Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Bill Lee Tel: 020 8583 2068 or email:  william.lee@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

28.

Minutes of the meeting held on 3 December 2014 and matters arising. pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 3 December 2014 were agreed to be an accurate record and signed.

 

Nadja Stone, Head of Affordable Housing Supply, gave members an update on the Heartlands traveller site. An enforcement plan against anti-social behaviour (ASB) had been implemented under Sgt Hipkiss and the police and Council were working with Cranford Community College to address the issue of ASB; significantly fewer incidents of ASB on the site had been noted recently. Flytipping and grazing issues had been addressed and a report on the subject would be completed soon. The site was a standing agenda item and CCTV coverage was under consideration. All travellers at the site had been asked for £300 in the form of service charges to help address ASB and they had all agreed. No incidents had been reported in over a month since then. In response to questions from members Ms Stone advised that the first six pitches at the site were now complete and planning permission to change the development was being sought. The pitches were currently unoccupied but were due to be occupied within the next two weeks; members were welcome to visit the site to inspect it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

29.

Sheltered Housing Project pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Minutes:

Please see the report on page 5 (agenda item 2).

 

John Kennelly, Specialist Housing Project Manager, presented the report. He advised that following the redevelopment of Hogarth Court and Rectory Court the Council will have 751 sheltered units. The Affordable Housing Committee (AHC) had previously asked that an analysis into the predicted future demand for sheltered housing be made, given an increasing population and longer life expectancy. Prior to the completion of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) which will identify future need, the AHC was asked to vary the decision with regard to the number of sheltered units and for any increase over 750 to be agreed between the Assistant Director Housing and the Lead Member for Housing. This increase was to be subject to the viability of all units and would ensure that delays were not incurred should the 750 figure need to be exceeded. Mr Kennelly advised that the AHC was able to delegate responsibility for decisions to the Assistant Director Housing by virtue of section 9E Local Government Act 2000 as amended. He stated that the SMHA work was currently on hold pending a review in light of further alterations to the London Plan and the ongoing examination into the Local Plan. The work was due to recommence in May 2015 and would necessitate the use of consultants to carry out a population forecast analysis and associated matters.

 

Regarding the second recommendation, that Cabinet had not specified a minimum floor space of 50sqm, Mr Kennelly advised that consultation had taken place prior to the 2011 Cabinet report and so, provided there were no changes to those proposals there was no requirement for additional consultation to take place. He stated that most existing sheltered schemes, which were made up of one bedroom flats (not under review) were not 50sqm. The only mention of 50sqm was a checklist which stated ‘ideally 50sqm’ and that was based on the GLA threshold for a 1 bedroom, 2 occupancy unit. This had not been mentioned throughout the consultation on the sheltered standard. The Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) report informed the Sheltered Housing standard adopted by the Council and that included space and flexibility; daylight; outdoor space; shared facilities; energy efficiency etc. Mr Kennelly asked that a minimum size of a single occupancy unit be set at 37sqm for one containing a shower room and 39sqm for one with a bathroom. That would help with the cost of refurbishment of sites with existing constraints (e.g. supporting walls) as well as new sites.

           

Mr Kennelly recommended that Home Loss Payments be made to residents who had been permanently displaced. The AHC had previously expressed the view that if people had been decanted from their homes during refurbishment and they had subsequently returned to the same site they should not receive the payments. Counsel’s advice had been obtained and that advice had been that if residents returned to the same property after it had been refurbished they should not receive  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

Mayor's Housing Covenant pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Approval to allocate funding for feasibility assessments.

Minutes:

Please see the report on page 13 (agenda item 3).

 

Sonny McCann, Senior Housing Development Project Manager, presented the report.

 

Mr McCann advised that the Council had been successful in its bid for a grant under the Mayor’s Housing Covenant and had secured the entire bid of £3.01 million. This funding had to be committed to by 2018 and the Committee’s approval was requested for the allocation of an initial budget of £750,000 from the HRA. Mr McCann listed the recommendations (see report) and advised that further sites would be looked at to achieve the desired outcome. Nadja Stone stated that further opportunities would be identified but there was a need to meet the very tight time criteria to obtain the funding. Suzannah Taylor advised that the Council was yet to receive the grant as it was subject to delivery of schemes within deadlines, although the Council had received an allocation. Mr McCann advised that ten schemes, providing around 53 units, had been identified and a further 42 were needed. The feasibility study would assist. Ms Taylor added that a possible site for extra care units would be sought as part of the feasibility study.

 

Cllr Theo Dennison said that irrespective of whether it was from the general fund or HRA, affordable housing and schools were a priority and that all public land should be regarded as a potential site. He asked if it would be possible to start earlier than proposed. Mr McCann advised that would not be possible as many schemes had not yet been identified. It was preferable to appoint a single consultant and at look at all possible schemes at once in order to achieve economy of scale; to meet the deadline plans would have to be submitted by the end of 2015. Cllr Steve Curran asked if officers felt there was anything that could be done to achieve the desired results faster; Cllr Dennison asked if greater perceived efficiency at the beginning of the project might be counterproductive in the long run, given that faster completion of individual schemes would bring in rent and get people housed quicker. Ms Taylor advised that schemes would be built on a rolling basis, partly due to varying difficulty in obtaining planning permission – the schemes would not wait until all had permission before building commenced. Cllr Curran assured officers that the Committee would give any assistance needed to expedite the projects if officers found ways of progressing faster.

 

Ms Stone advised that specialist consultants had been requested to ensure that adequate extra care provision was built. She thanked members for their offer of help and assured them that officers would do all in their power to complete the schemes as quickly as possible while achieving the best quality. Cllr Sue Sampson asked for an update on the purchase of modular buildings that Cabinet had approved; Cllr Curran advised that the purchase had unfortunately fallen through. Following discussion and questions members voted unanimously to agree the officers’ recommendations.

 

Resolved:  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.