A report from the Executive Director – Place is attached. This should be read in conjunction with Report No.38, agenda part two refers. (Key decision – reference number 4033)
(8.55 – 9.00 pm)
Prior to the commencement of the Cabinet’s consideration of the Meridian Water reports listed on the agenda and set out in the minutes below, Councillor Nesil Caliskan (Leader of the Council) gave an introductory and overview of the process to date and the proposals going forward. The Council was committed to the delivery of the scheme and provision of new homes in the Borough. It had been necessary to refocus the approach for future delivery following the withdrawal of Barratts and PCPD from the master developer procurement process.
Following a period of intense discussions with PCPD it had become apparent that their proposals were not in the best interests of Enfield. Their financial proposal had not represented a good deal for the Borough and the Council also had concerns regarding the potential sale of some housing overseas.
The reports being presented to the Cabinet for agreement set out a strategy for moving forward with the Council taking control of the Meridian Water development.
Members were then asked to consider each of the Meridian Water reports as reflected in the minutes below.
Councillor Nesil Caliskan (Leader of the Council) introduced the report of the Executive Director Place (No.33) providing an update on the Meridian Water Programme.
1. That Report No.38 also referred, as detailed in Minute No.25 below.
2. Peter George (Director of Meridian Water) outlined the proposals to Members as set out in the report. In doing so, Members were reminded of the Council’s housing targets which had recently been raised by the GLA, and that the Meridian Water development would provide a significant number of the homes required.
3. That the report recommended that the Council no longer intends to work with a single master developer for the entire regeneration area and instead would now procure developer partners for the first development sites. It was recommended that the Council bring forward three sites quickly in order to maintain momentum and bring in early land receipts. These sites should deliver approximately 925 new homes and 300,000sqft of employment space attracting up to 900 new jobs.
4. The Council had been advised by Lambert Smith Hampton that early delivery of two of the three peripheral sites would not affect the attractiveness nor negatively affect the long term future of the remaining scheme. A detailed business case for delivery of the remainder of the Meridian Water site would be brought back to a future Cabinet meeting.
5. That Site 1 had already received planning permission, it was adjacent to the new train station and, had been subject to remediation works.
6. That it was proposed to procure a development partner through the new GLA London Development Panel
7. Members’ intention, if viable, to provide 100% affordable housing provision on Site 2.
8. That Site 3 was an area of strategic industrial land adjacent to the A406 which it was intended to develop into a new employment hub to deliver approximately 1,000 jobs. The Council wanted to provide new homes and access to jobs for local people.
9. The requirement for the Cabinet to be given a detailed briefing on the Lambert Smith Hampton report, as noted in the decisions set out below.
10. Members were advised of the discussions which had taken place with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of London and the support which had been sought to deliver the Meridian Water scheme and affordable homes. The Council would continue to work in partnership with the GLA.
11. That the draft London Plan had an expectation of 35% affordable housing provision. The Council’s target for the overall Meridian Water scheme was 50% which would exceed the Mayor of London’s target.
12. Peter George (Director of Meridian Water) undertook to provide Councillor Brett (Cabinet Member for Public Health) with relevant supporting documents relating to remediation works.
13. Members’ reiterated their support for the aspirations of the Meridian Water scheme and expressed their desire to ensure delivery for the benefit of the Borough and its residents. However, it was important to balance the speed of delivery with seeking the necessary assurances on the preferred courses of action going forward. The proposals before Members enabled the Council to take control of the scheme.
14. The importance of good quality affordable housing provision to tackle poverty and inequality in the Borough. The Meridian Water scheme would regenerate the area. Members agreed that this was the right way forward for the Council.
15. The advantages in using the GLA development panel were outlined to Members. This should enable the procurement to be undertaken in a much shorter period of time, approximately six months.
Alternative Options Considered: NOTED, the alternative options considered as set out in section 4 of the report and below:
1. Following the termination of negotiations with PCPD, future options for the delivery of Meridian Water would be reviewed in detail and a further report brought to Cabinet at the appropriate time.
2. Option 1: Do not bring forward the three sites as described above for early delivery but rather include all sites in the future business case.
3. This option would delay the delivery of any homes or outputs from Meridian Water thus impacting the Council’s financial position, the momentum already built up on the scheme and the reputation of the scheme in the market.
4. Option 2: Bring forward only one of the recommended sites early and leave the remaining sites within the future business case.
5. As the two residential sites identified were ready to go to market and there was a very strong employment market at the moment, this option would appear to be a lost opportunity for the Council to receive early land receipts and to take advantage of advantageous market conditions.
DECISION: The Cabinet agreed:
1. To note that PCPD had formally withdrawn from the master developer procurement process.
2. To note the position with PCPD and authorise the Director of Law and Governance to issue a Regulation 55 Discontinuation of Procurement letter.
Subject to a detailed briefing on the Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) report being given to the Cabinet in advance and, the Cabinet being satisfied with the options analysis and the issues therein, as contained within the report, and any other issues, the Leader of the Council is authorised:
Site 1 and Site 2
3. To approve (following the completion of financial modelling) the procurement of developers to deliver Site 1 and, separately, Site 2 of Meridian Water, as described in the report, through a development agreement following a procurement exercise using the new GLA London Development Panel.
4. To authorise the Executive Director of Place in consultation with the Executive Director of Resources and the Director of Law and Governance to approve the tender documents for Site 1 and Site 2.
5. To authorise the Executive Director of Place in consultation with the Executive Director of Resources to select the short list of bidders who were invited to tender for the Site 1 and the Site 2 opportunities.
6. To approve further detailed work on the options for bringing forward Site 3 of Meridian Water, as described in the report.
7. To authorise the Executive Director of Place in consultation with the Executive Director of Resources and the Director of Law and Governance to approve the approach to delivering Site 3 and to approve the subsequent tender/land sale documents.
Rest of Scheme
8. To approve the commissioning of a detailed business case for delivery of the remainder of the Meridian Water site as detailed in the report, the results of which would be brought back to Cabinet at the earliest opportunity.
9. To note the Council’s plan to review its resourcing requirements for the Meridian Water project and to procure a new professional support team following the end of the Master Developer Procurement process.
10. To note that the Council’s key place making principles would be used in forming future plans.
Reason: The detailed reasons for the recommendations were set out in full in section 5 of the report.
(Key decision – reference number 4033)