Decision details

Decision details

Acquisition of 2 properties/sites from Oxfordshire County Council for the purposes of developing 65 affordable housing units.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Cabinet, at its meeting on 09 September 2020, delegated authority to:

1. The Director of Housing*, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Affordable Housing; the Head of Financial Services/Section 151 Officer; and the Council’s Monitoring Officer, to enter into agreements for the purchase of land, and any other necessary agreements or contracts and/or spend within the identified budget, for the provision of additional affordable housing; and

2. The Chief Executive, in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Finance and Asset Management, and Affordable Housing, to approve any property or development purchases over £500,000 for affordable housing, within this project approval and budget envelope.

*This delegation is now within the remit of the Executive Director (Communities and People).


To enter into an exchange of contracts to acquire 2 properties: Northfield Hostel and Land at Lanham Way.  This requires a 5 % deposit payment for each site to be paid by Oxford City Council to Oxfordshire County Council (to be placed in a holding account with the purchaser’s lawyers). Completion of the contracts is subject to the receipt of satisfactory planning permission for each site. The deposit is returnable in the event completion does not occur. Assuming completion occurs the remainder of the purchase prices becomes payable. Contract purchase prices are £1,489,000 (Northfield Hostel) and £935,000 (Lanham Way).


Reasons for the decision:

To enable the delivery of 65 affordable housing units for the City Council/HRA, subject to the receipt of planning permission, and subsequent tender award. Therefore this is a substantial contribution of units to the City Council’s affordable homes delivery programme.

Alternative options considered:

To not proceed would give rise to:

1) A substantial missed opportunity of affordable housing delivery

2) Reputational damage

3) Abortive costs, both financial and staff resources

4) Long term vacant sites/ buildings carry risk of trespass, vandalism, perception of Council inactivity.

Signed off by senior officers:

Decision made by: Caroline Green, Chief Executive

Decision taken in consultation with:

·         Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery

·         Cllr Diko Blackings, Cabinet Member for Affordable Housing, Housing Security and Housing the Homeless    

·         Cllr Ed Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management

·         Nigel Kennedy, Head of Financial Services

·         Susan Sale, Head of Law and Governance


Publication date: 14/10/2021

Date of decision: 14/10/2021

Effective from: 19/10/2021

Accompanying Documents: