Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday 9th March 2021 5.00 pm

Contact: Alison Marston 

Media

Items
No. Item

232.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 19 January (special) and 9 February 2021 (previously circulated).

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 9 February 2021 was approved as a correct record and noted by the Chairman.

233.

ACTIONS STATUS REPORT pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the status of actions agreed at the last Cabinet meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The status of actions agreed at the Cabinet meeting on 9 February 2021 in the report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) was noted.

234.

DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS BY MEMBERS

To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on the Agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor F.Thomson declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 8(c) - Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme as she lives within the EMS area and is Ward Councillor for Handside.

235.

MATTERS REFERRED TO THE CABINET BY OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

To consider matters referred to the Cabinet by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

To consider a matter referred to the Cabinet by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 3 March 2021.

235a

Call-in Referral of Previous Cabinet Decision pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Recommendations from the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 3 March 2021 following the call-in of a previous Cabinet decision.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)   Cabinet agreed to reconfirm the decision not to permit an assignment of the existing lease, but instead allow an options appraisal for the site to be carried out.  This should include the commitment to retain a community facility under any of the options considered.

 

(2)   Cabinet agreed to accept the recommendation of Overview and Scrutiny Committee to recommend that the Constitution Review Group consider and advise on how reports are prepared and published, especially with regards to what information should be provided under public and confidential reports.

Minutes:

Recommendation from the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 3 March 2021 following the call-in of a previous Cabinet decision.

 

At a meeting on 3 March, 2021, Overview and Scrutiny Committee recommended that Cabinet reconsider the decision not to allow the current leaseholder of Friendship House to assign the existing lease to a particular charity identified by them, and only if that fails to accept surrender of the lease and consider an options appraisal.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee also recommended that the Constitution Review Group consider and advise upon how reports are prepared and published, in particular with reference to the split between Part 1 and Part 2 reports.

 

Lease Assignment

 

Councillor D.Bell (Executive Member, Resources), had reviewed the decision with officers, and remains of the opinion that it would have been inappropriate to permit an assignment of the existing lease in the way the current leaseholder had requested, without undertaking an options appraisal first.

 

An assignment to a particular charity nominated by the existing leaseholder could be unfair to other organisations and voluntary groups within the borough, who would not have had the opportunity to express an interest.

 

The existing lease runs until 2098 and carries an obligation to repair and maintain the building, including structural repairs, and even a complete rebuild when the property reaches the end of its useful life.  Any new tenant would need to have sufficient funding to meet these obligations.

 

The Council has a duty to ensure that the asset is used in a way that secures the greatest benefit for the residents of the borough as a whole.  This includes social benefit, as well as financial benefit.  We cannot achieve this unless we analyse the options first.

 

Members will be aware that reference has since been made to other organisations that might be interested in using the facility.  But Councillor D.Bell believed that it remains inappropriate to allow an assignment of the existing lease.  Indeed, the mention of other organisations strengthened the case for a full options appraisal.

 

A number of members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee expressed concerns that a community facility could be lost.  Councillor D.Bell recognised this and recommended that an express commitment be built in to any option considered for the site, that the Council would retain a community facility within that area.

 

Public and Confidential Reports

 

Councillor D.Bell had some sympathy with the view that this particular item could, in fact, have been considered under Part 1, with care being taken to redact sensitive information.

 

Cabinet Members agreed that an options appraisal would be the best way forward and to help retain the community facility.

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

(1)   Cabinet agreed to reconfirm the decision not to permit an assignment of the existing lease, but instead allow an options appraisal for the site to be carried out.  This should include the commitment to retain a community facility under any of the options considered.

 

(2)   Cabinet agreed to accept the recommendation of Overview and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 235a

236.

ITEMS REQUIRING KEY DECISION

To consider the following items for decision in the current Forward Plan:-

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following items for decision in the current Forward Plan were considered:-

236a

Corporate Plan 2021-24 (Forward Plan Reference FP1033) pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Report of the Chief Executive on the Council’s proposed strategic priorities and commitments to the Borough’s communities for the period 2021-24.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)   Cabinet agreed the Corporate Plan as outlined in Appendix A of the report for onward approval by Council for adoption.

 

(2)   Subject to Council’s approval, delegated authority is given to Corporate Management Team, in consultation with their respective Executive Member/s, to prepare an action plan and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for 2021/22.

 

(3)   Cabinet agreed the place narrative as outlined in Appendix B of the report and delegated authority is given to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader, to make any necessary further adjustments as outlined in paragraph 3.8.

Minutes:

Report of the Chief Executive on the Council’s proposed strategic priorities and commitments to the Borough’s communities for the period 2021-24.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

(1)  Cabinet agreed the Corporate Plan as outlined in Appendix A of the report for onward approval by Council for adoption.

 

(2)  Subject to Council’s approval, delegated authority is given to Corporate Management Team, in consultation with their respective Executive Member/s, to prepare an action plan and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for 2021/22.

 

(3)  Cabinet agreed the place narrative as outlined in Appendix B of the report and delegated authority is given to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader, to make any necessary further adjustments as outlined in paragraph 3.8.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

The Corporate Plan sets out the Council’s priorities for the next three years, our commitments to our communities, and how we propose to fulfil them. 

 

These priorities have been shaped by the views of over 1,600 residents and businesses who told us what was important to them, what they liked about Welwyn Hatfield, and how they would like to see the Borough evolve. 

 

They also reflect conversations with over 40 stakeholders and partners at the Alliance Conference towards the end of last year.

Those conversations have also fed into the Council’s “place narrative” – a longer-term vision for the future of the Welwyn Hatfield which sets out how we would like to see the Borough develop over the next 20 or 30 years.  It is vital that this is a shared vision and, subject to the approval, the Chief Executive and the Leader will write to those stakeholders seeking further comments before the place narrative is finalised.

 

The Leader thanked Members of the cross-party task and finish group for overseeing the development of the corporate priorities.  Also officers of the council who have carried out such successful engagement with our communities, and who will, subject to approval at full council, will finalise the full corporate plan for 2021 to 2024.

 

The Council has never before been able to say confidently that our priorities reflect those of the people who live, work and spend their leisure time here.

236b

Climate Change Strategy (Forward Plan Reference FP1031) pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the Council’s Climate Change Strategy.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to adopt the Climate Change Strategy and agreed to maintain a ‘live’ action plan of projects to be delivered by the Council and its partners.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the Council’s Climate Change Strategy.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet agreed to adopt the Climate Change Strategy and agreed to maintain a ‘live’ action plan of projects to be delivered by the Council and its partners.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

The Council declared a climate change emergency in June 2019.

 

The Council had identified five ambitious objectives, including to reduce emissions from our own estate and operations to net zero by 2030 and to support residents, communities and businesses in reducing their emissions

 

The Council had created a cross-party Member Group and an Officer Group, appointed a Cabinet lead, joined the Herts Climate Change and Sustainability Partnership and earmarked £150,000 to help tackle the emergency.

 

The strategy and action plan have been drafted to identify actions that the Council and its partners can take over coming weeks, months and years to tackle the emergency.

 

They were both subject to public consultation over the winter and informed by a virtual town hall event in January.

 

The strategy focuses on international agreements, national strategies and local plans that seek to tackle climate change as well as identifying funding opportunities.

 

It also identifies the baseline position as:-

 

The Borough emitted 629,000 tonnes of carbon from industrial, commercial, domestic and transport activities in 2019.

 

The Council emitted 2,507 tonnes of carbon from its buildings, services and transport activities in 2019/2020.

 

The Council’s stock of woodland and street trees annually sequester 2,400 tonnes of carbon and annually remove 31 tonnes of pollution from the ground and air.

 

The action plan identifies existing and new actions and projects that the Council will deliver to tackle climate change; which it prioritises by identifying their carbon reduction potential, cost and level of control.

 

The Council has already had considerable success: we have moved to a new green electricity tariff for all Council and GLL buildings and secured £2.3M of government funding to replace gas boilers with air/ground source heat pumps and solar panels at Campus East, Campus West and Hatfield Swim Centre.

 

Councillor Thomson thanked Members and Officers for their hard work on the Climate Change Strategy.

236c

Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme (Forward Plan Reference FP1011) pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the review of the Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to create an EMS Member Group with terms of reference to consider the administration of the Scheme and to make recommendations to Cabinet in respect of overall policies, design guide and enforcement (but will not be responsible for individual decisions on applications, appeals or enforcement cases).

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the review of the Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet agreed to create an EMS Member Group with terms of reference to consider the administration of the Scheme and to make recommendations to Cabinet in respect of overall policies, design guide and enforcement (but will not be responsible for individual decisions on applications, appeals or enforcement cases).

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

The Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme is about protecting values and amenities of garden city heritage.

 

The Council has been undertaking a review of the Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme, in light of recognised administration and enforcement challenges.

 

The review had including public consultation with residents and legal advice.

 

Recommend the creation of the Estates Management Scheme Member Group to consider the review process, emerging recommendations and possible costs and implications of options.

 

It should be politically proportionate of make-up of Borough as a whole.

 

It should ideally comprise of 7 members from Welwyn Garden City wards.

 

The group should present recommendations to Cabinet.

 

The group’s purpose should be to consider and make policy, design guide, enforcement protocol and fee recommendations.

 

The group should not decide on individual applications, appeals or enforcement cases.

 

(Note:  Councillor F.Thomson declared an interest in this item – Minute 234 refers).

236d

Extension of 49 Peartree Lane (Forward Plan Reference FP1026) pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on the approval to make a direct contract award to enable the quick construction of a single storey side extension to the property at 49 Peartree Lane, Welwyn Garden City.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)   That pursuant to Contract Procedure Rule 14 (h) (Alternative Procedures in Prescribed Circumstances) Cabinet agreed to waive the requirement to advertise the contract opportunity on the basis that it is desirable on commercial grounds to accept a quotation from a contractor already engaged by the Council on a project; and

 

(a)   the further services have a connection with the original project; and

 

(b)   the price is no more than 50% of the original contract sum”.

 

(2)   Cabinet approved the direct award of a contract to FSG Property Services Limited for the construction of a single storey side extension and associated works to the property at 49 Peartree Lane.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on the approval to make a direct contract award to enable the quick construction of a single storey side extension to the property at 49 Peartree Lane, Welwyn Garden City.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

(1)  That pursuant to Contract Procedure Rule 14 (h) (Alternative Procedures in Prescribed Circumstances) Cabinet agreed to waive the requirement to advertise the contract opportunity on the basis that it is desirable on commercial grounds to accept a quotation from a contractor already engaged by the Council on a project; and

 

(a)   the further services have a connection with the original project; and

 

(b)   the price is no more than 50% of the original contract sum”.

 

(2)  Cabinet approved the direct award of a contract to FSG Property Services Limited for the construction of a single storey side extension and associated works to the property at 49 Peartree Lane.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

The report requested waiver of the council’s Contract Procedure Rules and approval to make a direct contract award to an incumbent contractor, to enable the quick construction of a single storey side extension to the property at 49 Peartree Lane, Welwyn Garden City.

 

This six-bedroomed detached house had recently been purchased by the Council for a project, in collaboration with Herts Young Homeless, to provide support to young people with a housing need.  The project will have a ‘live in’ support worker.

 

Planning approval is currently being sought for a single storey side extension to provide the additional space required for the live-in support worker accommodation.

 

The Council’s contract procedure rules allow, subject to approval, for a quotation from a contractor already engaged by the Council on a project, provided that further services have a connection with the original project and that the price is no more than 50% of the original contract sum.

 

FSG is the Council’s incumbent contractor for works at The Commons and Ludwick Way sites which are located within close proximity to Peartree Lane.  The engagement of works are proposed to be carried out at similar programmed times and the price is no more that 50% of the original contract sum.

236e

Approval of Procurement Strategy (Forward Plan Reference FP1027) pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the approval of the new Procurement strategy.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed the adoption of the Procurement and Commercial Strategy 2021 to 2025.

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the approval of the new Procurement strategy.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet agreed the adoption of the Procurement and Commercial Strategy 2021 to 2025.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

Following expiry of the current Procurement Strategy a project had been undertaken to establish a new strategy that will meet the procurement requirements of the Council over the next 4 years. The strategy concentrates on six themes and these have been matched against the Council’s objectives. The General Procurement Board have been involved in the development of the strategy, especially around the development of the social values theme and the use of local businesses and have approved the strategy.

236f

Housing Delivery Test Action Plan (Forward Plan Reference FP1030) pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 4 March 2021 on the Housing Delivery Test Action Plan.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet approved the Housing Delivery Test Action Plan for publication.

Minutes:

Recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 4 March 2021 on the Housing Delivery Test Action Plan.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet approved the Housing Delivery Test Action Plan for publication.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

The Government has published its latest housing delivery test results, which confirm that Welwyn Hatfield built 1,450 homes in the period 2017/18-2019/20 against a target of 2,284 homes.  This equates to 63%.

 

As the supply had fallen below 95% the Council had to prepare an Action Plan to assess the causes of under-delivery and identify actions to increase delivery in future years.

 

As there had been significant under-delivery over the previous three years, the Council had to add a 20% buffer to its five year housing land supply calculation.

 

As the supply had fallen below 75% the Council had to apply the presumption in favour of sustainable development when determining planning applications, so expect to see the test appearing in delegated reports and officer reports to Development Management Committee.

 

The Action Plan therefore seeks to identify the causes of under-delivery and to identify actions to increase delivery in future years.

 

It focuses on actions within the planning service to improve the speed of determining planning applications, especially where they are accompanied by a Section 106 agreement, along with other actions such as the submission of internal planning applications for new housing on council-owned land.

 

It also notes that the Council already exceeds national targets and that some delay is due to the pace of construction once permission is granted.

 

It is ultimately likely to be the case however that the Council cannot improve its delivery rates until the Local Plan is adopted, which will simultaneously set a local housing target, identify a housing trajectory for the future and allocate a portfolio of urban and green belt sites for development.

237.

RECOMMENDATION FROM CABINET PANEL

To consider a recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 4 March 2021:-

Additional documents:

Minutes:

To consider a recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 4 March 2021:-

237a

Introduction of Parking Restrictions, in Town Centre Car Parks, Hatfield pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 4 March 2021 on the Introduction of Parking Restrictions in Town Centre Car Parks, Hatfield.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to proceed with the creation of the “The Borough of Welwyn Hatfield (Various Car Parks, Hatfield) Off-Street Parking Places) Order 2021” (the Order) as advertised.

Minutes:

Recommendation from the meeting of the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 4 March 2021 on the Introduction of Parking Restrictions in Town Centre Car Parks, Hatfield.

 

Members will recall that back in 5 January 2021, Cabinet agreed for the retention of 3 hours free parking in Hatfield Town Centre and that the fees and charges of the Hatfield car parks were subsequently approved by Council in February 2021 as part of the budget setting process.

 

In order to introduce parking restrictions in the Hatfield Town Centre car parks, it was necessary to create a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO).  The TRO relates to the parking restrictions being proposed including pay and display parking and disabled bays, rather than the actual car park charge.

 

A total of twenty-eight objections were received as part of the TRO consultation and officers’ comments to those objections were shown in section 4 of the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel report.

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet agreed to proceed with the creation of the “The Borough of Welwyn Hatfield (Various Car Parks, Hatfield) Off-Street Parking Places) Order 2021” (the Order) as advertised.

238.

AWARD OF PROFESSIONAL BUILDING SERVICES CONTRACTS pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Report of the Chief Executive on the Award of Professional Building Services Contracts.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet agreed that, subject to the agreement of the General Procurement Board on 10 March 2021, delegated authority is given to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Executive Member for Resources, to award framework contracts for Professional Building Services.

Minutes:

Report of the Chief Executive on the Award of Professional Building Services Contracts.

 

The procurement process in underway to appoint a series of consultants to assist the Council in the delivery of construction projects. The contracts will have a three year duration and will commence on the 1 June 2021.

 

The procurement is split into four Lots and a recommendation for each Lot is to be considered by the General Procurement Board on the 10 March 2021:-

 

      Lot 1 – Project Management, Quantity Surveying and CDM Services

      Lot 2 – Structural engineering Services

      Lot 3 – Mechanical and Electrical Services

      Lot 4 – Planning Services

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet agreed that, subject to the agreement of the General Procurement Board on 10 March 2021, delegated authority is given to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Executive Member for Resources, to award framework contracts for Professional Building Services.

239.

PERFORMANCE EXCEPTION REPORT - QUARTER 3 (2020-21) pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Report of the Chief Executive summarising strategic performance data for Quarter 3 of 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet noted the contents of the report and approved any proposed actions highlighted in the appendices.

Minutes:

Report of the Chief Executive summarising strategic performance data for Quarter 3 of 2020/21.

 

   Business Plan Projects – 67 of the Council’s 77 published business projects have commenced in Quarter 3. However, a further 8 had yet to start as they were timed for later in the year. Two projects were not on schedule to the end of December. These were related to the Local Plan and the creation of an asset management strategy.

 

   Performance Indicators – 6 of the Council’s 53 key performance indicators did not meet their target in Quarter 3. These were all briefly exception reported in the report. As the Council saw in earlier Quarter some of the indicators have been negatively impacted by the Covid pandemic, particularly where they measure visitor numbers or community visits. 5 indicators have not been reported as there is no data available to support them.

 

Services have continued to adapt over Quarter 3 so that projects set prior to the effects of the pandemic being fully understood are being delivered. The Council’s year end outturn for Quarter 4 will also be similarly impacted.

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet noted the contents of the report and approved any proposed actions highlighted in the appendices.

240.

APPOINTMENT OF CABINET PANELS, COMMITTEES AND BOARDS pdf icon PDF 5 KB

To approve the appointment of Members to Committees and Groups.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet approved the appointments of Members to Committees and Groups, as set out in Agenda Item 12.

Minutes:

To approve the appointment of Members to Committees and Groups as listed in Agenda Item 12.

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet approved the appointments of Members to Committees and Groups, as set out in Agenda Item 12.

241.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

The Cabinet is asked to resolve:

 

That under Section 100(A)(2) and (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be now excluded from the meeting for Items 15 to 17 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of confidential or exempt information as defined in Section 100(A)(3) and Paragraph 3 (private financial or business information) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the said Act (as amended).

 

In resolving to exclude the public in respect of the exempt information, it is considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That under Section 100(A)(2) and (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be now excluded from the meeting for Agenda items 15 and 16 (Minutes 242 and 243 refer) on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of confidential or exempt information as defined in Section 100A(3) and paragraph 3 (private financial or business information) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the said Act (as amended). 

 

In resolving to exclude the public in respect of the exempt information, it was considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

242.

ITEM OF AN EXEMPT NATURE REQUIRING KEY DECISION

To consider the following item of an exempt nature:-

 

Minutes:

The following item of an exempt nature for decision was considered:-

242a

Disabled Adaptations Contract (Forward Plan Reference FP1022)

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on the award for the Disabled Adaptations contract.

Decision:

Cabinet approved a three year contract for Disabled Adaptions, with an optional one year extension, be awarded to Gracelands Complete Maintenance Services Limited, with the Internal Adaptations commencing on 1 April 2021 and the External Adaptations commencing on 1 April 2022.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on the award for the Disabled Adaptations contract.

 

(1)       The Decision Taken

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

Cabinet approved a three year contract for Disabled Adaptions, with an optional one year extension, be awarded to Gracelands Complete Maintenance Services Limited, with the Internal Adaptations commencing on 1 April 2021 and the External Adaptations commencing on 1 April 2022.

 

(2)       Reasons for the Decision

 

Following imminent expiry of the current contract, The General Procurement Board has overseen the re procurement of the Disabled Adaptations Contract. The contract included the adaptation of tenants’ homes (such as new wet rooms) as well as the adaptation of private sector housing and the management of the approval process.

243.

PURCHASE OF LAND AND BUILD CONTRACT WITH ENGIE AT 73 BRIDGE ROAD EAST WELWYN GARDEN CITY

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on a potential development opportunity within the Borough.

Decision:

(1)   Cabinet agreed to delegate authority to the Director (Housing and Communities), in consultation with the Council’s Section 151 Officer, Monitoring Officer and Executive Members (Resources and Housing and Community), to progress negotiations for the purchase of the site, subject to planning approval, suitable financial appraisals and a suitable legal agreement.

 

(2)   Subject to suitable terms for proceeding with the purchase being reached, a further report to be brought to Cabinet setting out a recommendation with the detailed proposal.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Housing and Communities) on a potential development opportunity within the Borough.

 

In February 2021 the Council commenced discussions regarding an opportunity for a land purchase and turnkey agreement to purchase 111 apartments at 73 Bridge Road East, Welwyn Garden City.

 

The site covers 0.54 hectares and is in a sustainable position near to Welwyn Garden City town centre.  The developer is keen to agree a sale as soon as possible. Due to the interest in the site, the Council are keen to progress as soon as possible. 

 

Subject to a deal being agreed, it is envisaged that the two blocks would be purchased for the Affordable Homes Programme.  This acquisition would provide additional properties to the Council’s social housing stock and provide additional affordable housing to meet local housing need.

 

The initial financial appraisals and assessment of build costs indicate that the scheme will be financially viable.

 

RESOLVED:

(unanimous)

 

(1)   Cabinet agreed to delegate authority to the Director (Housing and Communities), in consultation with the Council’s Section 151 Officer, Monitoring Officer and Executive Members (Resources and Housing and Community), to progress negotiations for the purchase of the site, subject to planning approval, suitable financial appraisals and a suitable legal agreement.

 

(2)   Subject to suitable terms for proceeding with the purchase being reached, a further report to be brought to Cabinet setting out a recommendation with the detailed proposal.