Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary, Customer Services Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 22nd April, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, The Arc, Clowne

Contact: Alison Bluff  Governance

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Amanda Davis and Lisa Powell.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest made.


Housing Strategy 2021-24 - Action Plan Monitoring Update: March 2024 pdf icon PDF 428 KB

Additional documents:


The Housing Strategy and Development Officer presented the report to the Committee to provide the third and final update on the Council’s Housing Strategy 2021-24 and the delivery of its action plan.


The strategy had been adopted March 2021 and set out the Council’s strategic framework to meet the districts housing growth ambitions and housing related support needs. The strategy was attached as Appendix 1 of the document, with the update attached as Appendix 2.


The Housing Strategy and Development Officer explained that from the 1st December 2022 the duties of the former Joint Team had been transferred to the Council’s Housing Management Team and Planning Policy and Housing Strategy Team; the general split was as follows:


a)    Housing Management Team – to undertake duties relating to homelessness, rough sleeping, private sector lettings and tenancy strategy; and,

b)    Planning Policy and Housing Strategy Team – to undertake duties relating to the preparation of strategic housing policies, housing stock analysis and work on empty homes.


New posts had been established within both teams.


Out of the 25 Actions to be taken, 5 had not been fully accepted; these 5 Actions would be transferred to the new Housing Strategy 2024-2029.


For the previously raised query on vacant properties being reused, empty properties and other buildings could be reused for short term lets.  The Senior Devolution Lead for Planning Policy, Strategic Growth and Housing stated the plan had been mothballed slightly, but the Council must continue to tackle wasted resources; they were now working closely with the Revenues Team to identify empty properties and provide tools and incentivise owners to bring their properties back into use.  This would also alleviate pressures on homelessness and the development of the countryside.


The Chair noted that for care leavers at the age of 18, but also for many leaving their parental/guardianship home at 17/18 who want to afford their own home, the lack of available affordable housing was of concern.  The Portfolio Holder for Housing stated that the Council was increasing the number of properties owned by the Council, and while these were one-bed properties, they were not necessarily flats but quite spacious houses.  The Council was also focussing not on the number of properties being built, but on the quality, usability, and the wellbeing of future occupants; for some three bed properties, while the third bedroom might be suitable for a small child, it might not be for a young adult.


The Housing Strategy and Development Officer explained that Bolsover Homes was working towards 400 new Council properties, but as of March 2024, 103 properties had been completed.  Dragonfly Development Ltd. had been in place since December 2022, but one of the reasons why this target would be carried over was due to the disruption of global supply chains in recent years.  Two substantial build sites would be created in the next 18 months to get the project back on track.


The Chair noted that staffing issues had also played a part in delays  ...  view the full minutes text for item CS57-23/24


Development of the Housing Strategy 2024-2029 pdf icon PDF 338 KB

Additional documents:


The Housing Strategy and Development Officer explained that the current Housing Strategy 2021-24 was due to expire in 2024 and a revised strategy was required.


The Committee were referred to the table on Page 82 of the document which showed the potential timeframes for the development and implementation of the new strategy; this may have been subject to change pending the completion of external data assessments/housing needs analysis, and the level of engagement during the consultation period.  The Committee were then referred to Appendix 1 of the document, which was what the new strategy would look like.


There were 4 Priorities in the new strategy: Priority 1 – Providing Good Quality Housing; Priority 2 – Enabling Housing Growth; Priority 3 – Supporting Vulnerable and Disadvantaged People; and Priority 4 – Maintaining and improving property and housing management standards and ensuring that standards and living conditions in the district contributed towards better health outcomes for all.


To deliver the priorities in the corporate plan, 10 objectives had been set.  These would be acknowledged within the relevant section of the strategy and supporting delivery plan:


1.     Prepare and adopt new Council Housing Strategy by October 2024.

2.     Deliver 200 new homes through a new Bolsover Homes Programme using Dragonfly Development Ltd. by March 2028.

3.     Maintain high levels of tenant satisfaction with council housing and associated services as assessed under the annual Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSM) with the aim to be above the national average.

4.     Work towards compliance with the Social Housing Consumer Standards,  ensuring tenants’ voices was key when developing new council housing policies, procedures, and improvements.

5.     Commission and complete an appropriate council housing stock condition survey by April 2025, and upon completion develop an improved rolling programme of stock inspections to inform future repairs and maintenance programmes.

6.     Annually monitor housing delivery in the District and take steps if required to continue to meet the annual target of 272 new homes set out in the Local Plan for Bolsover District.

7.     Commission and complete Local Housing Needs evidence by August 2024 to better understand the District’s affordable housing needs.

8.     Work with partners to increase the supply, quality, and range of affordable housing to meet identified local needs.

9.     Develop strategies to support the private rented sector in supporting the Council in its duties.

10. Deliver the actions within the Council’s Homelessness Strategy by December 2027.


The Senior Devolution Lead for Planning Policy, Strategic Growth and Housing stated that the Council had outlined the plan, so while ambitious the Housing Team were happy to receive Member input.  A Member agreed that timelines looked challenging.


Moved by Councillor Phil Smith and seconded by Councillor Vicky Wapplington

RESOVLED that the report be noted.