The Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes, Councillor Matthew Bennett, introduced the report and highlighted:
· This report delivered the original objectives of the project via Homes for Lambeth (HfL) for Somerleyton Road, as spearheaded by Brixton Green (agenda pack, page 11).
· These proposals would deliver 300 homes with 50% affordable housing for local families.
· HfL, as a 100% council-owned developer, meant that the Council was not partnering with housing associations or private developers, and was what Brixton Green had campaigned for.
· Lambeth would look to establish a community steering group to progress the proposals.
· Future proposals also included the Ovalhouse Theatre relocation to Carlton Mansions and would be part of the enterprise zone delineated by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London.
Cabinet next heard from Dinah Roake, Brixton Green, who provided the following representations:
· More questions had been raised by this paper and officers needed to meet with Brixton Green and match their input to resolve remaining issues.
· The claims in paragraphs 1.5, 1.8, 1.10, and 1.11 (agenda pack, pages 11-12) were not correct and Lambeth officers had not regularly met with Brixton Green.
· Brixton Green objected to Lambeth’s autumn 2018 decision to move away from a community-led approach and did not feel that the appraisal was robust, in particular by not maximising social housing and that there was no evidence HfL could deliver the Scheme.
· The report did not meet Lambeth’s 28 day publication protocol, did not include previous reports, and residents had only been aware of this meeting two days beforehand. This meant that it had not been possible to consult with and receive input from Brixton Green members.
· This was no longer a community-led scheme, but needed the community to develop proposals.
· The paper called for a formal community Steering Group, but only a resident consultation group was possible without control of management or buildings; and the Council was expected to do better.
Andrew Travers, Chief Executive; Alison McKane, Head of Legal Services and HR; and, Jed Young, Assistant Director for Housing Regeneration, responded to the points raised as follows:
· Jed Young, Assistant Director for Housing Regeneration, stated that he had been seconded to HfL as an Interim Managing Director.
· The decision was for Cabinet, and so only members need to declare interests.
· The Council effectively had absolute control over HfL as it was wholly council-owned and directed, so a model of co-production with strong resident involvement could be serviced.
· Councillors and the Council had worked in good faith over several years to deliver, and had explored alternative delivery methods with Brixton Green.
· It was not possible for Brixton Green or a Somerleyton Road Trust development vehicle to raise the required investment of £50-80m without private sector input.
· A private sector partner providing funding or serving as guarantor would require the Council to go through procurement processes to identify risk holders, whilst the HfL remained a better vehicle.
· The proposals enabled the Council to work with Brixton Green and other organisations to hold onto the vision, ... view the full minutes text for item 3