Agenda item

Breckland Bridge Business Plan

Report of Councillor Paul Hewett, Executive Member for Property, Projects & Procurement.


Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen presented a statement on behalf of the Executive Member for Property, Projects and Procurement


The statement highlighted three important aspects of the partnership.  The first related to how the Council obtained the best return from its property and land assets across the District.  This remained priority but it was recognised that the property and land the Council owns could assist local communities with other uses and therefore urged all Members to engage with the consultation phases to help inform the decisions that were made.


The second area of input was around the joint venture and what it produced.  Currently the focus was on the availability of assets for residential housing delivery and through being a partner in the joint venture can lead on good design and sustainability throughout the schemes.


Thirdly, Breckland Bridge has recognised the importance of construction and development has on the environment and the environmental policy and as part of the business plan aimed to minimise impact, comply fully with legislation and improve standards and sustainability in every aspect of design through to completion to protect the environment.


Councillor Atterwill had recently attended a Housing Allocations workshop which he urged all Members to attend to understand the challenges.  He raised that whilst the Breckland Bridge model brought forward development he asked why more affordable homes were not built as the land would be cheap.


Ralph Burton, the Assistant Director for Property and Infrastructure said that land has been used for social housing recently in Thetford, and where possible the joint venture looks to balance and provide as much affordable housing where it can.


Councillor Atterwill added that the Council had spent £1.3m on temporary accommodation and the challenge was to reduce that bill and by developing on the Council’s own land could help to reduce that bill.


The Chairman added that both the Executive Member for Property Projects and Procurement and the Executive Member for housing and Homelessness were working closely together to look at the delivery of affordable homes.


Councillor Clarke said that the list of sites for Dereham had expanded but felt there was a shortage of green open spaces and wanted to see better collaboration on how to equate value with better returns for the residents.


The Chairman said the Council looked to dispose of up to 10 sites per annum which was linked to the budget.  All ward Members were encouraged to be involved in the consultation process to understand how best to deliver green open spaces and deliver the housing challenges



Option 1: Cabinet recommends to Council to approve the updated Breckland Bridge Ltd business plan for 2023-2028.


Option 2: Cabinet does not recommend to Council to approve the updated Breckland Bridge Ltd business plan for 2023-2028.


Reason(s) for Recommendation:

The main reasons for approving the business plan are as follows:


·        Overall performance of the partnership is good with three successfully delivered projects, further activity to churn the small sites and wider property development support and advice received from the partnership. 

·        The next business plan is viable, based on the assumptions upon which it has been modelled and providing the risks are managed and the controls embedded within the legal documentation are adhered to. 

·        There are added benefits to being in the partnership and the business plan is delivery focused.  This does not lose the flexibility of receiving services from the partnership as required and the ability to access additional property development expertise and skills efficiently.

·        Subject to the risks identified which continue to be monitored the overall return to the Council is still positive in terms of regeneration and financial outturn. 


RESOLVED that CABINET RECOMMENDS TO FULL COUNCIL to approve the updated Breckland Bridge Ltd business plan for 2023 - 2028.


Supporting documents: