Agenda item


Purpose of report:

To inform the Select Committee of the Supported Independent Living Cabinet Report scheduled for Tuesday 26 April 2022.





Natalie Bramhall, Cabinet Member for Property & Waste

Sinead Mooney, Cabinet Member for Adults & Health


Simon Crowther, Director of Land & Property

Elaine McKenna, Contracts Manager – Land & Property

Anthony Wybrow, Assistant Director – Project Delivery


Key points raised during the discussion:


1.    A Vice Chairman asked if the proposal provided value for money and if there were any cost concerns. The Cabinet Member for Property & Waste said that the proposal provided good value for money and budgets had been well managed by teams involved.


2.    A Vice Chairman, in noting the reported reference to site availability from 2018 and 2022, queried the inclusion of the Byfleet Manor School site which had closed over 10 years ago. The Cabinet Member for Property & Waste explained that the school was demolished in 2018 resulting in the site being available after the demolition date, the reason for the building having remained standing for that period was unknown. The Vice Chairman suggested the report wording be clearer in the future. 


3.    The Chairman asked if final form specifications would be ready in time for contracted works to commence. The Cabinet Member for Property & Waste confirmed that the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) plan of works had been followed and there had been close management between Adults Social Care, occupational therapists and the Adults Social Care Board (AwSC) with each design stage being signed off reducing the risk of any unforeseen changes.  The Chairman queried if specifications and design stages were approved by users. The Contracts Manager, Land & Property confirmed that users of current services had been consulted with their feedback incorporated into design plans.


4.    The Chairman asked what the key risks to the project were. The Contracts Manager, Land & Property stated that a risk avoidance strategy had been implemented with each element of the design being considered, including maintenance costs going forward, sustainability and building regulations. 


5.    The Chairman asked if risks had been identified with local planning advisors or the districts and boroughs for the three sites in question. The Cabinet Member for Property & Waste advised that to address any potential issues before submission, all pre application documents had been reviewed against national and local planning by Surrey County Council’s Planning Consultant. The Regulation 3 Team had issued preliminary reports and held review meetings for each of the three sites, with comments raised being worked into the designs. In preparation for formal planning application submission in June 2022, officers for Woking, Elmbridge and Reigate and Banstead Councils had been asked to review delivery proposals and provide timely feedback as part of the risk avoidance strategy.


6.    The Chairman asked what reaction had there been so far and were there applications that did not comply with existing local plans. The Contract Manager, Land & Property confirmed that discussions had taken place between the Regulation 3 Team and district and borough planning officers. The local plan referred mainly to Horley and most comments received thus far referred to privacy, vernacular appearance, colour of bricks, and landscaping and have been incorporated back into the design. The Chairman asked if there had been any local opposition. The Contract Manager, Land & Property confirmed that there had been interest, not opposition.


7.    A Member asked what the current and projected demand for Supported Independent Living sites was. The Cabinet Member for Property & Waste said that the published Accommodation with Care and Support Strategy committed Surrey County Council to providing 500 Supported Independent Living sites across the county for working age adults with learning difficulties and/ or autism. This current requirement would be met but the need was expected to increase in the next three to five years to a requirement of approximately 350 additional units with 22 per cent sourced from council owned sites. Surrey County Council Land & Property would continue to identify potential sites for additional Supported Living accommodation. 


8.    A Vice Chairman asked if the budget was adequate enough to allow the programme to be delivered to the timescale that Adult Social Care expected.  The Cabinet Member for Land & Property confirmed that it was fully funded as part of the capital programme under the Mid-Term Financial Strategy.


9.    A Member asked if The Squirrels in Banstead remained empty. The Cabinet Member for Property & Waste confirmed that property was not empty, the residential break service and residents with autism accommodation operated from the site.


10.A Member, in reference to page 51 of the report, asked for an explanation of the term ‘local residents’. The Contract Manager, Land & Property said that needs would be addressed according to the individual circumstances. The Cabinet Member for Adults & Health explained that the Adult Social Care service were in the early stages of working on a clear and concise allocations policy to set fair principles around the allocation of these properties. The needs of those originally from Surrey currently in placements outside of the county but wishing to return would also be included in this policy. It was suggested that the policy would be brought back to the committee when finalised. 


11.A Member said that the report noted that residents could expect to pay lower fuel bills and asked how this would be achieved. The Cabinet Member for Property & Waste confirmed that the Batch 1 scheme buildings were designed to deliver energy efficient buildings, resulting in lower fuel bills and addressing fuel poverty.


12.  A Vice Chairman asked if there were any restrictive covenants to be considered. The Cabinet Member for Property & Waste confirmed that a thorough appraisal of all land registry documents and title deeds had been completed by Surrey County Councils’ legal team and external legal consultants and there were no restrictive covenants associated with Batch 1.


13.The Chairman asked if further information could be provided regarding Batch submission dates to Cabinet. The Assistant Director, Project Delivery confirmed Batch 2 would be submitted to Cabinet within the next six months and Batch 3 within the next financial year 2022/2023. The Chairman noted the current ambition to bring developments forward more quickly than in the past.


14.The Chairman thanked officers for a useful update, requesting the committee be notified of any issues or delays in good time and requested that the committee be given the opportunity to inspect sites at an appropriate and helpful stage.


Tony Samuels left the meeting at 10:41am


The Chairman paused the meeting 10:41am.

The Chairman resumed the meeting at 11:00am.


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