New Homes Programme Update
The Programme Manager Housing Matters introduced the report. The Chair asked when the rest of the homes would be built, and was told the total was still 500 as there was capacity for this amount and pending planning permission it could take up to 9 months. The Chair asked what Lewisham Homes view was, and if there was any factor that would delay the plan.
The Lewisham Homes representative said that although there was quite a bit of work to be done they were trying to keep within the timeframe. The Chair asked why the plan was being delayed, he said members were told that building a tower block in Eliot Bank would not be problematic, but Panel Members have since discovered this was not true.
The Programme Manager Housing Matters said that officers had discovered that the loss of green space and infill site proved to be problematic. Councillor Handley asked whether there were alternative sites being considered, and was told that officers were looking at alternatives and would welcome any recommended sites. Councillor Johnston-Franklin said it was important to involve the community earlier in the process so that things are made very clear to avoid problems at a later stage.
The Chair asked if the Ladywell Pool site could be utilised, and was told there were currently pop up homes on this site with 3 years still to go, and these homes were housing homeless people. Councillor Morrison said there was a large fenced off site next to St Stephens Church that had been vacant for a long time, and the Programme Manager Housing Matters said officers would investigate this site.
The Chair said proposals for the Ladywell Pool site started 10 years ago and although the pop up homes were now on site plans should be put in place to develop this land as soon as the pop up homes come down in 3 years. The Programme Manager Housing Matters response was that lot of work had been done on how much development could be put on the site, and there had been some consultation to work out the scope of development.
The Chair said because of the urgency and volume of need things had to move quickly. The Chair added that the Housing Select Committee would be looking at the pathway for the next administration to look at future development of this site. Councillor Handley said it was important to have alternatives as backup. The Chair responded saying that the Council needed a broader strategy to look at this, and thanked officers for the presentation.
The Capital Programme Delivery Services Manager introduced the report.
The Chair invited representatives from the Deptford Society to make a presentation to the Panel. They highlighted the following points for consideration by the Business Panel:
· the position of the Anchor need to be central not marginalised as it is a symbol and landmark and that should be at the Heart of Deptford.
· residents would like to influence the design of the platform for the Anchor as they know Deptford more that officers do.
· residents are concerned about the proposal to use crowdfunding to return the Anchor, as Deptford is one of the poorest part of the borough and asking residents to contribute to this project would not be appropriate.
· Deptford is one of the areas that have seen property prices rise dramatically and with all the developments that were being built and the profits from them, SIL could contribute towards this project. As Developers should invest in the development of the local area.
Councillor Handley stated that crowdfunding was not to be rejected as the money did not have to come from Deptford residents. Councillor Johnston-Franklin commented that Deptford had changed over the years and the Council needed to ensure that the Anchor was placed at the centre of the high street to maintain its status.
Councillor Sorba asked whether there was a short cut to the process which could save time and money. The Capital Programme Delivery Services Manager said a safety audit had to be carried out, and the view of the police which was that it encourages people to loiter around its location had to be considered. He said officers would do their best to return it to an agreed position as soon as possible.
Panel members agreed to make a referral to Mayor and Cabinet endorsing the Deptford Society’s proposals to Business Panel.
The Chair thanked the Mayor for his positive response following Business Panel’s referral. The Chair also thanked representatives of the Deptford Society and Councillor Curran for their perseverance to address this issue. He said he would welcome an update from officers by the end of the year.
i. the decision of the Mayor be noted.
ii. the Mayor be requested to consider the following requests from the Deptford Society to Mayor and Cabinet:
· that the Deptford Society be fully consulted on the positioning and landscaping of the anchor within the preferred location, as they believe the present recommendation does not allow the anchor to resume its role as an important landmark, focal point and symbol of Deptford’s maritime heritage and that a much more central position can be achieved without impeding services, pedestrians, traffic or cyclists.
· that the Deptford Society influence the design of the proposed consultation, and is kept informed of the terms of the consultation (such as number of people surveyed), has approval of the questions asked, and that the 4000+ signatories wishes will be weighted into any results arising from consultation.
· the Council fully explore the use of CIL monies as an alternative to the previously suggested ‘crowdfunding’ option.
· the Council look into reducing costs in association with the Society.
· a schedule of implementation be immediately set out and made known to the society.