Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document
Meeting of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 09/11/2004
Properties in Farncombe
Summary & Purpose
There is a pair of semi-detached houses in Farncombe, which are currently vacant. Both houses have significant structural problems that need to be addressed before they can be re-let.
It has been concluded that the most cost-effective long-term solution would be to demolish these houses and rebuild.
This report seeks the permission of the Executive to pursue this course of action and, in the first instance, seeks permission to make a planning application for demolition.
Quality of Life Implications
Prevention and Control
There are no E-Government implications arising from this report.
Resource and legal implications
At this stage, the financial implications relate to the cost of demolition and securing the site which amount to £15,000. This can be met from within the Housing Revenue Account Capital Budget for 2005/06. There are no legal implications arising from this report.
Introduction and Background
1. There is a pair of semi-detached houses in Farncombe, which are currently vacant (See Location Plan at
(Exempt) Annexe 1
2. Both houses have been surveyed as part of the usual ‘voids process’ to determine what works need to be carried out before re-letting. As they are vacant, they have also been surveyed to determine whether and to what extent they meet the Decent Homes Standard.
3. These surveys revealed:
failure of the foul drains and consequential leakage causing localised subsidence to the foundations;
rising damp has occurred through the ground bearing floor slabs – as there is no damp-proof course and the floor slab was poorly constructed;
evidence of distress in various concrete lintels and consequential movement in the external envelope walls;
the roof structure has spread, probably as a result of unbalanced roof loadings and as a result, the rear wall leans out;
additionally, the two properties fail the Decent Homes Standard on:
the age and condition of the kitchen layout and fittings;
the age of and condition of the windows;
central heating installation is reaching the end of its life;
electrical installations are reaching the end of their life; and
bathroom fittings are reaching the end of their life.
The Survey also highlighted other minor works such as reconstruction of the porches and flashing works.
4. As members will be aware, the Government expects all social landlords to meet the Decent Homes Standard by 2010. In order for these properties to be brought up to this standard and to meet today’s requirements in terms of structural integrity, it is estimated that a sum in excess of £40,000 per property would need to be expended on these properties.
5. It would be possible to build two three-bedroom or even three two-bedroom replacement houses on these plots providing better designed and more appropriate accommodation to today’s standards. The costs estimated to re-provide are detailed at
(Exempt) Annexe 2
6. In these circumstances, whilst this is potentially a more expensive option, it is considered that the best way forward to achieve a long term solution and to provide better sized accommodation, is for the properties to be demolished and for the site to be redeveloped.
7. At this stage, members are being invited to consider the two options of refurbishment or redevelopment.
8. Should members agree the redevelopment option, it is suggested that the two houses should be demolished and the site secured. In order to do so, it would be necessary to make a planning application for demolition. In the meantime, officers would appoint consultants to design and cost a redevelopment of the two plots and return to committee with proposals.
9. The resource implications are also set out in (Exempt) Annexe 2.
10. These properties have significant structural problems that need careful resolution. Any option is costly. Officers consider that in the circumstances, the best long term option is for the demolition of these two houses and for the site to be redeveloped to provide 2 or 3 bedroom accommodation.
It is recommended that the Committee agrees any observations to be passed to the Executive on the following proposed recommendations:
1. the proposal to demolish the pair of semi-detached properties as shown in (Exempt) Annexe 1 with the intention to redevelop the plots with 2 or 3 bedroom homes, be approved;
2. a first resolution in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General) Regulations 1992 be approved to allow a planning application to be submitted for the demolition of these properties;
3. officers draw up plans for the development of 2/3 bedroom dwellings on the site identified at (Exempt) Annexe 1.
There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
Mr D January