Amendment to the contract price for the acquisition of the Lanham Way housing development site from Oxfordshire County 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).
To amend the contract price for the acquisition of the Lanham Way housing development site from Oxfordshire County Council from £935,000 to £870,000.
Reasons for the decision:
The Chief Executive, took a 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.
Through the planning process, a reduction in the number of units to be delivered at the Lanham Way site (from 14 to 10 units) became necessary, in order to achieve a planning consent. This occurred after contracts had been exchanged. As a result of this reduction in development capacity, negotiations have been undertaken which have led to a reduction in the purchase price from £935,000 to £870,000. The new lower purchase price enables the scheme to remain financially viable within the required financial parameters.
This decision to agree the new contract price will allow the purchase to complete, and therefore ownership of the site can pass to Oxford City Council from Oxfordshire County Council. This will enable the delivery of 10 affordable housing units for the City Council/HRA - which represents an important contribution of units to the City Council’s affordable homes delivery programme - to be progressed.
Alternative options considered:
The option not to seek a contract price reduction was rejected as this would not allow the scheme to remain financially viable.
Signed off by senior officers:
Decision taken by Caroline Green, Chief Executive in consultation with Stephen Gabriel, Executive Director (Communities and People); Rhian Davies, Interim Head of Law and Governance; Nigel Kennedy, Head of Financial Services; Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing; and Councillor Ed Turner, Deputy Leader (Statutory) – Finance and Asset Management.
Publication date: 18/05/2023
Date of decision: 18/05/2023
Effective from: 23/05/2023