Whitehill Bordon Delivery Board Meeting 15th December 2011 2:30pm – Main Hall, Forest Community Centre, Bordon Present: John Walker Daphne Gardner
Cllr Adam Carew Richard Nelson
Dr William Wain James Rowley
Cllr Philip Drury
Apologies: Kevin Bourner
Cllr Melville Kendal Cllr Andrew Joy
Cllr Glynis Watts
Also: Mandar Puranik
Susan Robbins Kate Hillerby Chris Youngs Tim Wheeler Ray Mills
(SR) (KH) (CY) (TW) (RM)
Chairman East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) Project Director Whitehill Town Council (WTC) MoD Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) Whitehill Bordon Town Partnership (WTP) Home and Communities Agency (HCA) Area Manager North Hampshire on behalf of Kevin Bourner EHDC councillor representing Whitehill Bordon
Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Head of Area HCC Executive Member for the Environment Hampshire County Council (HCC) on behalf of Cllr Melville Kendal EHDC Portfolio Holder for Regeneration
EHDC (Theme Lead – Planning and Urban Design) EHDC (Theme Lead – Environmental Sustainability) EHDC (Theme Lead – Eco-housing and Retrofitting) EHDC (Theme Lead – Economic Development) EHDC (Funding Manager) WTC (Eco-coordinator) PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC)
Welcome and introductions - Chairman For the benefit of the members of the public, the Chairman introduced the role and purpose of the Delivery Board.
Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising Minutes of the previous Delivery Board meeting were approved as
accurate. Matters arising from the previous meeting are: Eco-town vision (minute no. 7, page 6): The Delivery Board members agreed that the Eco-town vision should be taken back to their partner organisations for them to endorse.
Skills provision and education (agenda item 2, page 20): The Board was keen that a skills centre and university outreach is taken on board in the work streams. A church school may be needed.
Enterprise Zone (agenda item 2, page 21): The Board noted that the original bid was unsuccessful. Board members expressed concern about planning controls in the Enterprise Zones.
Public Questions The Chairman summarised the public questions and answers which were received prior to the Delivery Board meeting. The questions and answers are appended to these notes. (Appendix 1.)
Verbal update from Ministry of Defence (MoD) RN reported that studies and reports for the move to RAF Lyneham are done and the project is on programme.
Commercial strategy advice from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) PwC gave a presentation on their work to date on preparing commercial strategy advice for the Board (copies of PwC presentation slides are attached â€“ see appendix 2). Board members discussed the issues and asked whether there is likely to be enough potential investor interest e.g. for us to get competition for investment and asked where we will look for investors. The message to the Board from Ray Mills (PwC) is that we need to be unified, speaking with one voice and stick to our vision. We need to revisit our risk register with the eyes of an investor to see if we can reduce or eliminate risks. The Board also need to lobby for government funding and support. The Chairman thanked PwC for their presentation and the Board noted that PwC will submit their final report to the March Delivery Board meeting.
Transition Group update
RN introduced the notes of the first meeting of the Transition Group with the Bordon Garrison. Local Board members expressed the need for local involvement and influence over the future of local amenities and assets e.g. Bordon & Oakhanger Sports Club (BOSC). The Board needs to get a feel for what is going to happen on jobs, facilities and events run by the Garrison. It was agreed that the Group will be expanded as necessary when these discussions take place.
Landowners update RN introduced his report and updated on the Land Equalisation Agreement and the preparations for a planning application. AC asked for the Town Council to be a signatory to the Land Equalisation Agreement. RN explained that the largest landowners have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and are sharing the cost of working towards a planning application. The three principal landowners will in due course need to have agreements with other important landowners.
The Town Council would like to lead a consortium to take over strategic management of the community assets. Action: AC to take forward.
Action: RN to take on board the concerns expressed for greater inclusivity in the project.
Development brief for demonstration scheme at Quebec Barracks The Chairman, JW, asked JR from HCA to outline some of the funding streams becoming available to the public sector e.g. Growing Places for infrastructure which is an evolving-fund so money is paid up-front and then recycled when it comes back. Also Get Britain Building Fund for loans or equity funding to unlock sites. The new Green Deal was also mentioned. The economic development theme lead introduced the development principles for a demonstration scheme at Quebec Barracks. The Town Council would like access to/ from the site to be via a roundabout if possible. The town mayor was concerned about ground contamination at this site. The chairman outlined issues with respect to the value for money delivered by Code Level 5 and Code Level 6 housing and referred to a new zero carbon homes standard. He suggested we build some homes to zero carbon standard and some to Code Level 5. The Board members agreed to this. The homes will be subject to monitoring.
It was agreed that we should revisit the affordable housing element and the breakdown of tenures.
The need for larger homes was reiterated and the percentage of affordable homes (including the tenure of these) was discussed. Agreed: The project director would take back and review the 35 percent affordable housing and the tenure breakdown.
Proposed neighbourhood charter The eco-housing and retrofit theme lead introduced her report. She explained the work to date and that the Charter was to be debated at a Housing Specialist Group meeting. Concerns were expressed that the Town Design Statement Group and the Town Councillors should be involved – they can be invited to the Housing Specialist Group meeting. The Charter was welcomed as a good idea. The Board gave their “in principle” approval in this work.
Sponsorship policy The funding manager introduced her report and how the policy will be used. It has helped us to secure £5,000 sponsorship already.
It was agreed that we should now identify ethical/ eco criteria to support the policy. A suggestion was made that we should go to the Eco-build exhibition to identify sponsors.
Outcomes from Specialist Groups and Chairman/ Vice Chairman/ Lead Officers meetings The eco-coordinator introduced his report on the work of the Specialist Groups. The work of the Groups was noted. The recommendations of the Community Facilities and Amenities Group were agreed subject to the identification of adequate funding. The recommendations and comments of the Chairman/ Vice Chairman/ Lead Officers meeting were agreed. It was agreed that the single combined work programme should come back to the March Delivery Board meeting. There will be one joint meeting of Specialist Groups to review the revision to the masterplan.
Proposals for the long term management and maintenance of community assets (workshop feedback)
The environmental sustainability theme lead introduced his report. Recommendations as per the report were: (i) That the Delivery Board notes feedback from the workshop. (ii)
That the Delivery Board continues to support an inclusive approach to this work by not dividing community assets into their typologies and examining them separately until it has had the chance to review the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) report and transition plan in March 2012.
That the Delivery Board agrees next steps: • Establish a steering group, which includes current community asset managers to influence these early stages of work. • Explore the current role of Deadwater Valley Trust (DVT) against the early phases of land release. • Provide members of Specialist Groups with a fact sheet to address questions raised about the Land Trust at the October workshop.
Recommendation (i) was agreed. Recommendation (ii) was not agreed. There are different stages on built infrastructure, community facilities and green infrastructure. The subject should be moved forward separately, at their own pace, but keeping in touch to avoid duplication or missed opportunities. Recommendation (iii) was agreed subject to inclusions of Whitehill Town Council.
The Board welcomed the fact that Whitehill Town Council and Deadwater Valley Trust are happy to take a lead in Green Infrastructure.
Project progress report The project director introduced the report on project progress. She updated the Board on the Eco-station and Eco-house (footings now in) and on discussions about a presence for the team in Bordon. AC asked for there to be higher profile consultation on Viking Park. It was agreed that this would be considered; the deadline for comments could be extended.
Overall project programme report to include high level project plan The report was introduced by the project director on behalf of the project coordinator. The high-level project plan is currently being reviewed in the light of the work by PwC and by consultants GVA and Amec, and the Delivery Board will be updated at their workshop in February.
Forward Programme The forward programme was reviewed. Any requests that Delivery Board members have for items to come forwards to future meeting should be forwarded to the project officer for governance (Caroline Sayers).
Dates for future meetings were reviewed and confirmed.
Asda planning application for a food store on Viking Park JW introduced a draft response for the Board to submit to the local planning authority. The Board is looking for things which support the masterplan and not those which undermine it. The Delivery Board agreed to send a letter objecting to a planning application for an Asda store at Viking Park. AC, as the representative of the town council, was unable to participate in this discussion and also unable to indicate a view.
Risk register report The Board members reviewed the risk register report. It is recognised that the risk register is a work in progress and is a working document. It will be reviewed at the Boardâ€™s forthcoming workshop with a view to ensuring we minimise risks which might be of concern to potential investors or developers.
Appendix 1: Public Questions
www.whitehillbordon.com Questions to the Delivery Board 15th December 2011 Question Questions from Peter Parkinson
1. If the justification for a large Eco-town development in Bordon is a response to the release of MoD land, why is Standford Grange Farm - which is not MoD land - also being annexed to support the development? 2. Grant Shapps, the Minister for Housing and Local Government states that before he released the final Eco-town funding, he wrote to the Council Leader to seek assurances that the project had the support of the local community. In responding to this, on what basis was support assessed and what was he told?
Standford Grange Farm is owned by Hampshire County Council which is a project partner. It has been included in the masterplan for the better planning of the area. It is proposed to remain as open space.
The minister was provided with details of the consultation responses up to that time.
Supplementary questions arising from the answers provided at the last meeting from Ian Johnstone 3. Reply to Question 1. The reply from the Delivery Board implied that the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) was not critical to the delivery of the eco-town project, being only part of the evidence base. However, Regulation 48 (5) states that â€˜Projects may only proceed if the competent authority has ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the European site/sâ€™. It is because the HRA indicated that there were insufficient SANGs that the number of dwellings in the development has been reduced from 5300 to 4000. As a result of the studies mentioned in my previous question, the HRA has recommended that the A325 should remain the primary route through Whitehill Bordon. Will that be the case? 4.
We intend to retain the A325 on its current alignment but we will improve traffic management on it. New development will also be served by a relief road which will relieve pressure on the A325 â€“ but the A325 will remain an important route.
Reply to Question 4. The reply does not seem to answer my question. The Fire Station was not sold on the open market. Will the other sites, released by the MoD, be sold on the open market, as indicated by the Minister, whether or not a land owners’ equalisation agreement, whatever that is, is in place? 5. Reply to Question 5. When the draft masterplan revision is completed in early 2012, will it be submitted for further public consultation?
The decision on the method of disposal of future development sites has not yet been made but the principal landowner is likely to want to achieve proper market value whatever method of disposal is chosen.
The revised masterplan will take on board comments made at previous consultations – as well as from the most recent events. A decision about future consultation will be made by the planning authority when we have revised the masterplan.
6. The pre-submission draft of the Joint Core Strategy states, with regard to the additional eco-housing at Whitehill Bordon, that ‘the 4000 dwellings are in addition to those provided through existing completions; existing completions on large sites and small and large urban potential (see Appendix 3)’.
4,000 homes will be built as a result of the masterplan. It is the Delivery Board’s understanding that these ‘additional developments’ (totalling 458 homes) in the Core Strategy are sites which have already been given planning permission, are currently going through the planning process or are expected to be developed.
Appendix 3 was not included with the document on the Internet. Will the Board clarify what and where these additional developments will be? 7. The EHDC has completed a number of public consultations but has not yet held the referendum that was promised as part of the consultation process. The referendum was supported by the local MP and is expected by DCLG. We were advised that it would take place when the MoD had confirmed that it would be closing Bordon Garrison. That announcement was made last June but, as yet, nothing further has been heard. This is becoming a matter of some urgency, since EHDC appear to be approaching the end of the master planning process. There are also financial implications. When will the referendum take place, what independent body will ensure fair play, who will decide what the question will be and who will be allowed to vote in the referendum?
8. As the Army moves out, the housing stock owned by Annington Homes will become progressively available for sale, lease or demolition and redevelopment. How will those houses be treated in relation to the 4000 additional homes to be delivered through the
EHDC’s Cabinet has not yet made a decision about a referendum. The council has said it wishes to continue to gauge public opinion. We will pass Mr Johnstone’s comments on to the leader of the council.
As far as we understand, properties owned by Annington Property Limited (APL) are not ‘available’ for redevelopment as part of the masterplan. They will continue to be used by the MoD staff in the future or potentially sold on the open market. The properties are within the
eco-town plan? Since development figures have already been constrained by the HRA, how will further development be controlled once that ceiling has been reached?
settlement policy zone boundary and could be occupied for residential use or redeveloped if they comply with the adopted Local Plan and with the local and national planning policy framework.
9. The Energy Infrastructure and Service Delivery Study implies that the incorporation of the ecohousing development, together with the complexities of grafting the new systems into the existing housing infrastructure, might not be financially attractive and could lead to tradeoffs to the detriment of the environmental objectives. Does the Delivery Board agree? 10. The development of Quebec Barracks, for mixed housing and employment use, will require a job to be available for at least one person per dwelling, on occupation of the property. How will those jobs be guaranteed when there may already be a considerable number of local people seeking employment?
Questions from Jack Warshaw 11. What is the cost and target date breakdown for each item in the Councilâ€™s eco-town bid? 12. How does actual expenditure match up with that? 13. Has any of this money been spent elsewhere?
Not all the latest technology that can be used in new homes can be used in existing homes (confirmed in recent studies). However, this will not compromise the environmental objectives of the Eco-town because we will use different approaches in new and existing homes to make sure the carbon neutrality target for the whole town is met.
The development options for the Quebec site include the provision of a business centre/ hub that would provide space for micro businesses and entrepreneurs to operate from and would be one source of providing jobs. The hub could also include facilities such as a cafĂŠ and/ or social space which could also generate job opportunities. There may also be the potential to provide employment opportunities off-site by, for example, opening premises on the Louisburg Barracks site. The options and plans for the site are still being worked through however any future developer, to support a planning application, would have to demonstrate through an employment statement how this would be achieved. No-one is guaranteeing that jobs will be effectively held open on Quebec Barracks for occupiers of housing built on that site.
We are assuming the question is referring to the breakdown of the Eco-town budget which is regularly reported to the Delivery Board and is included on page 102 of this meetingâ€™s agenda. This shows actual and budgeted expenditure and also gives the sources of funding received. It shows salary costs too.
14. If so where? 15. What are the other sources of funds, sums allocated and items targeted for the eco-town? 16. How does actual spending match up with that? 17. How much has been paid to consultants from
I am unable to give you a detailed answer to
all sources since inception of the Green Town Vision, merging into eco-town status? 18. How much has been paid to Council staff/eco town team/WB Opportunity personnel from all sources? 19. How many Council staff, broken down by function work wholly or mainly on eco town related tasks at present?
your question concerning consultants as this will require detailed investigation by EHDC accountants. I will ask them if they can help you. Similarly, I do not have detailed information on how many council staff work wholly or mainly on Eco-town related tasks (this would be a question for the District Council) but as we have a dedicated Eco-town team, I would expect the answer to be none – no other staff work substantially or wholly on the Eco-town.
Questions from Alan Metcalfe 20. I am concerned at recent released Bus Public Transport report suggesting that a Town Service (Option 1) of 9 per day (rather than the 40 per day [15 min. service]); near local villages service (Option 2) of 6 per day (rather than 20 per day 1/2 hourly service) and to include some of the remaining local villages of less than 3 per day (rather than 10 per day hourly service) and in the recent HCC questionnaire only 2 per day!. No reference to rapid transport to Alton, Petersfield, Guildford etc.
Mr Metcalfe hasn’t asked a specific question but we can comment as follows: The recent public consultation on options for a new bus service for Whitehill Bordon is part of an early demonstrator project designed to make the best use of the available grant funding to support and foster local demand for improved bus services, trial new sustainable technology, and provide an alternative travel option to the private car. This will provide significantly improved bus services for the interim period until the MoD vacates the land and the development is brought forward. This interim demonstrator service is not intended to represent the final public transport strategy that will be required to support the Eco-town, which is set out in the Emerging Transport Strategy, outlining the three-tier system of bus services, including town, local and strategic bus services that will be planned and delivered with development. The interim demonstrator service will be supported by significant investment in to improved bus shelters in Whitehill Bordon, which will be delivered in partnership with Whitehill Town Council. The Town Council and County Council are working together to ensure that the most sustainable bus shelters will be provided while value for money is maintained.
21. Does the Delivery Board support or object to the current planning application for a 2,900sqm food store within Viking Park which is contrary to the Masterplan and the recent advice of Nathaniel Litchfield & Partners as to both the location and timing of the opening of a further store of this nature in Whitehill Bordon, its likely impact upon the proposed new Town Centre and existing Forest Centre and community facilities.
- 10 -
The Board will be considering its comments on the current planning application for a food store on Viking Park at today’s meeting. I would not wish to pre-empt the Board’s decision today but we are considering objecting to this application as we believe it could undermine the achievement of the masterplan. Our principal concern relates to the impact of a supermarket in this location on the achievement of the new town centre.
Question from Pauline Parkinson 22. If, in line with declared Eco-town policies to encourage local food production and safeguard green areas, Standford Grange Farm remained as a farm, rather than becoming a SANG, how many homes could then be build on the MoD land?
- 11 -
Standford Grange Farm is to become a SANG so we have not done this theoretical calculation.
Appendix 2: PwC presentation
Whitehill Bordon Ecotown Delivery board presentation 15 December 2011
PwC’s role •
To assess the different commercial options to deliver the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town project taking into account the requirements of different stakeholders, the level of market interest and the financial and commercial viability of different delivery methods.
Scope of work •
Phase 1 (October – December 2011)
Phase 2 (January – March 2012)
Whitehill Bordon Eco-town PwC
15 December 2011 2
Scope of work Phase 1 (October – December 2011) •
Support the Delivery Board members in defining and aligning the objectives of key stakeholders.
Provide an overview of potential funding / delivery options that might be applicable to the scheme.
Help to devise a methodology and a set of criteria for assessing delivery options.
Support the Delivery Board to develop a short-list of delivery options for quantitative testing in Phase 2.
Review the high level financial assessment of the masterplan.
Undertake an initial market sounding exercise on a non attributable basis.
Presentation and report to the Delivery Board on 15 December 2011.
Whitehill Bordon Eco-town PwC
15 December 2011 3
Scope of work Phase 2 (January – March 2012) •
Masterplan financial and value engineering: further work to understand the financial viability and commercial potential of the masterplan.
Selection of preferred delivery option through quantitative analysis of the short-listed options.
A more detailed market sounding exercise
Procurement and implementation strategy: prepare timetable and areas that need to move forward before launching the procurement.
Further work on the potential sources of funding identified.
Presentation and report to the Delivery Board in March 2012.
Whitehill Bordon Eco-town PwC
15 December 2011 4
Whitehill Bordon Delivery Board notes - December 2011