Executive decision report, 16 July 2015


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Executive Decision Report

Decision maker(s) at each authority and date of Cabinet meeting, Cabinet Member meeting or (in the case of individual Cabinet Member decisions) the earliest date the decision will be taken Cabinet 16 July 2015


Date of decision 16 July 2015
Forward Plan reference: [insert]
Reporting officer Laura Johnson, Director of Housing

Michael Clark, Director of Tri Borough FM and Director for Corporate Property

Key decision Yes
Access to information classification Public





The Council has recently committed to a programme of new house-building on selected estates in its ownership in order to meet the following objectives: to provide better quality homes for existing and future tenants; to deliver additional affordable housing; to tackle the root causes of social deprivation; and to improve the urban design and built environment of those estates.

The Royal Borough has almost completed the first redevelopment scheme in this area (the ex-Silchester Garages site) with its partner the Peabody Trust. This scheme has been well received within the area and some informal local feedback has asked the council about what happens next. The Council therefore wishes to explore further redevelopment opportunities in the area through an Options Appraisal exercise, working with local residents and stakeholders.

This report requests that the Cabinet approves the appointment and funding of a property consultant and associated project/design team to take this work forward and produce the necessary Options Appraisal and accompanying viability reports.

The report also proposes the approval of a professional fees budget to Options Appraisal stage (RIBA Stages 0 and 1). Once this has been completed a further report will be provided to Cabinet providing recommendations which depending upon the outcome of the Options Appraisal exercise, may request a further approval to progress to preparation of a planning application.



2.1 The Cabinet agrees to fund the appointment of a Lead Property Consultant, incorporating an architectural practice to enable an Options Appraisal exercise to be undertaken.


  • The Cabinet agrees to set aside a budget of £200,000 to facilitate the commissioning of the Options Appraisal.


  • It is further recommended that approval to incur expenditure against this budget be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Housing, Property and Regeneration.




3.1 In order to explore the potential for further redevelopment and regeneration in the Silchester area, it is necessary for the council to agree to fund and undertake an Options Appraisal as discussed, below.


4.1 The Council recognises the intense and growing shortage of all types of housing in London. Kensington and Chelsea has an ever growing demand for all types of housing with those on middle incomes unable to access owner occupation and approximately 1,800 cases in temporary accommodation to whom the Council has duty to rehouse. The key issue for Kensington and Chelsea is the lack of land on which to develop new housing. As a consequence the Council has made an in principle commitment to a programme of redeveloping selected low-density Council estates.  The Silchester Estate, as shown in Appendix One, is one of the areas the Council now proposes to consider for redevelopment.


4.2 The purpose of the initial Options Appraisal is to better understand the potential for the area to be redeveloped to optimise on the following Council objectives:


  • To provide additional affordable housing, thereby preserving our mixed communities.
  • To tackle the underlying causes of deprivation by improving health outcomes, employment opportunities, educational attainment and aspiration, and by reducing crime and the fear of crime.
  • To build the “conservation areas of the future” by reflecting and matching the high quality urban design in the rest of the borough.



4.3 The Plan attached as Appendix One to this report, details the Silchester Estates location and the various other sites/buildings within the immediate area. This will form the basis the “red line” for the Options Appraisal exercise. There are three main sites that are proposed to be included in the exercise.


4.3 The tables below set out the individual blocks and numbers of units, for all of the council owned residential accommodation proposed to be included within the three sites.


Silchester West Estate


Block/Address Number of units
2 – 27 Darfield Way 26
2 – 48 (even) Shalfleet Drive 24
29 – 41 (odd) Shalfleet Drive 7
2 – 11 Waynflete Square 50
1 – 80 Dixon House 80
1 – 80 Frinstead House 80
1 – 80 Markland House 80
Total 347



Silchester East Estate


Block/Address Number of units
1 – 21 Kingsnorth House 21
1 – 80 Whitstable House 80
Total 101


Bramley House/Silchester Road


Block/Address Number of units
1 – 45 Bramley House 45
13 – 17 (odd), 21 Silchester Road 4
Total 49







5.1            It is proposed that an Options Appraisal exercise be carried out on the Silchester Estates and sites as set out in the Plan at Annex 1 in order to establish:


  • The capacity for additional new homes;
  • The opportunity for improvement to the built environment;
  • The opportunity to provide decanting for existing homes;
  • Improvements to any remaining council housing stock;
  • The replacement of out-dated existing housing stock, such as studios or bedsits;
  • An acceptable offer to leaseholders and the impact of this on financial viability;
  • Overall financial viability in terms of the ability to be “self-funding” and inform the potential procurement/delivery option(s).


5.2            A number of potential design based scenarios should be considered, and the Options Appraisal exercise will need to address each one of these in terms of the outcomes report. These possible scenarios include:


  • RBKC owned land/stock – optimum redevelopment of all medium and low rise residential accommodation, but retaining the four tower blocks;
  • RBKC owned land/stock – optimum redevelopment of all medium and low rise residential accommodation, together with the demolition and redevelopment of the four tower blocks, but not including any new tower blocks within the proposals;
  • RBKC owned land/stock – as per (2) above but providing for a number of replacement tower blocks, although not necessarily on the current sites/footprints of the existing towers;
  • All land/stock (RBKC and other ownership) otherwise as per (1) above;
  • All land/stock (RBKC and other ownership) otherwise as per (2) above;
  • All land/stock (RBKC and other ownership) otherwise as per (3) above.


5.3 There may be some sub-variations within each/some of these scenarios that are proposed during the course of preparing the options, and the Lead Property Consultant will be required to evaluate these as well as the main scenarios. Similarly the consultants may themselves propose scenarios that are not listed above. They will be encouraged to put these forward for further consideration and evaluation.


5.4 It is therefore proposed to appoint, via a suitable competitive tendering process, a Lead Property Consultant to provide and procure a specified scope of services to progress the options appraisal process:

  • Architectural/master-planning services – a suitable practice will be appointed via a separate, one-off selection/interview process managed by the Lead Property Consultant but also involving council nominees; other technical services, including quantity surveying/cost advisor; structural engineering; mechanical & electrical engineering; planning consultant; highways engineering, and rights of light/day lighting advice;
  • Commercial and investment advice, including financial viability, residential sales and marketing;
  • Acting as a Project Manager to manage the process and provide advice on the viability, programme and commercial aspects of the options appraisal, as well as considering development phasing and resident decanting issues.

5.6 In terms of modelling financial viability, the Lead Property Consultant will use the various financial, decanting and compensation, and other related assumptions previously agreed by the Council for other potential redevelopment schemes (e.g. Pembroke Road, the Barlby Road/Treverton Estate schemes) to ensure consistency in approach.


6.1            As for other Council led residential regeneration initiatives, the benefits of the options appraisal approach are:


  • a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges for redevelopment of either the properties owned by the Council or a wider area;
  • a high level understanding of the costs of development;
  • high level advice on the optimum delivery route should there be a desire to proceed with a redevelopment proposal.
  • maximising the potential of the Royal Borough’s assets and long term investments.


6.2 The required outputs from completion of the Options Appraisal exercise are as follows:


  1. the quantum of new residential accommodation, both replacement and additional;
  2. the quantum of other uses and their costs and values;
  3. adherence to the Royal Borough’s Regeneration and Integration Vision, urban design principles and new residential accommodation design and operation requirements;
  4. redevelopment phasing, including the identification of “early win” sites and a decanting programme;
  5. financial viability – including estimated “development” surpluses/deficits generated by each option to demonstrate the comparable viability of the scheme;
  6. able to demonstrate viability in the context of deliverability via a “Joint Venture” with the council.




7.1 The Housing Regeneration team is taking a proactive approach both in terms of delivering the initial message to residents and other stakeholders and establishing structures to carry out meaningful consultation as the proposals develop.

There is a well established Residents’ Association for the Silchester Estate and a Residents’ Associations for Bramley House. The chairs of both associations have been contacted and officers will be attending association meeting in the near future.

A letter has been sent to all residents directly affected by the ‘red line’ around the options appraisal area and a complementary letter to the owners and users of the other buildings in the designated area. There is dedicated telephone line and email for enquiries. In addition two drops in are planned for 13 and 15 July, 2015.



8.1 There are no equality implications at this stage as we are proposing to undertake an appraisal which will have no direct impact on any particular group and is design to provide the council with information to inform decision making.


9.1 At this stage there are no immediate legal implications. The appointment of consultants will need to be done in compliance with the Council’s Contract Regulation. Redevelopment is likely to involve buying back properties previously sold.


10.1 At this early stage of the project the detailed costs that are likely to be involved in delivering whatever regeneration option(s) is decided upon are clearly not available. Following appointment of the Lead Property Consultant and their progression of the Options Appraisal exercise and collation of development advice and financial assumptions, costs will start to be identified, reviewed and refined, and reported to the various council corporate forums.


10.2 The £200,000 budget proposed in paragraph 2.3 above is just for this options appraisal process and assumes that Cabinet will have to decide whether or not there is a viable redevelopment option to progress with before agreeing any additional budget.



10.3 The project will be managed by an In-house Project Team the costs of this Team are included within the cost indicators at 2.3 above.



Laura Johnson

Director of Housing

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