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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 08/11/2005
21 AND 22 STOKE HILLS, FARNHAM



Summary & Purpose
This report concerns the serious structural problems that affect a pair of semi-detached bungalows owned by the Council in Farnham and held in the Housing Revenue Account. The report outlines the options available and recommends that the most beneficial and cost effective way forward for the Council would be to demolish these bungalows and rebuild. It also seeks permission to make a planning application for demolition.

APPENDIX M
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 8TH NOVEMBER 2005
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Title:
[Ward Affected: Farnham Moor Park]
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Summary and purpose:

This report concerns the serious structural problems that affect a pair of semi-detached bungalows owned by the Council in Farnham and held in the Housing Revenue Account. The report outlines the options available and recommends that the most beneficial and cost effective way forward for the Council would be to demolish these bungalows and rebuild. It also seeks permission to make a planning application for demolition.
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Social/community implications:

This proposal enables the provision of potentially two better configured homes that will meet local housing need and any new dwellings following the demolition would be built to a higher energy efficient standard than the existing properties.

E-Government implications:

There are no E-Government implications arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

The Council will need to determine how best to apply scarce resources to bring these properties into a lettable standard and meet Decent Homes Standard. The option of refurbishment will cost the Housing Revenue Account 100,000. Alternatively, a rebuild option which could provide larger and better configured homes would cost in the order of 140,000. At present there is no provision in the HRA Capital Programme 2005/06 for a new build project. However, should the Council decide to take the new-build route, consideration could be given to how best to procure the new homes.
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Introduction

1. 21 and 22 Stoke Hills, Farnham are a pair of one-bedroom semi-detached bungalows currently one vacant and one currently used for temporary accommodation, built around 1950. A location plan is attached at Annexe 1. They are of traditional construction with cavity walls and pitched tiled roofing.


2. As part of the usual process when a property become vacant, 21 Stoke Hills was initially surveyed to determine what works needed to be carried out to bring the property up to a lettable standard and meet Decent Homes Standard. From the initial survey it was deemed necessary to also survey 22 Stoke Hills.

3. The survey has revealed a number of serious faults as follows:-

Severe cracking to internal and external walls.
Concrete gutter system (damaged, partly unstable, leaking leading to water ingress into property).
Leaking foul drainage to rear and flank walls which has weakened the subsoil beneath the foundations.
High to very high levels of moisture within the internal walls.
Plastered wall finishes partially debonded.
Suspended timber floor revealed excessive springing with localised areas of decay and affect of damp.
Both properties pronounced unfit for habitation. Options

4. There are two options available to the Housing Revenue Account, namely:-
refurbishment and modernisation; or
demolition and rebuilding.

Option 1 – Refurbishment and Modernisation.

5. The cost of bringing these properties back into a lettable standard and to meet Decent Homes Standards is in the order of 100,000. This is a considerable sum for two dwellings, but reflects the level of work needed for these homes, because of the defects described at paragraph 3 above.

6. In Farnham, the Council already owns 432 one-bedroom homes; 408 two-bedroom homes and 484 three-bedroom homes to let. Whilst there is a demand for all sizes of affordable housing, one bedroom is the least flexible as there is no room for household growth or changes in circumstances.

7. The bungalows are relatively small and the kitchen is very small. This size of bungalow proves problematic to adapt for people with disabilities because of the size constraints.

Option 2 – Demolition and Re-building

8. The cost of rebuilding the two properties to a lettable and Decent Homes Standard is estimated to be in the region of 140,000 (additional cost by replacing with two/three bedroom properties).

9. The advantage with this route is that any new-build would result in dwellings that have rooms that are a much better size and configuration than the existing dwellings.

10. Were members to agree this route, a decision could be made in due course as to which way to provide the new homes would be most beneficial to the Council.


Conclusion

11. It is considered that the demolition and re-development route offers a better value long term solution.

Recommendation It is recommended that:

1. a first resolution in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Town and County Planning (General) Regulations 1992 be made to allow a planning application to be submitted for the demolition of the properties in question;

2. officers draw up plans for the re-development of replacement dwellings on the site identified as 21 and 22 Stoke Hills, Farnham, and a report be brought back to members on the proposals and how these homes might be best procured; and

3. the Council be recommended to give approval for the demolition of a pair of semi-detached bungalows.

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Background Papers (DoH)

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

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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: James Remnant Telephone: 01483 523078
E-mail: jremnant@waverley.gov.uk



Comms/exec/2005-06/158_1102101834_001.pdf