Waverley Borough Council Home Page Waverley Borough Council Home Page


Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 02/10/2007
Affordable Housing Scheme - Dunsfold



APPENDIX Q

WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 2ND OCTOBER 2007

Title:
AFFORDABLE HOUSING SCHEME - DUNSFOLD
[Wards Affected: Chiddingfold and Dunsfold]
_________________________________________________________________________
Note pursuant to Section 100B (5) of the Local Government Act 1972

An annexe to this report contains exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded during the item to which the report relates, as specified in Paragraph 3 of the revised Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely;-
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

This report asks the Executive to accept nomination rights in lieu of the fee for an easement on land adjacent to the Winn Hall, Dunsfold to enable an affordable housing scheme to progress.
_________________________________________________________________________
Environmental implications:

There are none directly arising from this report.

Social/community implications:

There is a well-evidenced need for affordable housing in the village of Dunsfold. Enabling local people to live in the area where they have been long-standing members of the village helps to retain the social fabric of communities, family support, and local facilities.

E-Government implications:

There are none directly arising from this report

Resource and legal implications:

If the Council were to agree to this proposal, the general Fund would forego a capital receipt.

Introduction

1. In late 2000, the Royal British Legion (RBL) Club at Dunsfold closed and was subsequently marketed.

2. As a Planning Authority, the Council took the view that part of the site towards the road could be developed for open market housing, but the rear of the site in the RBL’s ownership had been for a community use and therefore should be retained for some form of such use. There being no community use proposal forthcoming, the next most appropriate form of development would be ‘affordable housing’. The Planning Authority also took the view that the RBL car park (which most people had assumed belonged to the Winn Hall and had been used by the Winn Hall) should be retained for the benefit of the village hall.

3. As it so happened, the Council itself owned a small parcel of land to the rear of the RBL site. This was unkempt scrub-land outside the village envelop and had no development potential on its own. This land had been subject to some fly-tipping.

4. The RBL received a very attractive offer by a developer. Unfortunately, the developer had not fully appreciated the various restrictions on the site, or possibly had expected to overcome them through negotiation with the Planning Authority.

5. Eventually, the developer decided that he would withdraw and not pursue the matter further.

6. The Parish Council were keen for a development of affordable housing for local people to be delivered. English Rural Housing Association has since progressed plans for the whole of the site, including the small parcel of land owned by Waverley. This Council had previously agreed to dispose of this small parcel of land at nil value in order to secure some additional affordable housing. Waverley’s land will become the gardens of the homes to the rear of the development.

7. In summary the proposed development, which received planning consent in August 2007, comprises eleven dwellings: one x 1-bedroom flat;
one x 2-bedroom house;
seven x 2-bedroom flats; and
two x 3-bedroom houses; plus
the retention of the car park behind the Winn Hall.

8. It had been intended that seven of these dwellings would be affordable and allocated to local people nominated by this Council; and four dwellings sold on the open market.

9. It had been assumed that the RBL had rights of way to access its property and buildings. However, it has recently transpired that the access strip, which had been previously used by the RBL and the users of the car park behind the Winn Hall, crosses Common Land owned by this Council. In order for the development to proceed, English Rural Housing Association will need to acquire access rights by way of an easement.

10. The detail and costs of an easement are set out in (Exempt) Annexe 1.

A Way Forward

11. It is being proposed that all of the eleven homes be made available to local people in perpetuity on the Council’s Housing Needs Register. All would be provided on terms that would, in some way be more affordable than open market sale viz:
2 x 3-bedroom house;
Shared-Ownership/Fixed Equity 1 x 1-bedroom flat;
2 x 2-bedroom flats; and
1 x 2-bedroom house.

12. It is worth noting that because this development is in a settlement where the population is under 3,000, shared-owners can only purchase up to 80% of the capital value of the property.

13. English Rural Housing Association does not charge shared-owners a rent on the outstanding capital value, as many housing associations (and indeed this Council) does – thereby making the homes more affordable for the occupiers.

Financial and Legal Implications

14. One of the Council’s key corporate priorities is to secure more affordable housing across the Borough.

15. In order to support the Council’s affordable housing priority and also to help address local housing need, it is suggested that the Council could resolve this situation by awarding a grant for the sum set out in the (Exempt) Annexe to English Rural Housing Association from the approved 2007/08 Social Housing Grant programme. This will enable the housing association to pay Waverley for the easement. In return, the Council will be gaining four homes that will be made available to local people who would be nominated from the Housing Needs Register. These nominations would be secured through a legally binding nomination agreement.

16. The alternative would be for the Council to refuse the request made by English Rural Housing Association, and anticipate another development which will give rise to the same a capital receipt for the access, but fewer affordable homes (if any).

17. Officers are recommending that the Council should award the grant and accept additional nomination rights in order to make this development financially viable for English Rural Housing Association.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Executive:

1. awards Social Housing Grant of the sum set out in (Exempt) Annexe 1 to English Rural Housing Association;

2. enters into a Deed of Easement with English Rural Housing Association for a right of way across the land owned by the Council and nomination rights to the additional four homes on the former Royal British Legion site, Dunsfold; and

3. a formal Nomination Agreement be entered into between the Council and English Rural Housing Association.

Background Papers (DoH)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D (5) of the Local Development Act 1972) relating to this report.

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: John Swanton Telephone: 01483 – 523375
E-mail: jswanton@waverley.gov.uk


Comms/exec/2007-08/107