70-80% of market rate) and shared ownership properties (typically 85-90% of market rate) rather than social rent;
· These developments had potential to help people move to more suitable homes, releasing properties elsewhere, and would be more affordable to run as well as to buy or rent;
· In some circumstances where affordable homes could not be developed, re-circulation of these sites would help to deliver affordable housing in more suitable locations.
Group leaders and representatives were invited to put the questions and comments of their groups. It was noted that:
· There was general support for promoting affordable housing;
· The council had an opportunity to set an example in housing design;
· Any schemes should have robust project management;
· Affordability needed to take account of any standing charges;
· The council might need to consider other means to deliver affordable housing in rural communities.
The chairman of the general scrutiny committee highlighted that members of the committee had expressed a desire to scrutinise plans for the Holme Lacy site.
The ward councillor for Dinedor Hill highlighted that the Holme Lacy site had been previously considered for housing and queried that the potential number of dwellings had increased. He also raised concerns regarding drainage and stressed the importance of communication with ward members.
The cabinet member finance, corporate services and planning explained that the council was currently in the process of updating the core strategy and encouraged any neighbourhood planning groups, parish councils or other interested groups to get in touch to discuss proposals for affordable housing in their areas.
The cabinet member young people's education and attainment left the meeting at 16:56 and did not vote on this item.
It was unanimously resolved by the remaining cabinet members that:
a) The output of the feasibility work completed on selected council owned sites is noted;
b) An outline design for the council site at the former Holme Lacy Primary School is commissioned to allow housing market assessment and for the designs up to and including planning submission for houses on this council owned site;
c) An outline design for the council site at The Paddock, Aylestone Hill Ward, is commissioned to allow for the design, submission of planning application and disposal of the site subject to securing planning permission; and
d) The Chief Finance Officer is authorised to take all operational decisions with regard the former Holme Lacy Primary School and The Paddock, Aylestone Hill Ward, projects including any potential future land sale of the site within a budget of £400k.
- Recommendation for potential sites to progress affordable housing delivery in Herefordshire, item 24. PDF 185 KB
- Restricted enclosure View the reasons why document 24./2 is restricted
- Appendix 2 Holme Lacy School Site Plan, item 24. PDF 171 KB
- Appendix 3 The Paddocks site plan, item 24. PDF 78 KB