Decision details

Community Housing Fund - Grant Application by Peacock and Verity Community Spaces:

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decision:

That, subject to legal safeguards set out herein, and completion of the purchase of the building by P&VCS, the sum of £150,000 be allocated from the Community Housing Fund (CHF) to Peacock and Verity Community Spaces as part funding for the refurbishment costs of 15 Silver Street, Masham for Community Led Housing.

 

Reasons for the decision:

It is important that the council supports communities that want to provide affordable housing to meet the needs of local people. Funding of £585,832 was allocated to the council in 2017 as part of a nationwide initiative specifically to meet this objective through the establishment of Community Housing Trusts (CHTs). There is £150,000 left of the CHF allocation and if this application is approved, all grants will have been spent on schemes in the Harrogate District.

 

Progressing Community Led Housing (CLH) is a slow process. There is interest from a number of groups, but only Masham and Knaresborough CHTs have reached the advanced stage of property/site identification and acquisition. P&VCS has secured full planning permission to carry out significant works to a building in Masham, including the creation of a Heritage Centre, café, shop and Post Office on the ground floor and four affordable apartments above. A CHF grant will be awarded on the basis that it will contribute towards the affordable housing element only.  Revenue support and significant officer time has been committed to this project over the past three years. 

Allocation of CLH grant monies towards the refurbishment of the building will ‘lever in’ funding for the commercial, heritage and retail elements of the refurbishment and conversion project.

 

Alternative options considered:

Not to support the grant application. This would result in a significant gap in funding for the refurbishment of the building and mean the project may fail, as other key funders may then withdraw from the project. The council has already provided a grant to the group to help part purchase the building with Karbon. Whilst CLH is driven by the community (often volunteers), P&VCS, Karbon and council officers have worked together on proposals, including formal constitution of the CHT, extensive local consultation, submission of a planning application and grant applications. Planning permission was granted in June 2021 (see Appendix B to the report - Design Statement).

 

Publication date: 24/01/2023

Date of decision: 24/01/2023

Decided at meeting: 24/01/2023 - Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities

Accompanying Documents: