Agenda item

Approval of housing construction contract and land appropriation at Redlands, Summerhill Road N15

[Report of the Director for Housing, Regeneration and Planning.  To be introduced by the Cabinet Member for House Building, Place-Making and Development]


The report will ask Cabinet to approve the letting of a build contract to build eight new Council homes for Council rent. It will also request the appropriation of the land, first for planning purposes and then on completion for housing purposes.


The Cabinet Member for House Building, Place-Making and Development introduced the report which sought approval, following consultation with local residents, to build eight new Council homes for Council rent on Council land that is currently used primarily as a car park for the Redlands Estate residents and includes six garages.  This location had experienced anti-social behaviour issues in the past and it was anticipated that the development of the scheme would resolve these issues.


The Cabinet Member and Officers responded to questions from the Cabinet:

-           Disabled parking spaces would be planned out and positioned in an area where the disabled units were located.

-           The scheme would provide a range of green space – private garden space for the houses and communal green space. 

-           Secure cycle parking would be provided, and exact figures would be provided in writing to Councillor Hakata.


In response to Councillor Ogiehor, the Assistant Director for Housing advised that the scheme would be completed in late 2023 / early 2024.


Further to considering exempt information it was,


RESOLVED that Cabinet:


1.         Approves the appointment of Contractor A, identified in the exempt part of the report, to undertake the new build works to provide a total of eight new Council rented homes at Redlands, Summerhill Road for a total contract sum set out in the exempt part of the report; and approves the client contingency sum set out in the exempt part of the report.


2.         Approves the appropriation of the land known as Redlands, Summerhill Road (edged red in the site plan attached at Appendix 1) from housing purposes to planning purposes as it is no longer required for the purpose which it is currently held, and for the purpose of carrying out development as set out in part 6 of this report.


3.         Approves the use of the Council’s powers under Section 203 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to override easements and other rights of neighbouring properties infringed upon by the Redlands, Summerhill Road development, under planning permission Ref: HGY/2020/1779.


4.         Delegates to the Director of Housing, Regeneration and Planning, after consultation with the Director of Finance and the Cabinet Member for House building, Placemaking and Development, authority to make payments of compensation as a result of any infringement arising from the development and the recommendation 3.1.3, within the existing scheme of delegation.


5.         Approves the appropriation of Redlands, Summerhill Road (edged red in the plans attached at Appendix 1) from planning purposes back to housing purposes under Section 19 of the Housing Act 1985, after practical completion of the development.

Reasons for decisions


The site known as Redlands, Summerhill Road was approved by Cabinet in July 2019 to be included in the Council’s housing delivery programme. The scheme has subsequently been granted planning consent and is ready to progress to construction. This report therefore marks the third, and final, Members’ decision to develop on this site.


Contractor A has been identified by a formal tender process to undertake these works.


There are no reasons for the Council to believe that any third-party rights would be infringed by the development: the scheme has received planning permission, and no concerns about the loss of rights were raised during extensive engagement and consultation.  However, appropriation of the site for planning purposes is recommended as a precaution. It will allow the Council to use the powers contained in Section 203 to override easements and other rights of neighbouring properties and will prevent injunctions that could delay or prevent the Council’s proposed development. Section 203 converts the right to seek an injunction into a right to compensation. The site will need to be appropriated back from planning purposes to housing purposes on completion of the development to enable the Council to use the land for housing and let eight new Council homes at Council rent.


The site proposal will provide eight much needed Council homes on Council land, alleviate potential anti-social behaviour attracted to the site by an open, unsecured car park and improve both the estate boundary and street scene of West Green Road and Summerhill Road.


Alternative options considered


It would be possible not to develop this site for housing purposes. However, this option was rejected as it does not support the Council’s commitment to deliver a new generation of Council homes.


This opportunity was procured via a competitive tender through the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Construction Works and Associated Services Framework Agreement, the route recommended by Strategic Procurement for a contract of this value. Alternative options would have been either a competitive tender through the London Construction Programme (LCP) Major Works 2019 Framework Agreement or a direct appointment to one of the LCP framework providers. These options were both rejected: the first because a competitive tender through the LCP had already been unsuccessful, and the second because of the quality and price safeguarding a competitive tender is believed to provide.


The Council could continue with the scheme without appropriating the site for planning purposes, but this would risk the proposed development being delayed or stopped by potential third-party claims. By utilising the powers under Section 203 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA 2016), those who benefit from third party rights will not be able to seek an injunction since those rights or easements that are overridden are converted into a claim for compensation only. The Council recognises the potential rights of third parties and will pay compensation where a legal basis for such payments is established. The housing delivery team actively engaged with local residents about the development of this site as they proceeded through the feasibility and design stages and any comments or objections raised were taken into consideration by Planning Committee in reaching its decision.


The Council could decide not to appropriate the land for housing purposes upon practical completion of the building works. This option was rejected because it could prevent the Council from being able to offer up these homes for occupation as social housing, thereby not supporting the delivery of much needed affordable homes.

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