Executive Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 20th April, 2017
Time:
7.30 pm
Place:
New Council Chamber, Town Hall, Reigate
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillors Mrs N. Bramhall, M.A. Brunt, J. Durrant, Dr L.R. Hack, E. Humphreys, Mrs R. Mill, Mrs R. Renton and T. Schofield.

Note: In the absence of the Leader Councillor V. Broad, Councillor Dr. L. Hack, Deputy Leader & Executive Member for Environment and Infrastructure, took the Chair for the meeting.
Also Present:
Councillors Mrs R. Absalom, M. Blacker, J.C.S. Essex, A.C.J. Horwood, S.A. Kulka and S. McKenna.
Min NoDescriptionResolution
Part I
98 MINUTES

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 23 March 2017 be approved as a correct record and signed.

99 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Executive Members: Councillors V.W. Broad and Mrs R. Turner.


Non-Executive Members: Councillors N. Harrison, M. Selby, B.A. Stead, J. Stephenson and C.T.H. Whinney.
 

100 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Councillor Mrs R. Mill declared a personal interest in item 6 Appointments to the Board of Banstead Commons Conservators because her husband was a Conservator.


Councillor M.A. Brunt indicated that, as Chairman of the Planning Committee, he would take no part in Items 4 and 10 – Development proposals for 16-46 Cromwell Road, Redhill.
 

101 16-46 CROMWELL ROAD, REDHILL - DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS

Councillor Mrs N Bramhall, Executive Member for Property presented the report setting out redevelopment proposals for a Council-owned property in Cromwell Road.


The report set out relevant statutory powers, background and key information, development proposals and all relevant implications.


The property comprised lock-up shops with flats above. It was predominantly vacant and considered to be unfit for purpose for modern retail and residential requirements.


In November 2015 Executive authority was given to progress a refurbishment and extension of the property but since that time a redevelopment of the adjacent Queensgate building had been completed.


In view of the success of the redevelopment of Queensgate, further feasibility work was carried out which concluded that a new build development should be delivered on the site, rather than the previously proposed refurbishment and extension.


The new built development would allow complete flexibility to design the building to meet current market requirements, without the constraint of the existing structure. It would also complete the regeneration of this side of the town centre.


The proposed development would provide a ground floor retail unit as well as 32 residential units above, an increase of 24 units from the existing building, which would help to meet growing residential demand.
It would also optimise use of the Council’s property asset to generate increased revenue whilst delivering a significant capital receipt.


Note: Councillor M.A. Brunt, Executive Member for LGA and Member Development (and Chairman of the Planning Committee) left the room for the consideration of this report.


RECOMMENDED that the Head of Finance be authorised, in consultation with the Head of Property and Executive Members for Property and Planning Policy and Finance, to make the necessary arrangements to finance the project subject to key stage sign off as set out in this report and to include the costs of the project within the Capital Programme as detailed in the Exempt part of the Executive’s agenda.


RESOLVED that:


(i) the Head of Property be authorised, in consultation with the
• Head of Finance
• Executive Member for Property; and
• Executive Member for Planning Policy and Finance
to make the necessary consultancy and contractor appointments to progress and submit a Planning Application for the development of 16-46 Cromwell Road, Redhill, in accordance with the budget envelope set out in the exempt report in Part 2 of the Executive’s agenda;

 

(ii) the Head of Property be authorised, in consultation with the Executive Member for Property to market the development of 16-46 Cromwell Road, Redhill and negotiate, agree and enter into Agreement for Leases and Leases with commercial, public or other organisations subject to the key stage sign off set out in the report to the Executive;

 

(iii) the Head of Property be authorised, in consultation with the Executive Member for Property to make arrangements to terminate existing leases within 16-46 Cromwell Road, Redhill, under existing Landlord and Tenant Law to facilitate the redevelopment of this site;

 

(iv) the Head of Property be authorised, in consultation with the Executive Member for Property to appoint the necessary Consultants and construction Contractors for the redevelopment of 16-46 Cromwell Road, Redhill, to prepare the necessary documentation and to obtain competitive construction tenders, subject to key stage sign off set out in the report to the Executive;

 

(v) the Head of Property be authorised, in consultation with the Executive Members for Property and Planning Policy and Finance to finalise, agree and sign construction contracts subject to key stage sign off set out in the report to the Executive;

 

(vi) the Head of Property be authorised, in consultation with the Executive Member for Property to market and sell long leasehold interests on the residential flats subject to key stage sign off set out in the report to the Executive; and

 

(vii) the above decisions replace those agreed by the Executive in November 2015 to take account of the changed circumstances.

 

Reasons for decision: The property was predominantly vacant and produced minimal income for the Council in its existing form.
The recommended option completed redevelopment of this part of the town centre and represented a commercially acceptable return on capital employed, increasing income generation whilst also increasing the asset value once construction work was complete.

 

Alternative options: To refurbish the property, to dispose of the property, or to do nothing.
 

102 EMERGING HOUSING POLICY (INCLUDING MOTION FROM COUNCIL)

The Deputy Leader, Councillor Dr L. Hack introduced the report which set out various actions recommended to support the emerging housing policy for the Borough.


The report set out relevant statutory powers, background and key information, details of the Motion made by Councillor McKenna at the Council meeting on 9 February 2017, options and all relevant implications.
It was noted that the housing affordability challenge in the borough was undeniable, with the average home costing over ten times the average income.


This meant that many residents – including young people and working households – were unable to buy or rent a place of their own. At the same time, the housing waiting list continued to increase.


The Homelessness Reduction Bill, soon to receive Royal Assent, would introduce new and greater responsibilities for the Council from 2018 in providing emergency and temporary accommodation.


The Council was already doing much good work in relation to housing but it was proposed to do more by way of:


• getting traditional ‘affordable housing’ delivered – social rented homes which were accessible to those in greatest housing need, and shared ownership homes;


• doing more to get smaller cheaper market housing delivered to make it easier for young people to get on the housing ladder, and to provide more choice for older people to downsize.


• investing more in temporary accommodation.


The Deputy Leader emphasised that the recommendations set out in the report were part of the Executive’s efforts to meet the challenge facing the Council in relation to the provision of affordable housing.


Councillor S. McKenna, as the mover of the Motion at Full Council on 9 February 2017, addressed the Executive emphasising the reasons for his proposals in relation to the provision of affordable housing in the Borough.


The Executive debated the points raised by Councillor McKenna in relation to the provision of affordable housing within the Borough and it was


RESOLVED that:


(i) the following actions to support the Executive’s emerging housing policy for the Borough be agreed:

(a) to consider, on a case-by-case basis, how the Council’s property activities can continue to deliver housing products that benefit local people;
(b) to continue to explore opportunities to promote and support the provision of affordable housing solutions through its annual review of Service and Financial Planning; and
(c) to review the Council’s policy on affordable housing as part of the Development Management Plan preparation process to take account of the latest evidence of local housing need and national policy changes; and


(ii) the Motion presented to the Full Council on 9 February 2017 regarding Affordable Housing be noted on the basis of the Council’s emerging housing policy illustrated above.


Reasons for decision: Local evidence demonstrated that housing costs in the borough were beyond the reach of local households on moderate to low incomes. The Council had already demonstrated that it could provide housing that meets local needs.
Considering future opportunities to use its own property portfolio on a case-by-case basis would retain important local flexibility, allowing consideration of how Council development could meet not only housing needs but also the wider sustainability objectives of the Council.
The Council’s 2018/19 Service and Financial Planning review provided an appropriate opportunity for the Council to consider how it could be more proactive in achieving corporate objectives to maximise the delivery of housing that was affordable to local people in the future, and contributed to the Government’s housing provision objectives set out in the Housing White Paper.
The Local Plan making process provided the mechanism for a review of affordable housing targets, which allowed for proper appraisal and testing of policy options and for local evidence, as well as national policy, to be taken into account.
The Council’s emerging housing policy would help address the affordability challenges noted in the motion presented by Councillor McKenna at Full Council on 9 February 2017.


Alternative options: To do nothing, to agree that publicly owned sites should deliver higher levels of affordable housing, or to invest in affordable housing through the Council’s property company.
 

103 APPOINTMENTS TO THE BOARD OF THE BANSTEAD COMMONS CONSERVATORS

The Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Infrastructure, Councillor Dr L.R. Hack, invited the Executive to review the nominations received for vacant appointments to the Banstead Commons Conservators.
 

The board consisted of eight conservators appointed on a rolling basis, each serving a three year term of office. The posts were voluntary and unpaid and there were currently three vacant appointments to be determined.
In recognition of the continued contribution they made it was recommended that one position should be kept vacant for a representative of the London Borough of Sutton.


Four nominations had been received for the two other vacant positions, including applications made by Councillor R Mantle and Mr D. Atkins, the two representatives coming to the end of their tenure.


The Executive reviewed all the nominations, and a key factor in reaching their decision was the proven knowledge and active involvement of the two current incumbents over a number of years.

 

Note: Councillor Mrs R. Mill, Executive Member for Leisure and Wellbeing, declared a personal interest in this report and left the room for its consideration.


RESOLVED that:

(i) the position historically filled by a representative of the London Borough of Sutton be kept vacant until such time that London Borough of Sutton were in a position to confirm their nominee;


(ii) the appointment of the representative of the London Borough of Sutton be delegated to the Head of Health and Wellbeing to determine in consultation with the Deputy Leader (Executive Member for the Environment and Infrastructure) once their nomination had been received; and


(iii) Councillor R. Mantle and Mr D. Atkins be reappointed into the two positions that had come to the end of their term.


Reasons for decision: To ensure that positions on the Board of the Banstead Commons Conservators were suitably filled.


Alternative option: To appoint other applicants or to seek new nominations.
 

104 STATEMENTS

Councillor T. Schofield, Executive Member for Planning Policy and Finance, paid tribute to Mr Bill Pallett, Head of Finance who was partially retiring from the Council at the end of April 2017. The Portfolio Holder made reference to a number of his achievements during the 14 year period that he supported the financial services of the Council.

105 ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS

None.

106 EXEMPT BUSINESS

RESOLVED that members of the Press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that:
 

(i) it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act; and

 

(ii) the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.
 

Part II(Confidential)
107 16-46 CROMWELL ROAD, REDHILL - DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS
  • Item 10: Part 2 - 16-46 CROMWELL ROAD, REDHILL - DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS (104K/bytes)

The Executive Member for Property, Councillor Mrs N.J. Bramhall informed the Executive that the Part 2 section of the report set out the relevant financial implications to be taken into consideration.


RESOLVED that the exempt financial information, supporting the Executive’s recommendation to fund the development, be noted and agreed as set out in Minute 101 above.
 

108 APPOINTMENTS TO THE BOARD OF THE BANSTEAD COMMONS CONSERVATORS
  • Item 11: Part 2 - APPOINTMENTS TO THE BOARD OF THE BANSTEAD COMMONS CONSERVATORS (697K/bytes)

The Deputy Leader, Councillor Dr. L. Hack, advised that the Part 2 section of the report set out background information provided by the candidates in support of their nominations.


RESOLVED that the exempt information set out in the report be noted.
 

The meeting closed at 8.15 pm.