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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 12/07/2004
Cedar Lodge, Milford



Summary & Purpose
This report advises members of the need to undertake refurbishment work to Cedar Lodge and, as part of this work, to reconfigure the property so that the bedsits are converted into self-contained accommodation. In planning terms, the conversion work constitutes a change of use and so planning permission will need to be secured.

The purpose of this report is to seek the Executive’s approval for the proposed conversion and to make a planning application for ‘change of use’.

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
N/A
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
N/A
N/A


APPENDIX Q
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE -12TH JULY 2004

Title:
CEDAR LODGE, MILFORD
[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and purpose:

This report advises members of the need to undertake refurbishment work to Cedar Lodge and, as part of this work, to reconfigure the property so that the bedsits are converted into self-contained accommodation. In planning terms, the conversion work constitutes a change of use and so planning permission will need to be secured.

The purpose of this report is to seek the Executive’s approval for the proposed conversion and to make a planning application for ‘change of use’.

E-Government implications:

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

Resource and legal implications:

The financial implications relate to the cost of converting and improving the accommodation at Cedar Lodge. This can be met from within the Housing Revenue Account Capital Budget for 2004/05 and 2005/06 for Homeless Hostels. There are no legal implications arising from this report.

Introduction and Background

1. Cedar Lodge, Chapel Lane, Milford, provides temporary accommodation to households that have been rendered homeless. The current accommodation is largely bedsits with up to four bedsits sharing bathroom and kitchen facilities.

2. Cedar Lodge was built in the early 1980s and, because of the high level of through put of households and heavy usage over the years, the premises and its facilities – kitchens, bathrooms and communal rooms - now need refurbishment.

3. As part of the Council’s Best Value Review of the Homelessness Service in 2002/03, and subsequently the development of the Homelessness Strategy in 2003, it has become evermore clear that the shared accommodation, which Cedar Lodge provides, is no longer appropriate for today’s needs.

4. The sharing of accommodation is something that residents do not appreciate – given different approaches to tidiness and hygiene in kitchens and bathrooms. The sharing of such accommodation gives rise to housing management issues that simply would not arise if people were living in self-contained accommodation.

5. More important is the issue to do with possible risks to children and vulnerable people. All too often the Council has to house families with children in temporary accommodation. At Cedar Lodge, it has been the Council’s practice to allocate one or two bedsits to one family (depending on the size of the household). This is, however, less than satisfactory because families have to share kitchens and bathrooms with other households they do not know.

6. It is therefore considered that when undertaking this significant refurbishment project, the Council should take the opportunity to reconfigure the buildings to provide as much self-contained accommodation as is practicable. This was the approach the Council adopted when refurbishing another of its homeless hostels in Wonersh some time ago.

7. At present the accommodation at Cedar Lodge provides temporary housing for homeless households and it comprises: 20 bedsits with shared kitchens and bathrooms; three emergency rooms and the former manager's house which is also used as temporary accommodation – sometimes shared by two households.

8. Following the conversion and refurbishment works, the accommodation will comprise:-

10 x one-bedroom self-contained flats;
1 x one-bedroom ground floor flat suitable for someone with mobility problems;
2 x two-bedroom self-contained flats; and
3 x bedsits with en-suite bathrooms but a shared kitchen.

9. Whilst it is the intention to continue to use Cedar Lodge as temporary accommodation for homeless households after it has been refurbished, the very fact that most of the shared accommodation is being made self-contained is a material change of use and planning permission has to be sought for this. This report therefore asks the Executive to give permission for officers to seek planning permission for change of use. Copies of the plans will be available at the meeting.

10. Because homelessness continues to be an issue in the Waverley area, it is not practicable to close Cedar Lodge as a whole for the period of refurbishment and redevelopment. It is fortunate, however, that the site comprises three separate buildings and so it is intended that works will be carried out sequentially, so that some of the accommodation can continue to be used through the duration of the works.

Resource Implications

11. It is estimated that the cost of re-configuring and refurbishing Cedar Lodge will be in the order of 689,000. There is capital provision within the Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme for 2004/05 (793,000) and 2005/06 (18,000) to accommodate these costs.

Conclusion

12. Cedar Lodge has had heavy usage over the last 20 years and is in need of improvement and upgrade. It is considered appropriate that the premises should be upgraded so that self-contained accommodation can be provided.

Recommendation

It is recommended that:-

1. the proposals for the conversion of Cedar Lodge at Chapel Lane, Milford be approved; and

2. a first resolution in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Town and County Planning (General) Regulations 1992 be approved to allow a planning application to be submitted for the conversion of Cedar Lodge from shared accommodation to primarily self-contained accommodation.

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 J Swanton Telephone: 01483 -523375

E-mail: jswanton@waverley.gov.uk

comms/executive/2004-05/073