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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 01/09/2003
APPENDIX G - PROPOSED AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AT CRANLEIGH



Summary & Purpose
Some years ago, the Council, as a housing authority, resolved to support an affordable housing scheme in Cranleigh despite the fact that it was on land which would not normally be given planning permission for development. It subsequently transpired that part of the site had Roman remains and could not be developed. The Executors of the land-owner’s estate then took some time to determine whether they wished to proceed with an affordable housing scheme.

More recently, the Executors have been in contact with Council officers and a new scheme has been drawn-up. The proposal is that the site containing Roman remains should be left as open space, and 79 dwellings be developed. These homes would be for local people who have a strong connection to the village of Cranleigh.

This report outlines proposals for an affordable housing development in Cranleigh. It is intended to help meet the housing needs of people with a local connection to the village who require affordable housing. The proposals are potentially debatable because the site is beyond the village envelope and would, in ordinary circumstances, be an exception to planning policy. The report, and its annexes give background information as to how this proposal has evolved.

The report asks Members to consider whether, notwithstanding the planning policy position, there is merit in taking the proposals further, given the level of housing need in Cranleigh.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
Negative
Negative
Negative
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive


APPENDIX G
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
EXECUTIVE – 1ST SEPTEMBER 2003
_________________________________________________________________________
Title:

PROPOSED AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AT CRANLEIGH
[Wards Affected: All Cranleigh Wards]

Summary and purpose

Some years ago, the Council, as a housing authority, resolved to support an affordable housing scheme in Cranleigh despite the fact that it was on land which would not normally be given planning permission for development. It subsequently transpired that part of the site had Roman remains and could not be developed. The Executors of the land-owner’s estate then took some time to determine whether they wished to proceed with an affordable housing scheme.

More recently, the Executors have been in contact with Council officers and a new scheme has been drawn-up. The proposal is that the site containing Roman remains should be left as open space, and 79 dwellings be developed. These homes would be for local people who have a strong connection to the village of Cranleigh.

This report outlines proposals for an affordable housing development in Cranleigh. It is intended to help meet the housing needs of people with a local connection to the village who require affordable housing. The proposals are potentially debatable because the site is beyond the village envelope and would, in ordinary circumstances, be an exception to planning policy. The report, and its annexes give background information as to how this proposal has evolved.

The report asks Members to consider whether, notwithstanding the planning policy position, there is merit in taking the proposals further, given the level of housing need in Cranleigh.
_________________________________________________________________________
Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe, Healthy and Active Communities
Local Economy
Negative
Negative
Negative
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive

There are significant environmental implications, should a development proceed, however, regard will be taken to minimising the negative impact of development as far as is practicable. As the scheme is aimed at providing affordable housing for local people, it has important Social Inclusion and Local Economy implications. There are no immediate human rights implications and no crime and disorder implications contained in this report.


E-Government implications:

There are none arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

There are none arising from this report at this stage.
_________________________________________________________________________

Background

1. In 2001, the Council, as the local housing authority, agreed to promote a scheme of affordable housing for people with a strong connection to Cranleigh. This site is adjacent to Wyphurst Road, outside the developed area and would require an exception to planning policy to be made. However, the Council decided that housing need in Cranleigh was so significant, supply so limited and the opportunities for enabling additional affordable housing remote, that this combination of factors necessitated the Council taking a positive position as a housing authority.

2. In order to provide detailed background information, the report presented to the Joint Corporate and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committees on 1st November 2001, is attached as Annexe 1.

3. Following the Council’s decision to proceed with this matter, further site investigation work was undertaken and it transpired that the site proposed for development contained Roman remains of regional significance. It was not possible for this part of the site to be developed. Annexe 2 shows the area where there are Roman remains and the location of the proposed affordable housing scheme.

4. Around this time, the Executors of the land-owner’s estate decided to revisit the question of whether they wished to be involved in the affordable housing scheme. Following a long period, officers of the Council were contacted again as the Executors had come to a mind to support the affordable housing scheme. Further work has been undertaken to draw-up a scheme that takes into account the issue of the Roman remains.

Need for Affordable Housing in Cranleigh

5. Cranleigh is the area where it is most difficult for the Council to secure affordable housing for households on the Council’s Housing Needs Register. On 31st July 2003, there were 210 households registered on the Council’s Housing Needs Register who have an address in Cranleigh:

General List 15 needing 3-bedroom homes
35 needing 2-bedroom homes
93 needing 1-bedroom homes

Council Transfer List 8 needing 3-bedroom homes
17 needing 2-bedroom homes
18 needing 1-bedroom homes

Housing Assn Transfer List 3 needing 3-bedroom homes
4 needing 2-bedroom homes
2 needing 1-bedroom homes

Homeless 3 needing 3-bedroom homes
9 needing 2-bedroom homes
3 needing 1-bedroom homes

In addition, there are another 345 households registered on the Council’s Housing Needs Register who have indicated that they would be prepared to live in Cranleigh – some (but certainly not all) of whom will be people originally from Cranleigh, who would like to return.

6. By comparison, the Council has had the following number of general-need (not Community Warden or Sheltered) Council vacancies in Cranleigh in the last two years:
Current Proposals

7. The proposal before Members is for a development of 79 homes to the rear of Wyphurst Road, Cranleigh. The homes are:

30 x two-bedroom houses
19 x three-bedroom houses
2 x four bedroom houses
9 x two-bedroom bungalows
12 x one-bedroom flats
6 x two-bedroom flats
1 x two-bedroom wheelchair accessible bungalow

8. Detailed plans will be available at the meeting and a location plan showing the Wyphurst Road area is attached as Annexe 3. At Annexe 4 is a proposed layout.

The Key Issue

9. The major issue for the Council is that the site being offered is beyond the developed area and the Council, as a Planning Authority, would not, in normal circumstances, approve a housing development on this site.

10. On the other hand, as a Housing Authority, the Council:

does not have land holdings in Cranleigh which can be readily made available for affordable housing;

has a significant number of households on its Housing Needs Register seeking accommodation in Cranleigh;

has a limited amount of affordable housing for families and re-lets in Cranleigh are few; and

has been offered land which, because it is an exception to planning policy, can be secured on terms that mean a development of affordable housing is viable.

11. A similar proposition was considered by the Council, in 1992, when an affordable housing scheme at Furze Lane, Farncombe was proposed. At that time the Council had to weigh up the merits of the affordable housing development against the planning policy position.

Consultation

12. It is proposed that a Public Consultation exercise be held in Cranleigh on 18th September 2003 to advise members of the public of the new proposals. It is also proposed to consult with Cranleigh Parish Council on the new plans and seek their views. The results of the consultations will be reported back to the Executive.

13. It is suggested that this report is also presented to the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 8th September so that Members may be advised about the proposals and have the opportunity to make their views known.

Conclusion

14. As can be seen, there is a significant mismatch between affordable housing need and supply. The proposal before the Executive provides a way forward, though it is not without its difficulties. At this stage, the Executive is being asked to:

consult with the community, the Parish Council and the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee about the plans for a development of 79 affordable homes at Wyphurst Road; and

to receive a further report on the results of the consultation exercise to be undertaken during September.

Recommendation

It is recommended that:
________________________________________________________________________
Background Papers (DoH)

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

Name: Mr D January Telephone: 01483 523361
E-mail: djanuary@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/exec/2003-04/221