Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Major Projects Manager explained that on the 18th September 2018 Cabinet received a report on a Central Government programme for Accelerated Construction. This report gave an update on the Parkway sites, which was one of those schemes and requested authority to purchase the College of West Anglia (COWA) land, secure the Homes England funding and approve expenditure prior to a further report on the overall viability of the scheme due on 12 November 2019.
Cabinet debated the item and the detail of the proposals along with the potential wider benefits to the town of the scheme. It was noted that specialist reports would be prepared as part of the planning process.
In response to a question on the provision of apprenticeships, it was explained that as part of the partnership with Lovell’s apprenticeships were created and promoted over a number of different skill areas and had been very successful.
It was noted that there would be areas of trees and natural habitat around the site.
Under standing order 34 Councillor Pope asked if the item had been considered by the Major Project Officer Board to which it was confirmed it had. He asked if the ground conditions would be a serious hold up to the scheme to which it was confirmed that meetings had already taken place with the IDB and Anglian Water on the issue, so it shouldn’t hold it up.
It was agreed that the completion of the arrangements to purchase the land should be included in the recommendations.
RESOLVED: 1) That the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Assistant Director Regeneration and Property and the Corporate Projects & Assets Portfolio Holder, be given delegated authority to negotiate terms and complete the purchase of the College of West Anglia site, to deliver the COWA site in conjunction with the adjacent Council owned site, and the Legal Services Manager be given delegated authority to conclude the transaction.
2) That Officers seek planning permission in line with the proposals outlined in the report.
3) That Officers be authorised to spend up to £400,000 designing the infrastructure for the scheme of which £200,000 will be funded from a grant from the Norfolk Business Rates Pool and the remaining £200,000 from the Homes England grant.
4) Officers be authorised to spend a further £1,663,000 on costs associated with the housing schemes that can be reclaimed from the Homes England grant once secured.
5) That a report be brought to Cabinet by 12 November 2019 on the financial viability of the scheme, before entering contracts to build.
Reason for Decision
• To ensure that the opportunity presented by the Accelerated Construction Programme to accelerate housing delivery in the Borough will be fully realised and will ensure that the Council will be able to bring forward sites on land it owns at a pace that would ordinarily not have been achievable.
• To continue with significant delivery of sustainable housing over a 4-5 year period.
• To improve the road network for King’s Lynn.
• To achieve a commercial return for the Council (through capital and revenue receipts).
• To stimulate economic activity in the local area through direct and indirect activity.
• To create apprenticeships.
Publication date: 07/08/2019
Date of decision: 06/08/2019
Decided at meeting: 06/08/2019 - Cabinet