Agenda item

Modular Development - Cattle Market Car Park

This report provides an update on move-on accommodation for rough sleepers, and seeks spend approval to progress a development of 40 modular temporary accommodation units to provide further accommodation at the Cattle Market site on Great Knollys Street.


The Executive Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report on a proposal to provide 40 modular temporary accommodation units as ‘move on’ accommodation for rough sleepers at the Cattle Market site on Great Knollys Street.  A plan of the site was appended to the report.


The report explained that Crown Commercial Service had offered assistance in procuring the modular housing solution both in terms of drawing up a specification and drawing off their frameworks for supply and construction which would help reduce costs.  Homes England and MHCLG had confirmed that the Council could bid for the grant funding, which was available to cover 40% of the development costs of new or refurbished accommodation targeted for this client group.  If the Council was not successful in this process, then 30% of the scheme cost could be funded through right to buy receipts. There would be intensive 24-hour support provided on site to ensure that the residents were adequately supported, and the site was effectively managed.  The pods would be manufactured to high environmental standards using modern methods of construction to minimise waste and maximise efficiencies of the build process and although temporary in nature, they would be robustly manufactured and could be re-used many times in different locations.


The report stated that the Cattle Market site was currently being used for a surface level car park to bring additional income into the Council of around £150k per annum. A business case had been developed to improve access to the car park which indicated that it would provide the Council with an estimated additional income of £100k per annum. This improvement was unlikely to be possible if part of the land was made available for the 40 modular units.  However, the loss of potential income would be more than offset by the provision of modular temporary accommodation, which would reduce the Council’s spend on emergency accommodation by approximately £960k per annum.  Additionally, depending on whether grant funding could be secured (£178k) or whether right to buy receipts needed to be used (£172k) the development would provide a net income to the HRA of about £172-178k per annum.


The project would be progressed in conjunction with the Local Planning Authority to ensure it was in line with planning requirements, and a full planning application would be submitted as soon as possible. However, the Council was allowed to move swiftly and install additional temporary accommodation without waiting for the planning application to be approved in cases of emergency.  As a result, it was anticipated that clearance of the site and installation of the modular units could start in August and be completed by October 2020.


Resolved –


(1)          That the £2m addition of the Modular Home Development to the 2020/21 – 2024/25 Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital programme be approved, funded through a combination of external subsidy and HRA borrowing;


(2)      That spending up to £2m within the Housing Revenue Account for the purpose of delivering 40 units of modular accommodation units to rehouse rough sleepers currently accommodated in Bed and Breakfast (B&B) as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic be approved.

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