Agenda and minutes

Sheerwater Regeneration Oversight Panel
Wednesday, 21st November, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: The Board Room - Civic Offices

Contact: Hanna Taylor, Democratic Services Officer, Ext 3056, Email  Hanna.Taylor@woking.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor D Harlow, Councillor S Hussain, Councillor I Eastwood, Councillor L Morales, Councillor C Kemp and Douglas J Spinks.

2.

Sheerwater Regeneration Project Update

Minutes:

Ray Morgan, Chief Executive, provided an update for the panel on the progress of the Project, noting that the planning application had been delayed due to the flood risk posed to Sheerwater from the Canal.  The issues had now been addressed and the revised drainage model would be trialled over the coming ten days, with the hope that the planning application would be received by the Planning Committee in February 2019 or thereafter.

Councillor Raja sought clarification on the drainage proposals.  Ray explained the benefits of implementing rain water gardens to help reduce the flood risk and minimise the risk of the Canal overflowing.

The Highways Authority had agreed the final plans for the surfacing of the roads and paths which was to tarmac the bus route and use permeable paving on the remaining roads and paths, which would result in a maintenance charge to the residents.  The Chairman noted the importance of informing the residents of the maintenance charges, a cost that residents did not currently pay.  It was also discussed that the maintenance charge could be included in payments made using Universal Credit.  It was asked for Leigh Clarke, Financial Director, to write a report to be reviewed at a future Sheerwater Regeneration Oversight Panel on the possible maintenance costs and also include the planned costs the Council expects for the new leisure facilities.

Action: L Clarke

Councillor Bittleston explained that other service costs such as heating, would decrease due to the energy saving modifications incorporated into the new properties.

Commencement of Works

It was noted that the contractors, Gilbert & Ash, would aim to commence works in February/March 2019 subject to when the planning consent was obtained.  Ray added that, Peter Bryant Head of Democratic and Legal Services, could seek Council authority to start the implementation of the first phase of works without a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), which would allow some residents to move in and also show the community the high quality properties being built.

Leisure Facilities

There remained challenges with the leisure facility works on the land of Bishop David Brown School, and it was agreed by the Panel that the needs of the community were priority and that the new leisure facilities would still be delivered.  Councillor Bittleston mentioned plans to commence building works on the new leisure facilities in July 2019, however if there were continued issues with BDB School it was noted that the land could be included in the CPO in order to prevent major delay to the project.

Acquisitions

Peter updated the Panel on the progress with the acquisitions.  The sale of 68 properties has been completed, 30 or so residents had accepted the Council’s offer and seven offers had been rejected.  The District Valuer (DV) had requested that he and an Officer of the Council should meet with any residents who sought further clarification on valuations and offer them guidance and support.  The valuation process was taking longer than had originally been thought though to-date the DV has completed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Businesses that come with Accommodation Leases

Minutes:

Ray informed the Members that all viable businesses would be relocated, and those that were not viable would be compensated to leave.  Ray explained that to be a viable business, the company would have to demonstrate that rent would be paid on time and their services would benefit those in the community.  It was noted that when assessing the businesses the results would be looked at prior to and during the regeneration project. 

There were three businesses which had accommodation leases.  Ray stressed the importance of engaging and assisting with these business owners in the same way Officers were engaging with secure tenants.  The Chairman noted that no criticism of the Ward Councillors had been intended during the discussion on businesses that came with accommodation leases.

 

4.

Businesses impacted by the regeneration

Minutes:

It was noted that the replacement commercial units would be built before the central park area, which would enable the viable businesses to relocate as soon as possible.

The Panel discussed the new community facilities that would provide accommodation for youth services which would release the building for development.  The new Doctors Surgery was awaiting final comments from the NHS and the Clinical Commissioning Group, whilst prioritising the services offered to locals, it was noted that the Pharmacy would be located near to the surgery.

The two dentists would co-locate, providing both NHS and private dental care services.   Ray had liaised with the Caring Day Care Centre  and Busy Bees who were content with the plans for their new space.  Plans were yet to be confirmed for the Children’s Centre due to the current Surrey County Council consultation, which reviewed the services and locations of the Children’s Centres.

It had previously been decided that, as Sheerwater Glass did not want to move away, the company would be relocated in the new commercial area.  MASCOT would be relocated to St. Michaels Church. 

A question was raised in regards to the planning application not changing even though more space would be required for the Children’s Centre.  Ray explained that it was dependent on the outcome of the Surrey County Council consultation and encouraged Ward Councillors to engage in the consultation with the ambition of making the main centre larger. 

Councillor Aziz quizzed Ray on the terms of a viable business.  The Chairman reinforced the points Ray had explained previously, noting that rent had to be paid in full and on time, and that the businesses would need to provide a valuable service to the community and suit the project.  Councillor Bittleston noted that the Council had previously protected the Post Office by not allowing the Asda in Sheerwater to undertake that service and that the Council encouraged local businesses. 

5.

Future Work Programme

Minutes:

Ray advised the Panel that future meetings would be more focused on the delivery of the regeneration.

 

6.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To receive the minutes of the last meeting held on 24 September 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Oversight Panel held on 24 September 2018 were received.

7.

Matters Arising from the Last Meeting

Minutes:

Peter mentioned that the recommendations from the ISSP which the Oversight Panel had agreed to close would be included in a subsequent report to the Executive and Full Council.

8.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

Councillor Raja raised concern over the use of the football pitch and the lack of communication to residents.  Ray explained that the athletic track and football pitches could be used up until May 2019, following which the Woking Sportsbox would be used as an alternative site.  Councillor Bittleston also noted that the newsletter was due in November and proposed that details of the positive work of Hazel’s team, information on Sitexing and an article about community engagement should be included.  Paola mentioned that the Sheerwater Together Group had requested a quote be included from the Leader about the Council’s intentions with the secured properties.

 

Ray noted his upcoming absence and it was agreed that it would be decided in January as to whether the meeting of the Sheerwater Regeneration Oversight Panel would go ahead on 30 January 2019.

 

9.

Dates of Future Meetings

The following dates have been set for future meetings of the Oversight Panel:

o   7pm, Wednesday 30 January 2019

o   7pm, Wednesday 27 March 2019

Minutes:

The following dates had been set for future meetings of the Oversight Panel:

o      7pm, Tuesday 30 January 2019

o      7pm, Wednesday 27 March 2019

10.

To Discuss any Matters relating to the Sheerwater Regeneration Scheme Deemed Confidential

This item has been added to the agenda to enable the Members to discuss any matters relating to the Sheerwater Regeneration Scheme in confidence.  The item is in line with the Protocol for Meeting Management and Publication of Information adopted by the Oversight Panel in September 2017.