The report was presented by Julian Wain.
The Chair invited Councillor Kerin to speak.
Councillor Kerin noted that the report had not referred to the Portfolio Holder (PFH) for Housing’s recent announcement in regards to the proposed building of 86 flats on the CO1 side of the Civic Offices. He said that the PFH had mentioned a viable financial model and sought further detail. He also asked when a full report on this would be brought forward. Julian Wain answered that a report would be brought to committee in January 2022 and that work on the proposal was still in progress so further details would be unveiled in that report.
Councillor Kerin requested to attend the committee in January 2022 to hear the report and the Chair agreed. He went on to ask whether parking and other mitigation measures would be considered to make the development sustainable as he was concerned of the impact that the development would have on Seabrooke Rise which was within his ward. Julian Wain said that these would be considered.
Councillor Kerin thanked the committee for allowing him to ask his questions and left the meeting.
Councillor Redsell asked whether the designs of the housing development Loewen Road could be shared with the Committee. She also asked how the houses would be allocated to residents. Kelly Myers answered that the designs of the properties were in keeping with the character of the houses on the street and met planning and parking standards. She said that the application was due for consideration at Planning Committee on 2 December 2021 and that she would share the development designs with the committee. Regarding housing allocations, Ewelina Sorbjan said that the properties would be prioritised for local residents through the Local Lettings Plan.
Councillor Fletcher asked whether the properties on Loewen Road were affordable housing or social housing. Ewelina Sorbjan answered that she would look into the details of this.
Referring to 3.4 of the report, Councillor Fletcher said that the proposal of the revised process was good but it did not give an indication of the number of social homes planned or the issues in delivering these. He felt that the Committee needed to know these details. Julian Wain explained that the service was working on the wider strategy and was a work in progress which could end up as a 5 to 10 year strategy. He said that the service aimed to bring a report to the Committee on the strategy in January 2022 or March 2022.
Referring to 3.12 of the report, Councillor Ononaji asked whether there was a solution for the antisocial behaviour (ASB) mentioned. Ewelina Sorbjan said that ASB Teams were investigating the complaints and regularly visiting the area. She explained that the best solution in tackling ASB was to focus on growing a strong community.
The Chair said that the process on the Site Options List needed to be refreshed with an agreement on which sites should be on that list to ensure that there was no deviation from it. She felt the old list should no longer be used. She sought assurance that other council departments were communicating with each other as she had experienced a recent issue in regards to Richmond Road. She also pointed out that new homes needed to be Thurrock affordable and of a good quality. Julian Wain said that Members would be updated on sites. He went on to say that the aim of the strategy was to provide a clear process and a clear pipeline of sites.
The Committee asked that future reports needed to have more ‘meat on the bone’ as some Members felt the report was not detailed enough.
Commented on the revised approach to consider the suitability of Council owned sites for redevelopment of new Council housing involving engagement with Councillors, stakeholders and communities.