Council to Compulsory Purchase homes?

 

Council to Compulsory Purchase homes?

top secrect

The council is attempting to acquire 1.031 hectares of land and assemble a vacant site for redevelopment

 BUT:

Toms Close currently consists of 16 semi-detached 3-bedroom houses on 1.031 hectares of land. 11 properties are now (Feb 2014) in council ownership

If negotiations with the five private residents are not 100% successful, compulsory purchase may be necessary to acquire the whole site.

The acquisition of the site is to be funded by the HRA Capital Programme

Council to spend over £1 million (close to £1.5 with contingency) to acquire the site

About £730k will be used to get the five still in private ownership

The council is assuming a market value of £115k per dwelling and to take account of the fact that property owners have other statutory rights (Home Loss payment of 10% of the market value) and some room to negotiate around the discretionary disturbance allowance (about £10k or above), my current understanding is that over £146k per dwelling is a close working amount per dwelling?

Compulsory Purchase

There is a risk that if negotiations with the five private residents are not 100% successful, compulsory purchase may be necessary to acquire the whole site.

 

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18 Responses to Council to Compulsory Purchase homes?

  1. cheese says:

    Not all the information above is correct. One home already meets the decent homes standard and has had full repair and as such is valued differently.

  2. Thanks for your comment
    I WROTE:-
    The council is assuming a market value of £115k per dwelling and to take account of the fact that property owners have other statutory rights (Home Loss payment of 10% of the market value) and some room to negotiate around the discretionary disturbance allowance (about £10k or above), MY CURRENT understanding is that over £146k per dwelling is a close working amount per dwelling?
    This was based on a report to NBC Corporate Asset Board on the 6 February 2014 from the Head of Landlord Services

    Which reads:
    3.2 The cost of acquiring the remaining five privately owned properties would therefore be approximately £575,000, assuming a market value of £115k per dwelling.

    Anyone wishing to see the report in question should ask for a copy of Freedom of Information response NBC1022-245/14

  3. Toms Close Owner says:

    As my name suggests I am an owner of one of 16 Airey properties in Toms Close. I have had a quotation from a reliable Airey house repair company & they stated that it would cost £34,650 to repair, brick, install new windows, doors & gutters ect. not £89,000 NBC quoted in our letters of decommission.

    At a Parish Council meeting held 12th March 2014 the private residence raised their concerns to Cllr Markham, who said she would go away, investigate our concerns & get back to us within a couple of days. As yet we have not herd a thing.

    In the meeting Cllr Markham assumed the private owners had had an offer to buy back the houses within a month of receiving the letters of decommission. This is in fact untrue as NBC will not even speak to any of us, they are only concerned with decanting their tenants.

    Having spoken to some of these tenants they are being promised a lot (but not in writing) These tenants are being made to feel like they do not have an option other than to move out.

  4. Dear Toms Close Owner
    I have seen the letter you (see text below) that gives a cost of £89,000

    Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms
    TOMS CLOSE, COLLINGTREE, NORTHAMPTON
    You have been left this letter today following the home visit by one of your local housing team to discuss the future of Toms Close.
    This letter contains the details of the information that has been discussed with you along with a request to contact me to discuss in more detail how the information you have been given directly impacts upon you as an owner of your property.
    As you were informed, the Council are required by Government to improve all of our properties so that they achieve the Decent Homes Standard by 31 March 2015.
    This would mean undertaking substantial structural work to one of our properties that is attached to your home, which it is not possible to undertake without significantly impacting upon your property.
    Your home and the other properties on Toms Close are classed as non-traditional housing stock in that they were built using what’s called an Airey design (concrete post construction) and are listed in the Housing Defects Act 1984. As a result they require a substantial amount of work to both the structure as well as the internal facilities to achieve this standard.
    To determine exactly what work is required we commissioned a specialist company to undertake a building survey of a vacant property on Toms Close. This company produced a detailed specification of works that would be required to make each property ‘decent’ and to upgrade the structure to ensure that the properties would have at least another 25 years ‘life expectancy’.
    We then asked two other companies to submit estimated costs per property to
    undertake these specified works. Similar tenders were received from each company with the estimated cost per property to deliver the required improvements being £89,000. Both companies indicated that this would be a minimum value with the actual costs likely to be higher.
    These investment levels are not economically viable on properties of this type and value and it is with regret therefore that I have to advise you that we will need to decommission the council owned housing stock on Toms Close.

    Unfortunately, the condition of the properties leaves the Council with no viable
    alternative but we will make every effort to ensure that we support all residents throughout the process.
    The Council may be willing to purchase your home and possibly offer you alternative accommodation if required together with the reasonable costs associated with moving home.
    I will be contacting you over the next few days to arrange a meeting at your property at a time and date convenient to yourself.
    Yours sincerely,

    Senior Estates Officer

    • Mr Barnes-TEE says:

      This figure of £89-000 is rubbish i rebuilt my house to decent homes standard + an extention for £60-000 this house is now worth £200k + and is of traditional built block and brick construction so it’s worth more thanj £115-000. contact me bill65@engineer.com part owner of 2 toms close collingtree village.

  5. Toms Close Owner says:

    Yes this is the letter, however, the number they provided hangs up when you try to call it. So we sit and wait.

  6. You are correct to question the cost of £89,000 I have a (NBC) report THAT reads:-

    ‘The estimated cost for bringing one property up to the Decent Homes standard is £76,000. This rises to £82,000 if a gas supply is secured’

    AND this is open to question!

  7. graham crow says:

    On behalf of another Toms Close resident and home owner.

    My fathers property has fully functioning oil fired central heating, calor gas fire, almost new double glazing, full specification loft insulation and many other home improvements, including disabled access works. He does not require a gas supply.

    It is possible to leave the home owners houses standing and for the council to make good the end of the building once the demolition of the council property has taken place. We have asked this question and never received a reply. Why cannot this be an option?

  8. cheese says:

    What annoys me is ‘the council may be willing to purchade your home’ in the letter yet we are told that they ‘will’ take our home by CPO if necessary!

    • toms close owner says:

      I know of an Airey type house nearby that is going to be separated and the land around will be fully developed with new homes leaving one Airey type house which is privately owned which I believe to be a strong case against the councils decision. I personally feel these houses are being valued cheaply for a profit to be made further down the chain eg a Airey type house was up for sale near Daventry for £175,000 .

      • cheese says:

        The council say we have no choice and they are going to take these houses one way or another. I have just paid for a valuation and am awaiting the report. The valuer seemed convinced that these Aireys are worth more than what the council think too, he has been doing some work at Towcester and does have experience with this type of house.

  9. graham crow says:

    Of course, no 2 is a now a properly modified house and no longer an Airey by definition. It has an NBC signed off certificate and the builders certificate gives it at least a 60 year guarantee. The amount of time that these houses have already existed. . Let the owners stay if they wish to.

    For the remainder, another alternative, which again has not been answered is that no 7, 9,12 and 16 are I believe, also home owners. Therefore if the owners would be willing, why not allow the owner of say no 12 and 16 swap and move into council properties 8 and 10. That way 7,8,9 and 10 remain in private hands. The council can then demolish the remainder (except no 2) and do whatever sales and money making scheme that they are upto. They would only need to make good the end of no 2, plus of course any statutory works to the other houses that may require doing, eg making one of the two houses disabled friendly. I do not believe anyone would want to move into no 17 as this is the house that the council say is so bad that it needs the £90k spending on it.

    A further advantage to my father is that he will be near to his carer, my sister at no 9 and importantly near to mums grave at the cemetery which he can visit on his buggy. NBC, what do you think to these ideas??

  10. cheese says:

    According to Mr Kennedy he sees no reason for no.2 not to be CPOd along with the others. No questions asked have been answered by the council since all this began. We are left in the dark, its like someone has pressed the pause button on our life and we just seem to have an unending wait. Its disgraceful.

  11. ariki mau says:

    I think it is clear that the Council intend to demolish these houses and replace them with a new housing estate as soon as possible. They own 11 of the 16 properties and have capital tied up with effectively no income stream over the duration.

    It is also clear that the Council valuation is an injustice and will not reflect the replacement value of any of the 5 remaining properties.

    There appear to be two potential solutions:

    (1) A work-around, to pay the equivalent of a reasonable replacement value, to current owners; together with some additional compensatory element for the hassle, stress and unwanted disruption and relocation. I would reckon this to be closer to TWICE the amount currently being offered (i.e. 2 x £115,000 = £230,000). The good news being that the windfall this week that the Council has sold a museum statue for approx £16 million pounds, over twice the best estimate, means they have the funds to address this disgraceful calumny in an correct and honourable manner.

    (2) Given option 1 is unlikely given the venal way the Council seem to looking at this scheme, it being a nice profit for those on the gravy train and sod the resident suffering stress and finical ruin, the more likely it seems it is probably going to progress to a CPO. The COP will need to be obtained on the basis of it being for the “public good”. Whilst any fair and honest definition of the term public good would not apply in this case, fairness and honesty are traits manifestly lacking in the attitude and behaviour of the Council to date.

    If the plan is to build a housing estate – anyone want to bet it isn’t let me know ! – and if the CPO procedures are applied correctly albeit unjustly, such that a replacement value cash settlement cannot be made – then, if that is the case, the best solution (in my opinion) is to exchange an existing house on the Toms Close site for one of the new ones to be built. The new owners can then sell the property “off the plan” and make arrangements for a suitable alternate home of their choice that is on the market. (The Council should also provide appropriate rent free accommodation for a period of twelve months while this change-over process takes place).

    The problem with the whole fair and equable settlement debate is the Northampton Borough Council appear intent on behaving in anything other than that.

    From the previous posts commenting on dealings with, or attempts to do so, above it is clear that secrecy and duplicitousness are in the DNA of the Council.

    Sadly for the remaining home owners I do not believe the Council can be trusted. My recommendation is they get the fiercest rottweiler expert legal counsel as well as a PR mastermind to aggressively focus on the issue of the “public good”.

    I do not know the law, but I do know right from wrong, and the Council are most definitely in the wrong. But any Council that can sell a statue held in trust for the people of the town they are supposedly representing (but make us ashamed instead) self-evidently has no moral compass.

    Two adages have served well over time.

    a. Sunlight is the best antiseptic – so get the Council out of the rock/shadows they are skulking under.

    b. Follow the money – someone experienced in such matters needs to scrutinise the development plan. It smells like some people will have their nose in the trough here (at the direct expense of the current home owners). If this is true – Who are they ? How ? And for how much ?

    Frankly, after reading this thread, the whole thing stinks worse than rotten fish.

  12. ariki mau says:

    To the moderators: I think i should moderate my own post written as it was in some anger.

    I think it is clear that the Council intend to demolish these houses and replace them with a new housing estate as soon as possible. They own 11 of the 16 properties and have capital tied up with effectively no income stream over the duration.

    It is also clear that the Council valuation is an injustice and will not reflect the replacement value of any of the 5 remaining properties.

    There appear to be two potential solutions:

    (1) A work-around, to pay the equivalent of a reasonable replacement value, to current owners; together with some additional compensatory element for the hassle, stress and unwanted disruption and relocation. I would reckon this to be closer to TWICE the amount currently being offered (i.e. 2 x £115,000 = £230,000). The good news being that the windfall this week that the Council has sold a museum statue for approx £16 million pounds, over twice the best estimate, means they have the funds to address this disgraceful calumny in an correct and honourable manner.

    (2) Given option 1 is unlikely given the apparently venal way the Council seem to looking at this scheme insofar as the social justice aspect, where residents suffer undue stress and uncertainty as well as potential financial ruin, the more likely it seems it is probably going to progress to a CPO. The CPO presumably will need to be obtained on the basis of it being for the “public good”. It is difficult to see how any fair and honest definition of the term public good would apply in this case.

    If the plan is to build a housing estate – anyone want to bet it isn’t let me know ! – and if the CPO procedures are applied correctly albeit unjustly, such that a replacement value cash settlement cannot be made – then, if that is the case, the best solution (in my opinion) is to exchange an existing house on the Toms Close site for one of the new ones to be built. The new owners can then sell the property “off the plan” and make arrangements for a suitable alternate home of their choice that is on the market. (The Council should also provide appropriate rent free accommodation for a period of twelve months while this change-over process takes place).

    Sadly for the remaining home owners I get the impression the Council are not acting in the best interests of their taxpayer resident home-owners. My recommendation is they get the fiercest rottweiler expert legal counsel as well as a PR mastermind to aggressively focus on the issue of the “public good”.

    I do not know the law, but I do know right from wrong, and the Council are most definitely in the wrong. But any Council that can sell a statue held in trust for the people of the town they are supposedly representing (but make us ashamed instead) to my way of thinking, on this basis, has a faulty moral compass.

    Two adages have served well over time.

    a. Sunlight is the best antiseptic – so get the facts out of the shadows.

    b. Follow the money – someone experienced in such matters needs to scrutinise the development plan. “Cui Bono” ? (at the direct expense of the current home owners). Who are they ? How ? And for how much ?

  13. ariki mau says:

    From this home page story on this site (above) is says: –

    “The acquisition of the site is to be funded by the HRA Capital Programme. Council to spend over £1 million (close to £1.5 with contingency) to acquire the site. About £730k will be used to get the five still in private ownership.”

    The maths of this suggest

    (a) £730K if split equally five ways = £146K per house (as is stated)

    (b) £730K + the extra £500K for “contingency” – if applied in total and if similarly spilt equally
    = £246K per household/dwelling.

    (c) even if just half the contingency is allocated then the amount per household/dwelling = £196K

    Additional information further stated that each homeowner has ” … statutory rights (Home Loss payment of 10% of the market value) and some room to negotiate around the discretionary disturbance allowance (about £10k or above). ”

    It would seem to be more equable therefore that a purchase price of £196K per dwelling, plus the statutory rights elements – would seem a fairer* settlement.

    * “fairer” being defined loosely by taking at face value of £175K for an assumed “equivalent” house in Daventry, as per information posted by a Toms Close owner.

    Mind you, I am not a home owner, so I cannot put a value on the emotional and sentimental factors, which I would consider as significant were it me being so affected.

    The Council opening bid of £115K sounds a derisory sum. What can you buy for that ? I assume the idea is that they start there, whereas the vendors start at a similarly ridiculous offer figure of, say, £500K, and the parties end up bargaining down to an agreed sale price somewhere nearer the middle of the two.

  14. Toms close resident says:

    With respect to all the comments made thus far, I have to question the residents concept of community? Isn’t it nice that the home owners can debate amongst themselves about swapping homes and demolishing others, so long as their needs are met. Is it callousness or have these home owners forgotten the poor RESIDENTS that are currently residing as TENANTS in the close as their neighbours, If anyone has heard their stories of mistreatment and unfulfilled promises, stress and ill health, maybe it might stir some compassion amongst you and thread readers that omitted to consider them. Tenants are part of this process and they are losing their homes as well. The council is struggling to rehouse these people due to insufficient availability of properties. They also have a right to be housed in like for like accommodation, in like for like locations of which the council is unable to provide. Just because a tenant is not a home owner it does not make them any less worthy as individuals of social standing. In all respects, this is a disgusting act of social cleansing that the council should hang their head in shame about.

  15. Makes me laugh how we’ve been conned, i contacted the council and told them of my proposals and explained i didn’t need planning permission because it was a repair. They then told me what colour bricks to use so i submitted a brick sample which was bradegate light buff and they said this was ok. I paid £400 for regulations for the building inspector to come out and inspect works at various stages which was done. So they let me do this knowing full well they were going to redevelop the site and cpo the house. SEEM LIKE I’VE BEEN CONNED WHAT DO YOU THINK.

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