Housing and Strategic Planning Cabinet Member – minutes – 18 September 2009

44 (8) NATIONAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAMME – The Head of Strategic Regeneration, Housing and Development submitted a report to inform the Cabinet Member of the outcome of funding bids made by partner Housing Associations to the Homes and Communities Agency through the National Affordable Housing Programme for the development of affordable housing.

Enabling new affordable housing was a strategic priority in North Lincolnshire as set out in the Sustainable Community Strategy and the Joint Housing Strategy. National Indicator 155: Delivering Affordable Homes was included within the North Lincolnshire Local Area Agreement to reflect the level of priority given to this area of work.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) was established in late 2008 with the remit of creating sustainable communities and delivering affordable homes. For the period 2008 to 2011 nationally the HCA had £8.4bn of funding through the National Affordable Housing Programme (NAHP) for affordable housing. In the Yorkshire and Humber Region this amounted to £391 million including the announcements contained within the Government’s recent ‘Housing Pledge’.

In June of this year the HCA announced a mini bid round for the NAHP, where they invited bids for funding for projects that were in a position to deliver new affordable homes by 2011. Working with Longhurst Group four bids for funding were submitted.

Three of the bids were successful in securing the funding requested. These were;

  • Bottesford Lane, Ashby: £1,101,600 funding secured
  • St Catherine’s, Ashby: £1,200,000 funding secured
  • Baysgarth View, Barton upon Humber: £200,000.

It was anticipated that the Homes and Communities Agency would announce a further bid round in September where projects currently in the pipeline could be submitted for consideration.

Resolved – (a) That the council welcome the housing investment in the area, (b) that the council support further bids where applicable in forthcoming bid rounds, and (c) that future reports be brought detailing the outcomes of any subsequent National Affordable Housing Programme bid rounds.

45 (9) APPOINTMENT OF PROGRAMME OFFICER FOR THE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK CORE STRATEGY – The Head of Strategic Regeneration, Housing and Development submitted a report seeking approval for the establishment of a fixed term post to act as Programme Officer for the Public Examination of the Core Strategy Development Plan Document of the North Lincolnshire Local Development Framework.

North Lincolnshire Council was progressing quickly towards the production of the publication version of the Core Strategy Development Plan Document (DPD) as part of its Local Development Framework (LDF). The Core Strategy was the principal DPD of the LDF and will be the first DPD of the new North Lincolnshire LDF to be adopted.

To adopt a DPD it must first be subjected to independent Examination by a Planning Inspector appointed by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). The purpose of the Examination was to consider whether the DPD met the requirements of the relevant legislation and was ‘sound’. Soundness was tested by considering whether the DPD was justified, effective and consistent with national policy.

As part of the independent Examination it was a requirement of PINS that the local planning authority appoint a Programme Officer whose role it was to organise and administer the cost effective and efficient running of the public Examination under the direction and guidance of the Inspector. It was essential that for the duration of their appointment, the Programme Officer was seen as an impartial officer of the Examination process.

PINS would not appoint an Inspector unless the Programme Officer was in place and they should remain employed until receipt by the local planning authority of the Inspector’s final report. A Programme Officer was therefore required to ensure compliance with the requirements of planning legislation, the requirements of PINS, and to ensure that the Core Strategy DPD progressed to Examination.

Resolved – (a) That the proposal to create the post of Programme Officer to facilitate the Examination of the Core Strategy DPD of the Local Development Framework on fixed term contract until receipt of the Inspector’s Report be agreed, and (b) that the report be submitted to the Corporate Services Cabinet Member for approval.

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