Bath & North East Somerset Council
Cllr Vic Pritchard, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services and Housing.
On or after 2nd October 2010
Local Lettings Plans - Amberley Close and Lulworth Road Keynsham, and Holcombe Green Bath.
EXECUTIVE FORWARD PLAN REFERENCE:
Weston, Keynsham South
AN OPEN PUBLIC ITEM
List of attachments to this report:
Annex A. Local Lettings Plans - Amberley Close and Lulworth Road Keynsham, and Holcombe Green Bath.
1 THE ISSUE
1.1 Two new-build multi-tenure housing schemes, one in Bath and the other in Keynsham are nearing completion. The developments are a Somer Community Housing Trust regeneration project. The schemes are being built on sites of former PRC (pre cast reinforced concrete) properties, that have been demolished. The two new schemes replace seventy six homes with one hundred and five new units. The social housing within these developments will shortly be allocated by Housing Services.
1.2 Amberley Close and Lulworth Road in Keynsham is a development of sixty one units, of which fifty are general needs social housing, of two and three bedrooms.
1.3 Holcombe Green in Bath is a development of forty four units, all of which are general needs social housing; forty three of the units are two and three bedroom.
1.4 The new social housing within the developments will be allocated through the council's Choice Based Lettings scheme, Homesearch. This will be done in partnership with the landlord, Somer Community Housing Trust.
1.5 The locations of the two new housing developments are within existing communities, and incorporate some mixed tenures. There are a high number of family units within both developments, and there is therefore potential for very high child density. It is essential that the accommodation is allocated so that tenancies are sustained to ensure the long term success of both schemes. The local lettings plans will help to create sustainable communities by allocating accommodation to people who choose to live in the area and who want to be part of a successful balanced community.
The aim of this local lettings plan is to ensure that a range of housing need is met by ensuring that homes are let to applicants with different types of need and priority. It is also intended to allow for some under-occupation of accommodation, and allocate property to families with a range of ages of children. This should reduce management problems including anti social behaviour. The plan will help reduce turnover and build a sustainable and desirable community which enhances the neighbourhood.
1.6 It is proposed that the rented social housing in these developments is advertised and allocated in line with the Homesearch Lettings Policy and Somer Community Housing Trusts allocations policy. Where the Homesearch CBL fails to provide a balanced community, Somer will be able to overlook applicants in consultation with Housing Services.
The Cabinet member is asked to agree that:
2.1 To approve the local lettings plan for these Somer Community Housing Trust developments. (see Attachment Annex A ) Local Lettings Plans - Amberley Close and Lulworth Road Keynsham, and Holcombe Green Bath.
2.2 The local lettings plans will be effective for one year, after which they will be reviewed.
3 FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
3.1 There are no direct financial implications for the Council of these schemes as they are owned and operated through Somer Community Housing Trust.
3.2 Creating a sustainable community will reduce the demand for other public services and the resources of our partner, Somer Community Housing Trust.
4 CORPORATE PRIORITIES
5 THE REPORT
5.1 Please see attached Local Lettings Plans (Local Lettings Plans - Amberley Close and Lulworth Road Keynsham, and Holcombe Green Bath.)
6 RISK MANAGEMENT
6.1 The report author and Cabinet member have fully reviewed the risk assessment related to the issue and recommendations, in compliance with the Council's decision making risk management guidance.
7.1 The Homesearch team has carried out an equality impact assessment of its service. The Choice Based Lettings system is accessible, user feedback shows that it is seen to be transparent and equitable. This local lettings plan aims to facilitate a balanced and sustainable community
8.1 Creating sustainable communities in these areas of Bath and North East Somerset will have positive benefits to residents and visitors to the area. Moreover it will contribute to the socio-economic future and stability of the area.
9 OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED
9.1 To allocate the properties strictly through the Choice Based Letting system without local lettings plans was also considered. Without local lettings plans, the new communities may lack social and economic diversity in these areas of Bath and North East Somerset, and may therefore have a negative impact on existing neighbouring communities and services.
10.1 Cabinet member; Stakeholders/Partners; Section 151 Finance Officer; Chief Executive; Monitoring Officer
10.2 The consultation was by email and meeting
11 ISSUES TO CONSIDER IN REACHING THE DECISION
11.1 Social Inclusion; Customer Focus; Sustainability; Health & Safety; Impact on Staff; Other Legal Considerations
12 ADVICE SOUGHT
12.1 The Council's Monitoring Officer (Council Solicitor) and Section 151 Officer (Divisional Director - Finance) have had the opportunity to input to this report and have cleared it for publication.
Michael Chedzoy, Housing Services Manager
Please contact the report author if you need to access this report in an alternative format