Agenda item

Homes for Lambeth - Business Plan (April 2019 to March 2020)

Key Decision

All Wards

 

Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes

 

Interim Strategic Director for Sustainable Growth and Opportunity

 

Contact: Mandy Green, Assistant Director for Homes and Communities, mgreen3@lambeth.gov.uk, 0207 9276 7020

Minutes:

The report was introduced by Councillor Matthew Bennet, Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes who highlighted:

That Home for Lambeth (HfL) were a Council owned company (100%) and he was proud of the leadership shown by the Administration in addressing the housing crisis.

HfL would be able to deliver housing in a more commercial and efficient way than could otherwise be done within the Council.

HfL had secured planning permission for three estates, Knights Walk, South Lambeth and Westbury and had also began managing the 70 news homes at Lollard Street.

The Cabinet Advisory Panel that will have oversight of HfL had agreed the business plan and recommended it to Cabinet for approval.

The business plan before Cabinet was for the period from April 2019 – March 2020.

 

In response to some of the questions raised by Councillor Tim Briggs, Pete Elliott and Jonathan Bartley, Cabinet and Officers advised that:

·         It was prudent to highlight the risks which would enable better planning and readiness. Abandoning HfL because of the risks associated would not deal with the housing shortfall and Cabinet Member commented that the opposition had no coherent plan.

·         The Ownership and Stewardship Panel would provide monitoring of the work of HfL and Overview and Scrutiny would have some part to play in ensuring the business plan was being delivered.

·         The business plan was a statement of intent and there would be further decisions that were needed to ensure the work by HfL could begin.

·         The underpinning principal of HfL was to build affordable homes. 

 

In response to some of the queries raised by Nicola Curtis, Chair Central Hill Tenants Resident Association (TRA) and Shemi Leira Chair of the Westbury TRA, officers advised that:

·         The Health and Safety Executive did visit the site and their report is awaited.

·         It was usual to find substances such as asbestos in buildings which was why detailed surveys and a methodical way to deal with were employed.

·         The tender by MACE was considered by the Council not to represent value for money, and during the final analysis the decision was taken not to appoint them.

·         Considerable consultation was undertaken and that would continue at each stage of the developments. Officers would be happy to meet with residents again.

 

Cabinet Members made the following observations:

·         They heard about how the regeneration impacted on the health and wellbeing of residents and that needed to be properly addressed in the equality impact assessment.

·         This was a huge undertaking and there was clear evidence of this particular process being used successfully elsewhere. Some of the big projects that the administration had championed in the past had similar risks but were successful.

·         The issue before Cabinet was to approve the business plan for HfL, some of the other issues raised had been dealt with previously.

·         This was a credible and ambitious plan and we needed to get on with it if the Council wanted to tackle the housing crisis and associated problems.

 

 

RESOLVED:

1) To note the recommendation of the Ownership and Stewardship Cabinet Advisory Panel and approve the Homes for Lambeth Business Plan which covers the period of April 2019 to March 2020.

 

2) To commission and to delegate authority to the boards of the Homes for Lambeth group of companies to implement the Business Plan over this period.

 

3) To delegate authority to the Section 151 officer to raise and onward lend sufficient prudential borrowing to enable Homes for Lambeth to build, to operate and to enter into construction contracts for the projects outlined in Section 2.

 

4) To Delegate Authority to the Chief Executive to nominate representatives of the Council to the Homes or Lambeth Board as and when required.

Supporting documents: