Entering into a Pre-Construction Services Agreement and full contract with a works contractor to construct 51 homes on the site of the former Oxfordshire County Council Northfield Hostel now owned by Oxford City Council
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).
Following a tender evaluation exercise, to enter into a Pre-Construction Services Agreement and award full contract with Equans Limited to construct 51 homes on the site of the former Oxfordshire County Council Northfield Hostel now owned by Oxford City Council.
Reasons for the decision:
On 14 October 2021 the Chief Executive made a delegated decision to enter into an exchange of contracts to acquire 2 properties: Northfield Hostel and Land at Lanham Way. This required 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 was subject to the receipt of satisfactory planning permission for each site. The deposit was returnable in the event completion did not occur. Assuming completion occured the remainder of the purchase prices became payable. Contract purchase prices were £1,489,000 (Northfield Hostel) and £935,000 (Lanham Way). The decision was made 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: a substantial contribution of units to the City Council’s affordable homes delivery programme.
The decision to now enter into a Pre-Construction Services Agreement and full contract enables the project to progress through developing design work and onto an agreed contract to deliver 51 homes on the site of the former Oxfordshire County Council Northfield Hostel now owned by Oxford City Council.
Alternative options considered:
Not to enter into a Pre-Construction Services Agreement and full contract with a works contractor to construct 51 homes on the site of the former Oxfordshire County Council Northfield Hostel now owned by Oxford City Council. This option was rejected due to the need to deliver affordable housing in Oxford via projects such as this one.
Signed off by senior officers:
Decision taken by Caroline Green, Chief Executive in consultation with Stephen Gabriel, Executive Director (Communities & People); Tom Bridgman, Executive Director (Development); Nerys Parry, Head of Housing Services; Nigel Kennedy, Head of Financial Services; Susan Sale, Head of Law & Governance; Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing and Councillor Ed Turner, Deputy Leader (Statutory) – Finance & Asset Management.
Publication date: 09/03/2023
Date of decision: 09/03/2023
Effective from: 14/03/2023