The Housing Strategy and Quality Manager presented the report. He outlined that the purpose of the report is to share the background of the HRA development at Calcutta Road, known as Beaconsfield Place and share the lessons learnt. Following the completion and handover of the scheme and the subsequent first round of lettings at Beaconsfield Place, the Housing service and other appropriate stakeholders undertook a review to identify areas of learning which could inform future new build developments to avoid potential pitfalls and strengthen the likelihood of positive resident experiences of moving to and living in their new homes.
The Housing Strategy and Quality Manager outlined that the development was completed earlier last year in Tilbury and provides 35 homes for people aged over 55. The first lettings were completed on the 7th March 2022. The scheme was nominated for several awards. The tenant feedback survey confirmed that 75% were very satisfied or fairly satisfied with their new home.
The Housing Strategy and Quality Manager highlighted that the most prevalent factor to be mindful of in the future is issues around anti-social behaviour, 75% of tenants reported that they feel safe in their home. There has been a detailed action plan put in place to address things that did not go so smoothly.
Councillor Liddiard commented that he had inspected some of the flats and he thought they were amazing. He noted there were issues with children getting into the communal areas but overall the development project was good.
Councillor Hebb stated he really liked the report. He queried how a change of designation can happen so easily.
The Housing Strategy and Quality Manager clarified that it wasn’t necessarily an easy decision but it was a strategic decision. A report was carried out on all sheltered housing and in relation to Alexandra Road the condition and accessibility aspirations were not marrying up. It was an appropriate decision made at an appropriate level.
Councillor Hebb commented that a multi-departmental approach is required for projects in the future, the Council has a problem delivering projects and needs to do something very different going forward.
The Interim Director of Housing responded that she will take this away and look at how lessons learnt can be shared across the board.
Councillor Kent commented that he welcomed the re-designation of the new build. He stated that residents hate seeing something new being built across the road and would want the opportunity to move into it. Councillor Kent commented that he really liked the report and the opportunity to look back to see what went well and what didn’t. Councillor Kent proposed a further recommendation that this is picked up across the Authority on any major project or new build and this was seconded by Councillor Hebb.
The Chair and Councillor Redsell echoed these comments.
The Chair stated that whilst it is right to celebrate the positives he had to also raise the negatives that he was aware that not all the snagging has been completed 9 months after residents have moved in. He added that residents had also moved out as they didn’t feel safe. According to the tenant feedback survey 25 % didn’t feel safe and that worried him. He also commented that there were no electric charging points and the windows didn’t open more than 10cm. The chair requested that the windows issue be looked at. The Chair requested an assurance that the outstanding issues are completed before it is handed over.
The Housing Repair and Maintenance Manager confirmed that at the end of 12 months there will be an inspection where snags and defects will need to be completed before being handed over. They will be looking to arrange the inspections shortly.
1.1 Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee are asked to review this report and provide feedback on its contents to inform future new build developments delivered by the council.
1.2 A further recommendation was added by members that following all new developments or major projects a report should be completed to consider what went well and what did not.