Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 6th November 2014
Title of Item/Report
Victoria Housing Regeneration Scheme - Urban Retirement Village
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report on Victoria Estate Regeneration Proposal: Urban Village (Retirement / Active Ageing Housing).

Approval had previously been granted (June 2012, Cabinet Decision Record D120066) to progress a ‘residential only' led redevelopment of the Victoria Estate which would consist of predominately family housing with the potential inclusion of an extra care housing scheme.

At this time it was estimated (based on historical rates of decanting) that it would take up to five years to clear the estate and bring the site forward for redevelopment. The pace of decanting (as detailed in para. 2 of the report) was significantly more advanced than had originally been estimated and the first phase of demolition was complete.

The development partners were on site in locations in close proximity to Victoria, West End Gardens (Stockton centre) and North Shore. Norton Park (the Swainby Road site) would commence redevelopment in the near future. All three sites were predominately providing family housing. Coupled with a continued preference by private housing builders for greenfield over brownfield development sites, there was a potential concern regarding the markets appetite for bringing forward another site for family housing within such close proximity. On this basis an exercise had been undertaken to explore other potential development options for the site.

The Victoria estate was uniquely placed in terms of its proximity to Stockton town centre, retail and leisure facilities. This combined with the need to strategically address the lack of appropriate retirement housing options (across all tenures) in the Borough had highlighted that the site may provide a unique opportunity to develop an ‘Urban Village' exclusively providing active ageing / retirement housing. A sustainable and re-developed Victoria would play a key supporting role in the Councils vision for a vibrant Stockton town centre.

At this stage the potential to develop an Urban Village on the Victoria estate was very much a concept. Subject to Member approval, the challenge was to move forward on a number of levels. Including:-

a. Ensuring an Urban Village exclusively for active ageing / retirement housing was more than ‘bricks and mortar' and was a vibrant, inclusive community.
- The need to ensure that any ‘Stockton offer' was tuned to the priorities of those over (or approaching) 55 years, had appeal in terms of tempting ‘empty nesters' and those prepared to plan actively and positively for their future housing / care needs.

b. Working jointly with CESC and Public Health to further explore other housing / care models.
- By building upon the ‘Becker' model of care and examining other European models / evolving best practise both at a local and national level.
- To work-up a model which would promote independence through self-caring, reduce the culture of dependency and intervene/provide care (when required) via a range of cost effective solutions.

c. Working jointly with CESC to cross reference the ongoing JSNA reviews and the developing Adult Services Market Position Statement:
- To ensure that there was an evidenced ‘need' for mixed tenure accommodation of this scale / nature.

d. Undertake a comprehensive financial appraisal which would build upon the initial, high level commercial appraisal which had been undertaken. Whilst this early appraisal had indicated that the scheme could deliver a positive financial receipt, we need to (a) thoroughly test this and (b) explore the potential options available to the Council for both bringing forward and delivering a scheme of this nature.
- Delivery options include SBC taking the lead delivery partner role, a partnership / Joint Venture arrangement or a traditional land sale.

e. To move forward the initial ‘design' stage and develop a scheme proposal that is ready to be submitted for planning approval.
- Pending Cabinet sign-off, ensure we move forward quickly and effectively and be ready to bid for potential funding (HCA and DoH), should these opportunities arise.

f. Running alongside the above:

(i) To undertake further consultation with a range of stakeholders/interested parties (via a seminar approach) to discuss / tease out the concept and the potential future options of care.

(ii) Review other options to deliver older persons housing across the Borough (i.e. are there other sites/locations which collectively would address this need?).

(iii) Undertake further soft market testing of the other traditional development options for this site


1. The completion of a detailed option appraisal which would explore the viability of redeveloping the Victoria site as an exemplar ‘Urban Village' providing exclusively active ageing/retirement housing be supported.

2. Following completion of the above, a further report be brought back to Cabinet.
Reasons for the Decision
To ensure that the Victoria estate is redeveloped into a vibrant and sustainable community, thereby supporting both Council's housing and broader regeneration ambitions for the borough.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday, 14th November 2014

Date of Publication: 10 November 2014

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