Agenda and minutes

Environment, Housing and Regeneration Select Committee
Wednesday, 16th February, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Neil Fraser  Email: nfraser@hillingdon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

61.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Brightman.

62.

Declaration of Interest in matters coming before this meeting

Minutes:

None.

63.

To confirm that all items marked Part 1 will be considered in Public and that any items marked Part 2 will be considered in Private

Minutes:

It was confirmed that all items would be considered in public.

64.

To agree the Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Minutes:

Regarding minute 60, detailing the Committee’s request for the forthcoming item on regenerating high streets to include a section on public safety, the clerk advised that the topic of safety was under the remit of the Public Safety and Transport Select Committee. Members were advised that, if so minded, they could approach the Chairman of that Committee to request that the item be considered for inclusion on its Work Programme.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2022 be approved as a correct record.

65.

CIL Expenditure Monitoring - Annual Report pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Julia Johnson - Interim Head of Strategic Planning, and James Rodger - Deputy Director of Planning and Regeneration, presented the annual CIL Expenditure report.

 

The report was summarised, with the guidance on what CIL monies could be used for, the collection and use of funds within 2020/21, and future updates to the service’s monitoring system all highlighted. The split between funds used for strategic projects versus community projects (i.e. Chrysalis) was detailed, together with how the Council consulted residents on the use of the funds. All monies collected were being spent in full. A new data processing officer had been employed, with a start date of 15 March 2022.

 

In response to queries from the Committee, the Infrastructure Funding Statement, attached as an appendix to the report, was confirmed as a statutory report that was required to be published annually. While the report included details of how CIL funds were collected, and the projects those funds were spent on, it was not required to provide detail on which development projects the funds were received from. It was requested that the clerk review whether there were any further reports available that showed this level of detail.

 

With regard to the developing West Drayton Leisure Centre project, officers confirmed that CIL spend on the project so far related to planning process/administration costs.

 

Regarding the new database, currently being designed and populated, officers advised that this had the potential to be publicly accessible, though would be reviewed once the database was completed.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

66.

Empty Properties pdf icon PDF 553 KB

Minutes:

Mark Billings - Head of Housing Options, Homelessness & Standards, and Debby Weller - Housing Policy and Strategy Manager introduced a report providing information on empty homes within the Borough.

 

The report was summarised, with current figures for empty properties, how Hillingdon applied incentives to fill these properties by way of increased tax, and how the Council was looking to update its strategy to further address the issue, all highlighted. A review of how other London authorities were addressing the issue within their own boroughs would also be used to inform Hillingdon’s updated strategy.

 

Officers advised that the ability for the Council to repair damaged homes and bring them back into use was at times complicated by insurance claims, together with the significant level of disrepair seen at some properties (e.g., fire damage)., The Council was focussing on addressing void council homes, and the average time homes were unoccupied was seen to be reducing. It was likely that some empty homes in the private sector were due to absent, foreign and other investors.

 

With regard to the 935 empty properties referenced within the report, these were confirmed as being both Council tenanted and private properties. On the matter of second homes, Hillingdon did not currently apply a Council tax premium or discount to home owners.

 

It was requested that officers seek to provide further detail on the average time taken to bring empty properties back into use, data on how much Council tax was collected/missed from such properties, and a breakdown of the location and type of properties currently empty. It was understood that the request was dependant on the data being available and permissible for sharing.

 

The Committee suggested that addressing empty properties within Hillingdon be noted as a potential topic for a future Scrutiny Review.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

67.

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to Cabinet’s Forward Plan, and it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the Cabinet Forward Plan be noted.

68.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Committee’s Work Programme and it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the Work Programme be noted.