Agenda item

Broadwater Farm Estate, designs for new homes and improvements, Landlord Offer, Ballot and Ballot Programme, relocation of existing facilities

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


The Cabinet Member for House Building, Place-Making and Development introduced the report which provided an update on the partnership work between the Council and the Broadwater Farm Estate community to develop placemaking design proposals.  The report also sought approval of the key principles of the preferred design and ground floor strategy alongside the key commitments to residents which would form part of a Landlord Offer, and approval to proceed to a resident ballot on the Broadwater Farm Estate.


The Cabinet Member responded to questions from Councillor Cawley-Harrison:

-           Residents would be provided with indicative rents before the ballot, however this would be with the caveat that rents would be set according to the formula at the time of letting the properties.

-           There was a ‘no’ vote, a new scheme would have to be started from scratch.  Tangmere and Northolt blocks were due to be demolished for health and safety reasons, and would leave a large space in the estate.

-           There were 28 leasehold properties, with resident leaseholders entitled to the right to return.  Not all were resident leaseholders however, so the maximum number of leaseholders who could return would be 28 but this number may be lower.


RESOLVED that Cabinet


1.         Note and consider the feedback from consultations with residents and the wider community, including those required under Section 105, on the design of the new homes and associated improvements on Broadwater Farm, as described in paragraphs 6.8 to 6.26 and set out in Appendix A.


2.         Approve the following:

a)     The key principles of the Urban Design Framework (UDF) as described in paragraphs 6.27 to 6.35 and the summary draft UDF document in Appendix B

b)     The key principles of the preferred design for new homes, as described in paragraph 6.37 and the summary document in Appendix C, that will be voted on by residents in the ballot referred to in recommendation 3.2 (e)

c)      The commitments of the Broadwater Farm Landlord Offer as set out in paragraph 6.70.

d)     The principles of the proposed Rent Strategy for the new homes on the estate, as set out in paragraphs 6.77 to 6.85.

e)     A ballot be undertaken of eligible current and former Broadwater Farm residents based on the approved design and the Broadwater Farm Landlord Offer, described in paragraphs 6.72 to 6.76.

f)       The inclusion of the Enterprise Centre, Broadwater Farm Medical Centre and the former Moselle School as development sites within the design proposals, as described in paragraphs 6.41 to 6.64. 


3.         Delegate authority to the Director of Housing, Regeneration and Planning, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housebuilding, Placemaking and Development, to:

a)     Approve the final ballot materials, including the final Landlord Offer document and the final ballot programme.

b)     Approve the final detailed design and subsequent submission of a full planning application, based on the design principles referred to in recommendation 2(b) and subject to the outcome of the ballot referred to in recommendation 2(e).


Reasons for decision


The demolition of Tangmere and Northolt blocks was, following consultation, agreed by Cabinet in November 2018. This was deemed to be the only viable option following the discovery of serious structural defects in those blocks. A commitment to replace the council rented homes lost on the estate with new council homes was made to those residents affected at the time.


Since then, the Council has been working closely with residents and the wider community to develop designs for and deliver the most comprehensive and wide-reaching Estate Improvements programme within the estate’s history. This is a unique opportunity to transform the quality of life on the estate and deliver new homes, new streets, new public realm, and new social infrastructure as part of an ambitious long-term vision for the estate. The improvements will deliver on the community’s priorities and aspirations that have been identified through extensive engagement efforts.


This report sets out the commitments that will be made to residents in the Landlord Offer and how the proposed designs will deliver on these commitments. The report will authorise a ballot of Broadwater Farm residents, in accordance with GLA funding requirements, ensuring that they have the final say on whether the proposals deliver on their priorities and commitments made to them. If this is successful, then the report will authorise officers to progress with a detailed planning application and enable the delivery of this once in a generation, transformational project.


Alternative Options Considered


Officers considered the following alternative options to those recommended in the report:


Option to not hold ballot and build new homes

The option to not hold a ballot was rejected. While an exemption to a ballot was obtained from the GLA for the replacement homes funding, a commitment was made by the Council to residents to allow them to have a say on the proposals. Since then, the inclusion of the Stapleford North block in the preferred design means a ballot is now a condition of the GLA grant funding for the new homes.


The new homes must be delivered to replace the social rented homes. This was a key commitment to residents during the initial consultations on demolition of the Tangmere and Northolt blocks. The buildings must be demolished for safety reasons and this has already been consulted upon with residents and approved by Cabinet. Not replacing the homes would result in a net loss in council homes in the borough and the Council and residents would be left with an empty site and the costs and issues associated with that. 


The recommended option is to therefore proceed with the project to deliver new homes and ballot residents on the proposals.


Option not to adopt rent strategy

The rent strategy for residents opting to exercise the right to return is in line with commitments the council has made on regeneration schemes elsewhere, ensuring that where residents are moved and their homes demolished, they are able to return to the estate on similar terms to their previous tenancy. The rent strategy for all homes let to council tenants beyond those opting to exercise the right to return is in line with the Council’s rent strategy on new lettings borough wide.


The recommended option is to therefore adopt the proposed rent strategy.


Option to not relocate the Enterprise Units and medical centre

The proposals for Broadwater Farm provide an excellent opportunity to relocate the current Enterprise Centre units and medical centre facilities in new, high-quality, easily accessible buildings and address the issues associated with the current buildings and environment, as described in more detail in paragraphs 6.49 to 6.56 below. It also offers the opportunity to provide more housing, improved public realm alongside higher quality infrastructure from which opportunities and services can be delivered for the community.  


Retaining the buildings would mean these opportunities are lost, resulting in a poorer outcome in terms of opportunities and services for residents, urban design, and delivery of council housing.


Demolishing but not re-providing the facilities is not an option. The Enterprise Centre units are subject to a court order requiring the council to re-provide them. The medical centre provides an essential service to residents and the Council is committed to maintaining this provision on the estate.


The recommended option is to therefore demolish and re-provide the Enterprise Centre units and medical centre as part of the new development. This will provide a better outcome for residents, users of the facilities and the Council.

Supporting documents: