Issue - meetings
Meeting: 13/10/2020 - Cabinet (Item 15)
Cabinet received a report on a proposed scheme of a mixture of housing and community/ sports facilities for the Winslow Centre Development. The Business Case had identified that the delivery of a community facility, sports facility, extra-care housing and residential housing would address the significant under- utilisation of the site, alongside meeting increased demand in the area and enabling a significant capital receipt to be realised by the Council.
1. Cabinet APPROVED the release of £800k from the Winslow capital project budgets to complete the initial concept design stage for the Winslow Centre Development (a One Public Estate funded feasibility project).
2. Cabinet AUTHORISED the Director of Property and Assets in consultation with the agreed Cabinet Member, the S151/Head of Finance delegated authority to take the project through to the end of RIBA Stage 3. This will see completion of the initial concept design stage including:
1. Seeking pre-planning advice, public consultation and submission of the relevant planning application(s); including the development of a planning strategy and a full local member and stakeholder consultation plan;
2. Continuing negotiations with specialist housing providers and public sector partners to inform the business case decision to be brought back to Cabinet;
3. Appointment of Professional Teams and commissioning of further required surveys;
4. The exploration of a property company for the management, rent and or sale of housing units (residential and independent living);
5. Arranging the provision of a temporary library facility to prepare for the
existing library decant whilst it is re-provisioned in a new facility.
3. Cabinet WELCOMED reengagement with the Clinical Commissioning Group so that they could be involved in the provision of a new, fit for purpose community facility; provided commitment to enhanced sports facilities and confirmed that the project would have due regard to the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Cabinet Member for Property and Assets reported that the Winslow Site covered 15 acres to the north of the town and was the site of a former secondary school which closed in 1989. Cabinet previously agreed to the demolition of these buildings which was now taking place with the exception of the library which remained open for the time being. This report requested progression to the next stage which included design, feasibility and consultation and the preparation of the planning application. The site was divided into three plots; Plot 1 would provide a new library and place for community activities, Plot 2 extra care and sheltered accommodation and Plot 3 residential development. The existing sports facilities on the site which included rugby, football and tennis would eventually be relocated to a new sports hub owned by the Council to the north of the town. The Scheme was financially viable and would deliver significant benefits to residents. There had been regular engagement with a range of stakeholders including local members, Town Council, local community and sports clubs.
The Local Member was invited to address Cabinet, on an exception basis. He made the following comments:-
· The Project had been described as One Public Estate but there were no other organisations involved.
· Some of the proposals were contrary to the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan. The site was proposed for development in the Plan but not as proposed in the Cabinet report. The site was allocated with a medical centre, extra care housing and green space. The key element was the medical centre with the extra growth in Winslow but the report inferred that the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had withdrawn. Any further work should be conditional upon re-engagement with the CCG and NHS property with a view to delivering a new medical centre as a core element of the proposal.
· There was no reference in the Neighbourhood Plan for residential development in Plot 3. 38 residential units were proposed in addition to the care homes. This had not been mentioned in discussions with the Parish Council.
· The Neighbourhood Plan called for 30% affordable homes; the allowance in the report was only 25% which would have a negative impact on the net capital receipt.
· The library provided an excellent service with 60 volunteers. The report referred to service transformation but it would be difficult to improve the service already provided in the old building. They were concerned about a reduced sized library as the new building also needed to contain community facilities and office space.
· The redevelopment of the site should not begin until the sports facilities were re-located however, this was provided for in the plans. The cost of the improved sports facilities should be taken out of the capital receipt.
Following discussion of the exempt report the Cabinet Member for Property and Assets reported that the Council would welcome any ... view the full minutes text for item 15