Issue - meetings

Approval to proceed with the disposal of one property from the HRA

Meeting: 08/07/2021 - Overview & Scrutiny Panel (Item 318)

318 Proposed Disposal of 18 Albert Street: Call-In of Cabinet Decision pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Additional documents:


Bob Porter, Director of Housing and Planning introduced the item for discussion and said the following:


  • The report had been considered by Cabinet on 17 June and Members agreed the officer recommendations;
  • The property was owned by the council through the housing Revenue Account (HRA);
  • The council negotiated a purchase back of the shares and the property was currently in a poor state;
  • A number of options had been considered regarding the property. This included turning into social housing;
  • However that option was not viewed as the best option. This was because of the internal structure of the property. As a result officers recommended disposal as the best option.


Members asked questions and made comments as follows:


  • This was a property in an upcoming area in Ramsgate. Residents were concerned about the loss of the property with historical significance;
  • The Ramsgate Future Project would make good use of assets like this one;
  • The property could be turned into a community asset if funding was available;
  • This property could be used for training students on asset restoration for historic assets;
  • Cabinet should be requested to delay the decision for disposal in order to consider other options;
  • The Levelling Up Fund was not meant for the purchase of properties like 18 Albert Street, Ramsgate;
  • Instead the council should be looking best value for this property;
  • Would there be any negative impact if the decision for disposal was delayed for three months to consider other options?
  • Delay in disposing the property would be mean delay in income getting into the HRA;
  • Was there any way in which local interest in the property could bid at the auction?
  • Whilst it was a good idea for the community to own the property, the challenge was the community groups often ran out of money to manage such properties, as has been demonstrated on previous occasions.


Bob Porter gave further explanations as follows:


  • The implications for delay in disposing of the property were that the property would deteriorate further;
  • Discussions were held with the Regeneration Department and it was indicated that there were no likely funding sources that could be used for the property;
  • It was up to council to allocate funding to the HRA to compensate for this property if other options (other than disposal) were considered.


Councillor Austin proposed that Cabinet delayed taking the disposal decision for three months to enable discussions between the Director of Regeneration and potential buyers of the property at 18 Albert Street, Ramsgate. 


Councillor Keen seconded the proposal.


Councillor Paul Moore proposed that the Panel takes no further action.


Councillor Tomlinson seconded the proposal.


When the two proposals were put to the vote Members agreed that no further action be taken by the Panel regarding this call-in. As a result the Cabinet decision became implementable from this point.

Meeting: 17/06/2021 - Cabinet (Item 735)

735 Evaluation of Retention or Disposal Options for 18 Albert Street, Ramsgate, CT11 9HD pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Additional documents:


Cabinet considered disposal proposals for the council property at 18 Albert Street, which is a grade 2 listed building. It was previously occupied as a shared ownership property, with the council owning a share. The previous occupants, who owned the remaining share, were responsible, under the terms of the sharing arrangement for the maintenance of the building. The property was currently in very poor condition, as detailed in the Cabinet report, with high estimated costs of refurbishment. 


The property was also poorly laid out, with accommodation over 3 floors, connected by a narrow and winding staircase. The kitchen and bathroom were extremely small and there was now outside amenity space. For these reasons it was not considered suitable for retention as part of the council’s rented housing stock. Members were reminded that there was a specific requirement on the council to ensure that any disposals of vacant dwellings are at a market value. It was therefore recommended that the council tested the market by disposing of the property at auction.


Councillor Austin spoke under council Procedure Rule 20.1.


Councillor Jill Bayford proposed, Councillor Pugh seconded and Cabinet agreed the following, that:


1. The Council owned property; 18 Albert Street is disposed of through auction;


2. The proceeds of sale are reinvested in the council’s HRA capital programme.