A report from the Executive Director – Place is attached. Note: Part 2 report containing exempt information also refers. (Key decision – reference number 5174)
Councillor Nesil Caliskan (Leader of the Council) introduced the report of the Executive Director Place updating Cabinet on the progress made to deliver new homes and sustainable neighbourhoods at Meridian Water.
1. That a part two report containing exempt information also referred as detailed in Minute No.16 below.
2. Since the Council assumed the role of the master developer in 2018, great progress has been made and contracts have been negotiated to build around 1,200 homes.
3. In October 2019 an agreement was signed with the Vistry Group to build Meridian Water Phase 1 - 950 homes (50% affordable and 50% Council owned) as well as public open spaces and a skills academy. This was on track for completion as planned.
4. The skills academy will provide employment and training for local people in skills related to the built environment. This would lead to sustainable well-paid employment opportunities. The Council is working closely with Vistry so that the skills academy can continue its work beyond Meridian Phase One.
5. In March 2020, Vistry was selected to for a partnership to build a further 250 homes which would be 100% council owned. This report sets out the detailed delivery plan for phase 2. It would mean that the Council could retain the ability to control and shape the building proposals.
6. Meridian Water Phase 3 involves two plots which could be used to provide student or coliving housing. Despite the current issues with student housing it was still felt to be worthwhile to pursue the coliving options.
7. Three options have been put forward for Meridian Water Phase 4. These are set out in the report as Option 1,2a and 2b. In Option 1 the Council would act as the master developer, but the phase would be delivered by a third party who could deliver homes for rent or sale at their discretion.
8. In Option 2a the Council would enter into a forward sale agreement with a build to rent investor and with a registered provider. In Option 2b the Council would enter into a forward funding agreement instead of this. Both options would deliver market and affordable homes for rent at a range of prices.
9. The report recommends that the Phase 4 scheme is directly delivered by the Council. This would reduce the overall council debt and generate receipts for the Council. Further details on page 330 of the agenda pack.
10. The private sector rental market was not working for residents this scheme would provide alternatives.
11. Despite the Coronavirus situation, the overall schemes are on track. There have been no major delays. Risks are being managed by procuring the development partner in advance. Professional expertise will be bought in where needed to manage the projects.
12. Welcome for the proposals which would provide much needed family homes for local people.
13. Thanks to the officers for all the work they had put in to develop these proposals.
14. The first phase of the scheme would ... view the full minutes text for item 12