The Executive Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities submitted a report that provided feedback on the Park End residential site community consultation and to make recommendations for their disposal.
The potential housing sites at Park End were considered for housing development by the Executive Sub Committee for Property on the 4 April 2012 as part of the NSAR process and since that time had been subjected to community consultation and review. The sites were shown at Appendix 1 of the report.
The Sub Committee agreed that there would be appropriate consultation with Ward Members and the general public before final decisions were made. On the 22 August 2012, following the initial community consultation, the Sub-Committee was advised that a substantial number of objections from residents and the Park End Community Council were received for the Margrove Walk and Cornforth Walk sites. A 56- signature petition for Cornforth Walk and a 27-signature petition for Margrove Walk objecting to development were received.
Given the consultation feedback, the Sub-Committee suspended any decision on disposals pending a collective consideration of all housing development proposals for the Park End sites, to ensure that there was definite, viable development interest.
A number of private house builders were asked to consider the sites, none of which registered any interest. However, Coast and Country Housing Association submitted proposals for all but one site, and Home Housing submitted a proposal for the Overdale Road site. A summary of the affordable housing proposals received was set out in further detail within the report.
Collectively, the Registered Provider interest offered the opportunity for 82 new affordable homes, including special needs accommodation. This equated to investment of c. £8m, plus jobs and training opportunities for local people. Coast and Country Housing Association, in particular, had an excellent track record of ensuring that employment and training opportunities go to local people. The provision of bungalows on a number of sites particularly addressed the needs of the elderly in the area.
At its meeting of 4 December 2012, after considering the development proposals set out above, the Sub Committee approved a further community consultation exercise based on the new housing association homes proposed.
The Consultation was oultine in further detail within the report.
In order to balance the views of the local community directly effected by the proposed new housing against the wider housing needs of the town, a compromise position involving partial development of the sites was recommended for approval as set out in the report and shown at Appendix 2.
The report outlined that there were three options available:
full development of all of the sites;
no development of any of the sites, and;
partial development of some of the sites - this option was recommended as it offered a compromise position which balanced the concerns of the local residents with the wider needs of the town.
During the meeting Councill K Morby and Councillor M Saunders both expressed their concerns with the developments, around the issue of Parking, loss of green areas, school placements and especially the building of the dementia unit on Cornforth Walk.
Councillor Brenda Thompson commented that in her role as Executive Member for Children's Services, she would be monitoring the school placement concerns in the Park End Ward.
Councillor Charles Rooney commented that Park End was being developed as there was a demand for housing and developers were wanting to build in the area.
Councillor David Budd commented that he would agree the recommendations on the grounds that car parking and school placements was looked into in further detail.
the disposal of the sites at Cornforth Walk, Penrith Road, Royston Avenue and Overdale Road for the development of affordable homes, subject to planning approval, as shown at Appendix 2 of the report be approved;
the disposal of the sites at Margrove Walk and Kirkland Walk are not approved;
the principle of disposing of the Evesham Road site, and delegates authority to the Executive Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities to progress the disposal at the appropriate time be agreed;
the proposed disposals for nil consideration will each be subject to the development of a business case, with approval delegated to the Directors of Neighbourhoods & Communities and Strategic Resources, in line with the approach approved by the Executive Sub-Committee for Property 22 August 2012 be noted; and
that the issues around car parking and school placements be looked into in further detail.
The decisions were supported by the following reason:
The recommendations reflect the need to balance the views of local residents and the wider housing needs of the town.