Councillor Clare Cummins, Cabinet Member for Housing Services, presented the report which proposed arrangements for delivery of a housing scheme at Fletcher Fold, Bury in partnership with Six Town Housing. The scheme for 26 affordable homes was approved in principle by Cabinet on 11th November 2020. Since then, the Council had successfully bid for Brownfield Land Funding to undertake land remediation works at the site, which were now complete.
1. Approved the principle of the Fletcher Fold housing scheme being developed by Six Town Housing, on the basis of the financial and governance arrangements set out in the report;
2. Noted that provision of £4m has been made for this scheme in the Council’s approved Capital Programme; and
3. Delegated authority to the Director of Housing after consultation with the Chief Executive, the Executive Director of Finance, the Director of Law and Governance and the Cabinet Member for Housing Services to approve the detailed proposals to be submitted by Six Town Housing.
Reasons for the decision:
· To facilitate the Council’s brownfield first approach to housing delivery and reduce the Council’s revenue costs for holding, maintaining and securing long-term disused sites.
· Delivery of the priorities of the Council’s Housing Strategy to increase the supply of new housing and the delivery of affordable homes.
· Delivery of low carbon sustainable homes.
Other options considered and rejected:
1. Do nothing: Bury has high levels of need for affordable housing and supply is required in the marketplace. This is a brownfield site suitable for housing in an area of high demand, to do nothing would not be an option.
2. Market the site: The proposed scheme would not be delivered in the current housebuilding marketplace and, there are overage and clawback mechanisms in the Brownfield Housing Grant contract that would negate any capital receipt to the Council.
3. Dispose of the site to a Registered Housing Provider to deliver a similar scheme. This would take away a degree of control but would reduce the Council's risk. It would not support provide any financial support to the Housing Revenue Account.