Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Decision on the future of the Fenwick estate
– redevelopment / refurbishment
The report was introduced by the Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Matthew Bennett, who noted that:
· This programme was part of a significant investment in housing across the borough and the Administration were tackling the housing crisis head on despite cuts and reduced funding from central government.
· This particular programme would see an increase of between 50 and 100 social housing properties (in addition to the 55 homes to be delivered in Phase 1 by Transport for London (TfL)), that all existing tenants would be guaranteed a property on the re-developed estate, and would provide options to allow leaseholders to remain on the estate.
· It was recognised that there would be disruption and heightened anxiety due to the re-development but the Council were committed to supporting those affected and ensuring the programme was delivered.
The Ward Councillors, Andy Wilson, Tina Valcarcel and Marsha de Cordova addressed Cabinet and advised of the following:
· There have been a number of events and workshops to raise awareness and share information about the programme.
· There was a strong Resident Engagement Panel, which worked well and was chaired by a local resident.
· They were pleased to see the strong levels of engagement as set out in paragraph 1.18 of the report (page 17).
· The same level on engagement needed to be retained going forward and specific plans needed to be made for the underground car park which needed to be fed back to residents and Councillors.
· They were pleased to see that the Council had listened in regard to the odd-numbered properties along Willington Road and removed these from the scheme.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, asked for one resident at the meeting to address Cabinet on behalf of those in attendance, even though they had not registered in advance. The resident representative advised that:
· There was uncertainty on the change in tenancy, rents, service charges and loss of right to buy.
· It was unclear what the financial implications were for leaseholders and what support would be available to assist, such as with re-mortgage applications.
· The ward Councillors did not represent the entire estate and they only engaged with a minority.
· The Council had previously said they would invest in the estate through new kitchens and bathrooms which was not carried out.
· Any questions raised by leaseholders such as service charge levels were deferred, and so it was unclear how a decision could be made without clear evidence or information.
The Programme Director for Capital Programmes and the Director of Strategy and Commissioning Housing and Communities responded to some of the points raised and advised that:
· The equalities impact assessment would be built into the work programme going forward.
· That a small change to the Equalities Impact assessment was suggested by the Equalities Impact Assessment Panel (i.e. remove sentence “The outcome of the proposals would positively benefit these households” on page 254 of the agenda pack).
· More consultation on the key guarantees would be undertaken.
· They acknowledged that more work needed to be done with residents and that further information would be picked up once the housing needs assessment was done in more detail.
· There was huge pressure on the Housing Revenue Account and a deficit for the Lambeth Housing Standards programme, which was in part why the Council had been considering redevelopment of some estates.
Cabinet Members made the following comments and observations:
· They were pleased that the equalities impact would be built into the work programme going forward.
· The approach and focus on private renters was welcomed.
· The programme did disproportionally affected black and minority ethnic (BME) residents on the estate and this needed to be managed carefully.
· More detail on what percentage of properties would be accessible for less able people needed to be clearly defined.
· Re-development represented better value for money (as opposed to refurbishment).
The Leader of the Council encouraged the residents to engage with the consultation process and local representatives, she thanked everyone for their contributions at the meeting. She further advised that the Council was committed to continue the dialogue with residents and that the consultation process had not ended.
1) That the redevelopment of the Fenwick Estate, in accordance with the approach set out in Section 2 of this report, and to procure a development management team to progress the redevelopment of the estate through the planning process be approved.
2) That the Key Guarantees as included in Appendix H (pending any improvement to the Key Guarantees through further consultation with residents) and to negotiate purchase of leaseholder properties under the shadow of a compulsory purchase order (CPO), as set out in paragraphs 2.7 to 2.9 be implemented.
3) That the inclusion of additional land holdings within the masterplan for Fenwick Estate (excluding the odd-numbered properties on Willington Road – see paragraph 2.5), where such land lies on the boundary of the Estate, and where such inclusions can be shown through the masterplanning process to improve the place-making outcomes and/or deliver a net increase in the number of homes (see paragraph 2.6) be approved.
4) That officers and the procured development management team to work closely with residents in the procurement and formulation of the masterplan, including a phasing strategy and a local lettings policy for the Estate.
Report author: Julian Hart
Publication date: 15/07/2016
Date of decision: 11/07/2016
Decided at meeting: 11/07/2016 - Cabinet
Effective from: 23/07/2016