Agenda item

Carters Quay Housing and Regeneration Scheme Poole

This report presents the opportunity to acquire a Build to Rent (BTR) residential scheme in Carters Quay Poole. The acquisition of the scheme by the Council will provide 161 new homes and ancillary ground floor residential amenity and commercial space.

This scheme will support the delivery of the Council’s housing targets and deliver on the ambition to move the regeneration of the Holes Bay site forward, both of which are cornerstones of the Council’s “Big Plan”.

The proposed acquisition has been considered by the Council’s newly formed Urban Regeneration Company (URC). which has carried out a design review.  A number of their recommended design improvements will be made to the scheme within the agreed budget.

The confidential appendix to this report considers the detailed purchase terms and the financial business case for proceeding. It concludes that, subject to the delivery and operational risks (including the treasury management risk), it will deliver an overall positive return for the Council.

It is proposed that the purchase is funded using prudential borrowing and will be within the recently increased parameters of the Council’s prudential indicators as proposed to Council on the 14 September 2021. The revisions to the Councils prudential indicators were in accordance with the financial strategy adopted to support the Councils future ambitions and were endorsed by the Audit & Governance Committee at its meeting on 29 July 2021.

The BTR scheme will be operated via the Council’s wholly owned company, Seascape Homes and Property Limited and supports the ambitions of this company to increase its operational exposure within the BTR market across the BCP area.

This scheme will support the Council’s Corporate Plan objective to ‘create Dynamic Places through strategic regeneration or redevelopment opportunities’ and will also deliver significant socio-economic benefits.

 

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)           Approves the acquisition of the land and buildings known as Carters Quay outlined in red on the attached plan marked Appendix B, which will include the consented Build to Rent residential housing scheme as described in para 1 of this report;

(b)           Approves the payment of the purchase price for Carters Quay as set out in the confidential Appendix A;

(c)           Authorises the Corporate Property Officer in consultation with the Leader of the Council, the Council’s Section 151 and Monitoring Officer to agree the detailed provisions of all legal structure and documentation and enter into the relevant contract/(s);

(d)           approves the intention to grant up to 50-year lease to Seascape Homes and Property Limited subject to their board approval on terms to be agreed by the Corporate Property Officer, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer; and

RECOMMENDED that Council approve: -

(a)           the Capital Investment Programme be amended to include provision for this acquisition to be funded by prudential borrowing, as detailed in the confidential part of this report, and authorises the Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, to determine the detailed funding arrangements for the forward purchase of the BTR scheme

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning

NOTE: Council approval is required for the acquisition of the land, this approval will be sought at Council on the 14 September. 

Reason

To kick start the regeneration of the wider Holes Bay, Poole area through the delivery of this new high quality residential led development.

To contribute to the Council’s Corporate vision, specifically helping to create dynamic places, investing in the homes our communities need, revitalising and re-inventing our high streets and local centres in line with the vision set out in the Big Plan.

The proposals are in accordance with the Capital Investment Strategy (Non-Treasury) 2020-2025 (CIS) objectives and the criteria adopted by Cabinet on 18 March 2020. They are also consistent with the HM Treasury consultation response to the document: ‘Public Works Loan Board: Future lending terms’ which came into effect on 26 November 2020.

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'H' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

Cabinet was advised that the report presented the opportunity to acquire a Build to Rent (BTR) residential scheme in Carters Quay Poole, and that the acquisition of the scheme by the Council will provide 161 new homes and ancillary ground floor residential amenity and commercial space, and that it would support the delivery of the Council’s housing targets and deliver on the ambition to move the regeneration of the Holes Bay site forward, both of which are cornerstones of the Council’s “Big Plan”.

In relation to this Cabinet was informed that the proposed acquisition has been considered by the Council’s newly formed Urban Regeneration Company (URC) which has carried out a design review, and that a number of their recommended design improvements will be made to the scheme within the agreed budget.

Further to this Cabinet was advised that the confidential appendix to this report considers the detailed purchase terms and the financial business case for proceeding. It concludes that, subject to the delivery and operational risks (including the treasury management risk), it will deliver an overall positive return for the Council, and that it is proposed that the purchase is funded using prudential borrowing and will be within the recently increased parameters of the Council’s prudential indicators as proposed to Council on the 14 September 2021.

Cabinet was informed that the revisions to the Councils prudential indicators were in accordance with the financial strategy adopted to support the Councils future ambitions and were endorsed by the Audit & Governance Committee at its meeting on 29 July 2021.

Cabinet was further informed that the BTR scheme will be operated via the Council’s wholly owned company, Seascape Homes and Property Limited and supports the ambitions of this company to increase its operational exposure within the BTR market across the BCP area, and that this scheme will support the Council’s Corporate Plan objective to ‘create Dynamic Places through strategic regeneration or redevelopment opportunities’ and will also deliver significant socio-economic benefits.

The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board addressed the Cabinet advising that although there had been no formal recommendations from the Board that the following issues had been highlighted;

-       that the scheme was now a little bit out of date and didn’t reflect the requirements of the climate emergency that we are signed up to; and

-       risks regarding the rents which were considered to be ambitious in the financial model

-       occupancy and void rates being used given that the local situation reflects a different situation where there seems to be rather a lot of unoccupied flats etc in the area

-       planning risks in that it is expiring fairly shortly

-       lack of affordable social housing

-       a view was expressed that if the council were to buy the site it could actually produce something more suited and a bit more updated and more reflective of what the council could achieve on that site now

In addition the Chairman of the Board advised that there had been a proposition to recommend that the Council purchase the site but that this proposition had fallen with 7 votes for and 8 against and therefore wasn’t carried.

The Portfolio Holder addressed the points raised advising that it was important to move the scheme forwards as the planning permission was going to expire, and that it would be part of the conditions of the purchase that the commencement of planning permission be secured, and that an extensive piece of work was being carried out with regeneration company around some of the improvements that can be done without stalling to enhance the scheme further. With regards to the level of rents and the occupancy the Portfolio Holder advised that advice had been sought and that the council was being extremely careful and prudent at calculating the figures.

Cabinet spoke in support of the report highlighting the benefits of the scheme.

REOLVED that Cabinet: -

(a)           Approves the acquisition of the land and buildings known as Carters Quay outlined in red on the attached plan marked Appendix B, which will include the consented Build to Rent residential housing scheme as described in para 1 of this report;

(b)           Approves the payment of the purchase price for Carters Quay as set out in the confidential Appendix A;

(c)           Authorises the Corporate Property Officer in consultation with the Leader of the Council, the Council’s Section 151 and Monitoring Officer to agree the detailed provisions of all legal structure and documentation and enter into the relevant contract/(s);

(d)           approves the intention to grant up to 50-year lease to Seascape Homes and Property Limited subject to their board approval on terms to be agreed by the Corporate Property Officer, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer; and

RECOMMENDED that Council approve: -

(a)           the Capital Investment Programme be amended to include provision for this acquisition to be funded by prudential borrowing, as detailed in the confidential part of this report, and authorises the Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, to determine the detailed funding arrangements for the forward purchase of the BTR scheme

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning

NOTE: Council approval is required for the acquisition of the land, this approval will be sought at Council on the 14 September. 

 

Supporting documents: