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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 01/09/2003



[Ward Affected: Godalming Charterhouse]

Condition of the Property

1. Oakbraes is a 19th Century detached house of four storeys with the lowest storey cut into the hillside. The original building has been converted into four flats. A post war, three-storey brick extension comprising of three purpose built flats has been added to the north elevation. All flats are approached by an arrangement of external steps and steeply ramped footpaths traversing a steep embankment behind the pavement boundary.

2. Whilst the basic structure of the original house is relatively free from any major structural faults there are a number of items that need attention, i.e.

Restoration of stonework
Rebuild chimney stacks
Deterioration of brickwork
Rainwater Goods
Water penetration to roof over bay window
Sash windows require replacement
Soil and waste system needs updating
Internal fixtures, fittings and finishings are poor and do not meet the Decent Homes Standard

3. Although the extension is of a more recent origin, there are a number of serious faults, namely:

Foundations need stabilising and north west wall needs rebuilding
Windows require replacement
Fittings and fixtures are poor
Roof needs re-tiling and felting
Flashings need attention
Chimney stack requires repairs and re-pointing
Rising damp in flat 1a

4. More generally, the roof and floor timbers to the whole property require woodworm treatment. The fire precautions to all flats require an upgrade. There is evidence of dry rot in the ground floor which requires further investigation. Externally the boundary walls, fences, footpaths and steps all require extensive works.
5. A conservative estimate of the cost of the works required (including professional fees) is in the order of 400,000.

Securing Vacant Possession

1. Under Ground 10A of Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1985, an order for possession can be applied for on the basis that the dwelling is in an area subject to a redevelopment scheme, approved by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (in accordance with the 1985 Housing Act) and the Council intends to sell the dwelling within a reasonable time of obtaining possession.

2. In order to obtain the ODPM’s approval to a redevelopment scheme, the Council must first draw-up plans and secure planning permission in respect of the proposed redevelopment, which must involve the demolition or reconstruction of buildings.

3. Before the Council makes application to the ODPM, notice must be served on the secure tenants affected giving details of the main features and effect of the scheme. The tenants must also be invited to make representations to the Council about the proposals.

4. Following receipt of any representations, the Council must duly consider the points raised before proceeding further. If the Council decides that it still wishes to proceed with the scheme, formal application can then be made to the ODPM.

5. In the event that the ODPM approves the proposed scheme (and it might be that conditions are attached), the Council would then be in a position to serve a Notice of Seeking Possession on the tenants under Ground 10A of Schedule 2 of the 1985 Housing Act. If the tenants do not agree to move voluntarily, the Council would be obliged to make application to the County Court to obtain an order for possession. The Court has discretion whether or not to grant a possession order, and will only do so if satisfied that suitable alternative accommodation is available for the tenant.