Agenda item

Garage Project Update


L Roberts updated the committee on the garage programme update, the purpose of the report is to update members on the current garage asset position and the progress of the garage programme review and its objectives highlighting that the main risk for the Council



L Roberts was happy to take questions from members.


Cllr Mahmood referred to the survey for repairs works that come through, the main things he can think of is a door or the roof, assuming it is not asbestos. He wondered,

where we rent to businesses and the local public, should we not be double charging businesses and half to the public to differentiate the two.


S Raggatt replied stating that they do charge two different rates, private pay VAT on top of the rental cost and a third pricing for charities, which is very low.


L Roberts said with the pricing going forward we want to look at how we want to develop the stock, so it’s something they will consider. The most common repairs as part of the survey was roofs, walls, door and decoration so they have that level of detail now.


Cllr Mahmood said that as we are looking for housing do we have the ability to build on top of the garages.


F Williamson said that they strongly advise against that As aside from structural considerations  when the  development team design the new builds these are to higher codes for sustainability and  therefore the preference where they have a developable site is to demolish and start again.


Cllr Mahmood said that we talk about garages, but they’re used for storage so when we re brand them we need to look at a more descriptive name.


S Raggatt agreed with Cllr Mahmood and said that any input would greatly be received.  They would like to do a survey to find out what they are currently using them for, this will help us market going forward.


Cllr England asked if we had the cart before the horse. If we are going to fix the garage letting system and make it professional then why don’t we evaluate what we are going to do with the garages after we have done that, and we might find that the picture changes.


L Roberts asked for clarification, as she did not understand the question being asked.


Cllr England referred to point 12, if we are contemplating that shouldn’t we do that before we evaluate what is lettable and what is not?


L Roberts said its more about the process, we know that we have some garages that are lettable as with the current system we have ones that come back and get re let.

What we are talking about is a significant number of garages being able to be re let, or if you then want to do that it would be useful to improve the process. It then makes it easier in the future for tenants to get the garages as this has proved difficult due to systems.

The point is the process around the garages.


S Raggatt said they will need go through a procurement process, so while this is ongoing we can do the work, and what we are doing to manage the process. When we look at the first years of repairs work, our surveys will show us what we are focusing on. We do need to start repair work while we are looking at how we are going to improve our lettings service and get the turnaround as soon as possible.


Cllr England sees common grounds here. He also referred to point 16 page 40/41 ‘the next phase of disposal is on its way’ he asked, do we know what the percentage of affordable homes are for social rent?


F Williamson said that they are looking at six sites at the minute, which would be for social housing, which would be developed by ourselves. The ones that are sold to registered providers are at affordable rent, 80% of market rent. The exact percentage is unknown as the totality is unknown, F Williamson to speak to estates regarding percentage.

Action: F Williamson.



Cllr England said as an observation, could we look at parking problems. Could they be used as parking grounds?


L Roberts said absolutely, nothing would be ruled out.



S Raggatt said we would also be considering the verge-hardening programme, its only applicable where there is land available. It will not apply everywhere its land dependant.


Cllr Adeleke referred to the blue tick by council tenants in the presentation, he was wondering when locating council properties to tenants is there a way to advertise available garages to get more ticks by them.

His second point is that the review of the whole programme is a step in the right direction, which he supports. He said that there are some successful local authorities in the way they manage their stock, can we look into some of these to learn a lesson before we embark on a decision. 


L Roberts said yes we are learning from other local authorities, it does vary due to the amount of stock, but we look to seek a best in practice approach. We have not done any marketing so certainly we make this point and advertise into these areas.



Cllr Hollinghurst referred to the market research, which he believed, should come first, a large number of different usages have been revealed. He asked how many are actually used for whatever purpose; he suspects very few are used for cars due to size. He said there are lots of 8/12 or 6 blocks which are usually used in such a way the land can’t be used for anything else. He is not concerned about making people pay the true cost of their cars; he suggested reserved parking spaces being provided in private areas. People would be prepared to pay for a reserved space and it would be an income stream; he suggested even upgrading and offering extra security with CCTV or charging points. It should all begin after a detailed market research survey.


L Roberts said a survey is on the agenda so they get a better understanding, certainly this would be an option in some areas.


S Raggatt said that we need to construct the survey in the right friendly way so people feel comfortable saying what they use the garage for, as historically, the Terms & Conditions said they had to be for car storage.




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