Agenda and minutes

Housing, Planning and Development Scrutiny Panel
Monday, 7th March, 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: 40 Cumberland Road, Wood Green N22 7SG. View directions

Contact: Philip Slawther, Principal Scrutiny Officer, Email: 

Note: To watch, click the link on the agenda front sheet 

No. Item



Please note that this meeting may be filmed or recorded by the Council for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council’s internet site or by anyone attending the meeting using any communication method. Although we ask members of the public recording, filming or reporting on the meeting not to include the public seating areas, members of the public attending the meeting should be aware that we cannot guarantee that they will not be filmed or recorded by others attending the meeting. Members of the public participating in the meeting (e.g. making deputations, asking questions, making oral protests) should be aware that they are likely to be filmed, recorded or reported on. 


By entering the meeting room and using the public seating area, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings.


The chair of the meeting has the discretion to terminate or suspend filming or recording, if in his or her opinion continuation of the filming, recording or reporting would disrupt or prejudice the proceedings, infringe the rights of any individual or may lead to the breach of a legal obligation by the Council.


The Chair referred Members present to agenda Item 1 as shown on the agenda in respect of filming at this meeting, and Members noted the information contained therein’.


Apologies for Absence


Cllr Hearn attended the meeting virtually.


Urgent Business

The Chair will consider the admission of any late items of urgent business (late items will be considered under the agenda item where they appear. New items will be dealt with as noted below).


There were no items of Urgent Business.


Declarations of interest

A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a prejudicial interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered:


(i) must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent, and

(ii) may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must withdraw from the meeting room.


A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Register of Members’ Interests or the subject of a pending notification must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.


Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal interests and prejudicial interests are defined at Paragraphs 5-7 and Appendix A of the Members’ Code of Conduct.


Cllr Ibrahim advised she had a personal interest in relation to Agenda Item 9, as her mother was a Council tenant on the Noel Park Estate. Cllr Ibrahim advised that she wished to recuse herself from this part of the meeting.  



To consider any requests received in accordance with Part 4, Section B, Paragraph 29 of the Council’s Constitution.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 331 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting on 9th December 2021.




That the minutes of the meeting on 9th December 2022 were agreed as a correct record.


Update on the Council's Housing Delivery Programme pdf icon PDF 925 KB


The Panel received  a report, which provided an update on the Council’s Housing Delivery Programme. The report was introduced by Robbie Erbmann, AD for Housing, as set out in the agenda pack at pages 11-20. The following arose as part of the discussion of the report.

a.    The Panel was advised that as of the previous week, there were 1202 homes started on site, with the addition of Hale Wharf. It was anticipated that this figure would be 1289 by 31st March. To date, the Council had handed over 173 (completed) homes. The original allocation was for 60% affordable homes, this had increased to 83% of homes being built being at Council rents during the current four year period.

b.    Officers advised that although numbers were important, it was equally as important that the homes built were of the highest quality and that this was demonstrated through the number of new homes being built that were zero carbon, for example. The Council had been shortlisted for a number of housebuilding awards, including council of the year.

c.    The Panel sought clarification around the housebuilding graph and the flat lining curve after 2026/27. In response, officers advised that the graph showed housing units that were already in the pipeline and that more work needed to be done to look at the pipeline post 2027. It was emphasised that the rate of building would not tail off after 2027, it was just that more work needed to be done to add sites into the delivery pipeline post 2027. 

d.    In relation to qualifying as net zero on carbon emissions, officers clarified that the scheme had to generate more energy than it took to build it. It was noted that this was very difficult to do on bigger schemes, but that the Council was achieving rates of 80 or 90% on many of these which was significantly above what was stipulated in Building Regulations.

e.    In relation to a follow-up question, officers advised that the fabric of the building was the primary focus of achieving net zero carbon and that as well as the district energy network they also used air source heat pumps. Officers also set out that all schemes had the expectation of net zero, albeit that they may not all achieve it. However, sustainability was a primary concern under the house building programme.

f.     The Panel congratulated the team on their work and the fact that they had been nominated for a number of awards. The Panel questioned what was being done to highlight the Council’s achievements in this area. Officers advised that they were working with the Council communications team to publicise the work that was being done and the fact that they had been shortlisted for a number of awards.

g.    The Panel sought assurances around whether the team were operating at full strength capacity in terms of staffing numbers. In response, officers advised that there were always a handful of vacancies, given the nature of project  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.


Insourcing Homes for Haringey pdf icon PDF 624 KB


The Panel received a report which provided an update on the Council’s plans to insource housing services and staff from Homes for Haringey. The report outlined implementation plans, the proposed structure and the key messages and priorities for the programme. The report was introduced by David Joyce, The Director of Housing, Regeneration & Planning as set out in the agenda pack at pages 21-28. The following arose as part of the discussion of this agenda item:

a.    The Panel sought assurances around the impact of HfH customer service staff being brought in-house and whether adequate training would be provided for them on the full range of Council services. In response, officers advised that work was already underway to ensure that adequate training was in place for all staff that transferred over.

b.    In response to a follow-up question about the support that was in place for managers and directors transferred across, officers advised that additional resources were going in and that there would be a lot of training offered to staff in order to make the transfer work.

c.    The Panel suggested that a follow up report on HfH insourcing should be provided to the next iteration of the Panel.

d.    The Panel requested further information about the co-design approach that had been adopted. In response, officers advised that there had been a number of resident engagement sessions undertaken and that work had been done to try and engage with a wide array of service users. Officers advised the Panel that they were also looking to secure a continued role for the HfH scrutiny panel going forwards and that a set of proposals was coming to Cabinet in July around this.

e.    The Panel also highlighted possible confusion from Members and the residents over the respective roles of the AD Capital Projects and Property and the proposed AD Housing Property Services and that there was a need for a clear distinction between the two roles. An example given was in relation to who would be responsible for Council homes that were located above commercial properties. In response, officers acknowledged these concerns and agreed that some further thought would be given to differentiating the two roles. 

f.     In relation to a question about savings, officers advised that the rationale for insourcing HfH was never about making financial savings. However, officers set out that it was hoped that there could be opportunities for efficiency savings and that these savings could then be reinvested across the wider Council.

g.    The Panel queried whether there we any indicative figures for the level of savings that might be achieved. In response, officers advised that there were no targets in relation to possible savings. The approach being taken was to ‘lift’ and ‘shift’ the HfH structure into the Council and there were only two posts being deleted. Therefore, this would not generate big savings. Officers advised that they would be looking to undertake service reviews to make improvements to frontline services after the transfer, but it was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


Progress on the building works to the Noel Park Pods pdf icon PDF 253 KB

Additional documents:


*Clerk’s note 19:40 – Cllr Ibrahim left the meeting at this point*


The Panel received a written update on the progress of the building works on the Noel Park Estate around replacement of the 1970’s pre-fabricated extensions to kitchens and bathroom called ‘pods’ in 242 properties on the estate. It was noted that although, the overall programme for the external works on Noel Park had been delayed, the team had undertaken as much enabling work as possible to lessen the impact once planning permission has been granted. The report was introduced by Judith Page, Executive Director of Property at HfH as set out in the agenda pack at pages 29-32. Kurtis Lee, Director of Asset Management for HfH was also present for this agenda item. The report also included a Heritage Statement appraisal report that was commissioned for the estate, as an appendix to the update.  The following arose during the discussion of this item:

  1. The Panel sought assurances around the timescales for the planning application process. In response, officers acknowledged the planning applications had been submitted in batches, with three of the four batches submitted. The final batch was due to be submitted the following week and that a consultation meeting with leaseholders on the final batch was scheduled for 26th March.
  2. Officers estimated that the first batch of applications would commence from July 2022, with phase 1 of the overall programme due for completion in February 2020. The final phase should begin onsite by September 2022 and be completed by September 2023.
  3. The Panel queried how many leaseholders had accepted the Council’s offer. In response, officers clarified that the process was more about leaseholders coming back to the Council to say whether they fitted the criteria for a range of support measures, such as buy-back and phasing of payments. HfH advised that they were unable to give an accurate number during the meeting as the figures tended to change on a daily basis. HfH officers agreed to come back to the Panel with these figures in writing.  (Action: Judith Page).
  4. The Panel questioned the short timeframe in which leaseholders were given to accept the cost of the works and the fact that there was no guarantee to the overall cost of the works. In response, HfH advised that they had to follow the Section 20 process as set out in legislation and that this included an open tender for the works and an assessment of leaseholder costs being made as part of that tender. The Panel was advised that there was an overall price cap in place and that quality of works was also an important consideration.
  5. In response to a follow-up question, HfH advised that they had tried to include all of the possible costs that they thought leaseholders might reasonably incur. If, upon further inspection, some of the work was not required, then the cost reduction would be passed on to the leaseholder.







High Road West - Update on Council Housing elements pdf icon PDF 289 KB


The Panel received a verbal presentation on the council housing elements of the proposed High Road West (HRW) scheme, along with a briefing paper that was included in the agenda pack at pages 87-90. The presentation was introduced by Sarah Lovell, Head of Area Regeneration. Peter O’Brien, AD for Regeneration and Economic Development was also present. The following key points were noted from the presentation:

  • There are three key ways in which the Council can ensure that the agreed number of Council homes are delivered – The Development Agreement with Lendlease, GLA funding contracts and Planning policy.
  • HRW is a phased agreement. The Development Agreement is structured in such a way as to ensure that conditions are met before a phase can progress. Land will not be passed to Lendlease until conditions are met. The core requirements of the scheme are the primary requirements which must be delivered. These include the delivery of 500 council homes at social rents. The scheme cannot proceed until the core requirements are met.
  • GLA Funding contracts – Should the scheme not deliver the social rent homes by the agreed milestone dates, GLA funding for the whole scheme could be withdrawn. Consequently, 500 social rented homes must be delivered otherwise the scheme cannot progress.
  • Planning Policy also provides protections on the amount of affordable homes delivered. Planning policy requires the scheme re-provides the existing social rented homes on Love Lane Estate. HRW is targeting 40% affordable homes across the whole scheme. Phase A already has a firm commitment to deliver 40% affordable housing, including 500 social rent homes.
  • The Love Lane Estate currently has c.220 tenanted and 45 leaseholder properties, the scheme has to be delivered in phases. The Council has agreed phasing commitments, which are enshrined in the landlord offer, which seek to minimise disruption to residents and maximise the number of residents who move once from their existing homes on the Love Lane Estate into their new homes within the scheme.
  • To meet this commitment, Lendlease must build social rented homes early to ensure that residents can move to their new homes. If Lendlease do not do this, vacant possession of Love Lane cannot be achieved, and development can’t proceed. This is the reason that the first phase includes 100% council homes that council homes are prioritised in the subsequent phases.

The following arose during the discussion of this agenda item:

  1. The Panel noted that there had been a number of rumours floating around that Lendlease were going to reduce the number of homes for social rent down from 500 and that they would seek to build this element of the scheme last.
  2. The Panel welcomed the assurances given in the presentation that this was not the case and suggested that the Council should be proactively seeking to counter these rumours with the information provided in the presentation. The Panel noted that Members had received an email from the Love Lane Temporary Accommodation Group that set out a number of concerns based on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.


Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 383 KB


The work programme was noted.


The Panel recommend that the next iteration of the Panel receive a further update on the building work on the Noel Park pods, at a future meeting. It was suggested that this should be in 6-9 months’ time.


New items of urgent business

To consider any items admitted at item 3 above.





Dates of Future Meetings