Decision details

New Build Housing Acquisitions - Thornfield Mews

Decision Maker: Assistant Director - Housing

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

The Thornfield Mews development at Canal Wharf was identified as being at risk of stalling. A number of options were considered to ensure that the development continued. This included the purchase of two properties already nearing completion (a separate officer decision has been submitted for this) but in order to ensure all phases of the development took place and sufficient RTB 141 expenditure was spent the Housing Service explored the opportunity to buy all six properties that make up phase 1B of the development. The purchase of these properties will provide the developer with the capital to build out Phase 2 of the development.
Rather than buying “off plan” in the usual way, CBC will purchase the undeveloped / partially developed land and the developer will enter into a development Agreement to build the houses. In practical terms this is the same as the developer building the house and CBC buying it off him, but it helps with cashflow and allows CBC to fund the development in stages whilst CBCs investment is protected as it has title to the land.
This approach has been checked by the Monitoring Officer who advised:
'In the circumstances I consider that the existing authority to purchase is sufficient.'
The existing authority referred to is that under the Housing Acquisitions Policy.
The price agreed for all six properties is £1,054,320m (@£175K each).
The properties have been run through the Strategic Acquisitions Calculator and are cost effective.

Decision:

Option 1 - To purchase the land and enter into a development agreement for the six properties comprising Phase 1B of the Thornfield Mews Development. This will ensure that the developer has the capital to complete phase 2 of the development and increase housing development numbers in the Borough.
The need to ensure that RTB141 receipts are spent before March 2020 and there is not any requirement to return monies to Government. The risk in delaying to find alternative scheme could put the money at risk.

Alternative options considered:

Option 1 - To purchase the land and enter into a development agreement for the six properties comprising Phase 1B of the Thornfield Mews Development. This will ensure that the developer has the capital to complete phase 2 of the development and increase housing development numbers in the Borough.
Option 2 - To identify alternative acquisitions options to ensure the spend of RTB 141 receipts.

Reason Key: Decision to dispose or acquire any interest in land or buildings with a value of £50,000 or more;

Contact: Liz Cook, Assistant Director - Housing 01246 345150 Email: liz.cook@chesterfield.gov.uk.

Publication date: 08/01/2020

Date of decision: 23/12/2019