The Mainway project represents a once in a
generation opportunity to shape the development of our District in
way that fully involves our community.
The significance of this project is the contribution that it potentially makes to the delivery of the Council’s priorities.
This particular report updates Cabinet on progress made on the Mainway Project, highlights some key issues and opportunities, and seeks agreement to allow use of reserves from the Housing Revenue Account to provide fully formed investment options for the Council to consider.
Mainway is a social housing estate comprising 257 properties which, except for a small number of right-to-buy properties (19), is almost wholly in Council ownership.
The estate was built in the 1960s. The expected lifespan of the buildings has been met and structural surveys show that the buildings either require significant refurbishment or rebuilding. The cost of rebuilding is estimated at £37,000,000 which will provide at least an 80-100 year life expectancy. The cost of refurbishment is estimated to be £23.5 million which will provide an extra 25-30 years life.
Much detailed work planning has already taken place and can be found within the appendices of the report. However, in order to seek an investment decision from the Council, further information is needed to provide the necessary financial assessments and due diligence for a project of this scale.
To get to this point, the project now requires further work including- commissioning detailed site investigations, appraising different options for redevelopment, bringing forward a tenant management plan and establishing a detailed business plan (including financing the redevelopment of the site and project plan for delivering it). This business plan will enable the Council to understand its options, their implications for the Council’s budget and agree any onward capital, borrowing and revenue implications.
An extensive consultation exercise has taken place to seek Tenant views through a range of events and other activities, with a clear picture emerging of a desire to retain a cohesive community at the Mainway location, to continue social housing at the location to achieve that, and therefore to support a significant renewal of the housing stock. 70% of the Tenants were in favour of change.
It is recognised that in order to provide certainty to residents, ensure that Council has needed information on which to base such a significant investment decision and maintain the safety of the existing building considerable capacity will be required to maintain the momentum of this project.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Community Impact;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Wards affected: Scotforth East Ward;
Decision due: 23 March 2021 by Cabinet
Lead member: Cabinet Member with particular responsibility for Arts, Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing
Lead director: Director for Communities and the Environment
Contact: Joanne Wilkinson, Head of Housing Email: email@example.com.
Officers of the Council were consulted to
establish an initial project brief and project objectives and all
relevant services were invited to attend the ‘Welcome to
Mainway’ event held on 5th November 2019 to pool and align
ideas and ambitions.
In the July Cabinet report – ‘Developing a Homes Strategy for Lancaster District’, Cabinet authorised the opening of consultation with tenants, residents, councillors and stakeholders which is being conducted by Beyond Imagination – Lancaster University in partnership with Lancaster City Council.
The consultation process is on-going. A preliminary summary is included with this report at Appendix 2.
Additionally, local services including Police, Health, Fire and Rescue have also been consulted with on-going conversations planned as the programme of work continues.
Local Tenants and other stakeholders, local
Councillors and portfolio, representatives from other local public
Are there any climate change implications?: The proposals set out in the report will have positive impacts on climate change - these will be detailed in more detail in future reports.