Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
CABINET: 4TH FEBRUARY, 2013
REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION): 16TH JANUARY, 2013
“ OPTIONS APPRAISAL FOR LAND IN HOUSING SERVICES (DVSH) –
The Committee’s approval was sought to allow officers to explore options to increase the supply of affordable housing in the Vale of Glamorgan by using land owned by the Council’s Housing Service. The Committee’s agreement was also sought to allow officers to explore opportunities to dispose of small non development land bordering existing properties in order to reduce the financial cost of land maintenance and security on the Housing Revenue Account.
The Committee had been informed that in December 2010 the Cabinet had previously agreed to adopt an updated Vale of Glamorgan Local Housing Market Assessment (LHMA). The updated LHMA identified that there was a critical need for additional affordable housing with a requirement of 915 additional units required per annum. The LHMA had also identified that the highest need was for social rented units (80%).
There was also a combination of other factors such as the ongoing economic crisis and the proposed Welfare Reform Agenda that were likely to place further pressure on the availability of new affordable housing within the Vale of Glamorgan. The Committee was also informed that there were currently two mechanisms used to deliver affordable housing i.e. Social Housing Grant and Supplementary Planning Guidance for Affordable Housing. However, the delivery of affordable housing under both these themes had been significantly curtailed due to the impact of the economic recession.
The Operational Manager for Public Housing informed the Committee that the Council had a number of varying sized pieces of land or sites suitable for the development of housing which were in the ownership of the Council’s Housing Service. Land pursuant to Part II of the Housing Act 1985 (the HRA sites) the Council had power pursuant to the Local Government Act 1988: General Consents A & B for Local Authority Assistance for Privately Let Housing 2004 to dispose of land at an undervalue to a Registered Social Landlord for the purpose of development as housing accommodation provided the benefit did not exceed £2m. in any financial year.
The Council also owned small pieces of land bordering existing properties which were not suitable for development but were a continuing financial burden on the Council due to the ongoing maintenance and security costs. It was noted that the Council received regular enquiries from residents of neighbouring properties who wished to acquire such areas of land to increase the curtilage of their properties.
Accordingly, it was proposed subject to the Cabinet’s approval, that the Housing Service undertakes an exercise to identify all sites in its ownership suitable for affordable housing development or disposal and to provide a further report on options for the Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet to consider.
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the contents of the report be endorsed and that the matter be referred to the Cabinet for further consideration.
Reason for recommendation
To allow the Cabinet to give consideration on an options appraisal for land in the ownership of the Council’s Housing Service.”
Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 16th January 2013