Decision Maker: Babergh Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
It was RESOLVED:
1.1 That the contents of this report was noted by Cabinet.
1.2 That the grant of up to £160,000 BDC commuted sums to Lavenham CLT as contribution towards purchase costs of 4 affordable homes from Babergh District Council as discussed within this report was approved by Cabinet.
Reason for Decision: To give consistent and purposeful support for Community Land Trusts within Babergh District, enabling them to provide housing for local people who are in housing need, that is affordable and remains so in perpetuity for future generations.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:
1.1 Lavenham CLT CLT applied to many specialist lenders to gain most beneficial loan rate and maximum mortgage loan.
1.2 Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the very specialist market for loan finance to community led housing projects has contracted significantly with many recognised lenders and grant funders removing their funding or loan schemes from the market. This problem of course was not anticipated when the Trust first considered their purchase of the 4 dwellings on Melford Road, Lavenham and consulted the local community.
1.3 If the Council do not sell 4 of the s.106 homes to LCLT, then the Council will retain ownership and liability for repairs and maintenance. The CLT will then seek to purchase homes elsewhere in the village. These could be open market purchases where the CLT will not benefit from the RP 40% discount as on the Melford Road homes. Alternatively, the CLT could talk to landowners/developers regarding new build/other developments schemes that might come forward in the village. Both will delay acquisition of homes that can be safeguarded as affordable housing for future generations. The Councils have also made a commitment in the Homes and Housing Strategy to support CLT’s to bring forward community housing, therefore, this option is not recommended.
Any Declarations of Interest Declared: None
Any Dispensation Granted: None
Publication date: 15/01/2021
Date of decision: 07/01/2021
Decided at meeting: 07/01/2021 - Babergh Cabinet
Effective from: 15/01/2021