Agenda item

Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP)


As detailed in the recommendations.


The Chief Officer (Housing and Assets) introduced the Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP) report which provided details on the number of both Social and Affordable Rent properties completed and proposed schemes, together with a general update on progress and performance against key performance indicators.


            The report also provided details of changes in housing need since SHARP was first implemented and the rationale for reviewing and revising the tenure split of the properties to be delivered for the remainder of the programme.  Separate future funding streams available to the SHARP for the development of both Social Rented and Affordable Rented properties by the Council and North East Wales (NEW) Homes were also identified.


            Phases 1 and 2 of the SHARP had all been completed with construction work on the former Melrose Centre, Shotton, scheduled for completion in November 2018.  Construction work on Phase 3 sites would commence in September and Maes Gwern, Mold; Llys Dewi, Penyffordd, Holywell; and the former Council Depot, Dobshill.


            Due to policy changes around Welfare Reform which had taken place since the initial planning of the SHARP new build delivery, the Council was seeing a shift in the type of demand of property size compared to what had been provided previously through social housing.  This was resulting in a significant demand for properties that were not readily available in the social housing stock or the private rented sector, increasing the waiting times and numbers on the housing register, as well as having an impact on the number of people presenting as homeless to the Council.


            The plans for schemes within the next phase of the programme for both Social Rented Properties and Affordable Rent Properties were outlined in the report.  If all of those schemes proved viable to move forward to construction phase, they would deliver a further 135 units.  Given the increasing demand for Social Rented Housing on the Single Access Route to Housing (SARTH) register, it was proposed that the original tenure split of 200 Council Social Rented properties and 300 Affordable Rent properties be reviewed to reflect the housing need data as follows:



Original Target No. of Units

Number of Completed / Council Approved

Projected Number of Additional Units

Projected Total Number of Properties

Variance from Original Target

Council Social Rent







Affordable Rent and Lo-Cost Home Ownership














            As good practice the Council had undertaken a review of the arrangements in place to ensure the processes and agreement was being adhered to, and also continued to reflect Value for Money, together with any recommendations for lessons learnt or areas to be further reviewed and improvements made.  The Council was already acting upon the key recommendations which had emerged from the final report received and details were provided in the Cabinet report.


            Details were provided on the future funding for SHARP, the Affordable Homes Grant and the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap.


            Councillor Shotton welcomed the report and the review of the tenure mix to better meet demand.  Councillor Bithell concurred with that but said he was disappointed that more local people were not employed through the SHARP.  The Chief Officer explained that there had been a shortage of skilled local labour which were either available or had the necessary capacity to work on the SHARP.  However, whilst the performance did not meet the target for local SME spend and labour within Flintshire, when considering the monitored target for the locality area, which was within a 40 mile radius, there was a significant improvement and the target had been exceeded.  He also provided details of the Building Futures Programme delivered by Wates in partnership with Communities First.  The programme was designed to give local people a career kick-start in construction and bridge the gap to employment.


            Councillor Shotton suggested a future item for a Cabinet agenda based on the effectiveness of the Building Futures Programme.




(a)       That the rationale for changing tenure mix for the SHARP to a proposed 303 Social Rented (HRA) and 197 Affordable Rent and Shared Equity properties (subject to detailed scheme feasibility, appraisal works and increased borrowing capacity) be approved; and


(b)       That the implementation of the Review Report recommendations be approved.

Supporting documents: