Decision details

Provision of 4 no. affordable dwellings off Bartlow Road, Castle Camps

Decision Maker: Lead Cabinet member for Housing

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The purpose of this Decision Notice is to give approval for South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) to enter into Heads of Terms followed thereafter into a Development Sale Agreement to purchase 4 affordable homes representing the S106 40% affordable housing contribution on a site located off of Bartlow Road , Castle Camps



The site has been brought forward by Arbora Homes Ltd who are due to complete the units within 12 weeks. The properties are therefore close to completion and have been inspected by Dan Rose of The Design Partnership (SCDC framework member) without negative comment.


In its entirety the site totals 10 new homes - with the policy compliant 40% affordable housing of 3 new rented homes and 1 new shared ownership home. These are made up of a mixture of two 1 bed houses and two 2 bed houses.


It is the intention that the shared ownership property is to be sold with a maximum ownership of 50% initially with the option to staircase up to 80% as per the section 106.



It should be noted that the payback is in year 26


The shared ownership property is restricted to 80% ownership and is subject to a Local Connection clause


Enabling/Strategic support

Strategic Housing fully support this mix, as it will provide much needed homes in Castle Camps.

The overall affordable housing mix has previously been agreed by Housing Strategy as meeting the housing needs in Castle Camps and its environs.


Scheme Details:

Planning Reference number:

The site has planning (ref: S/1032/17/FL) with all conditions now discharged.


The S106 is signed and completed.




Table Description automatically generated





Contract type:

The developer has requested that the contract be a Development Sales Agreement type which, given that the units are 80% complete, is deemed appropriate.



Legal Advice: Freeth’s (Previously provided at Grace Crescent, Hardwick)

“We believe that either ownership or an option constitute such “exclusive rights”. It needs to be said, however, that cases do turn on their facts. We would also have to state that the Council should be able to demonstrate that in the case where it was letting a contract including development, that there is no reasonable alternative or substitute – ie there are not other similar convenient sites which could reasonably be regarded as being available for development, eg in terms of being for sale, zoning, access to services etc.


There are no other suitably sized permissioned sites in Castle Camps that are available for consideration currently.



Use of Right to Buy Receipt:

This scheme consists of 3 rented homes which allows the use of Right to Buy receipts totalling £165,237


Use of Commuted Sum:

This scheme consists of 1 shared ownership home which allows the use of commuted sum totalling £50,000


The scheme is value for money for the council. The offer and price per sq. m are commensurate with sums paid for recent council new build development schemes. In addition, a robust financial appraisal has been carried out and a commercially sensitive financial appendix is attached. The scheme has a Payback year within the business plan parameters.


  • To approve South Cambridgeshire District Council to enter into Heads of Terms followed thereafter by a JCT contract for the build of the 4 affordable homes and a land contract and transfer to purchase the site for the 4 affordable homes at Bartlow Road , Castle Camps.


  • To approve the sale of and grant of shared ownership leases up to a max 50% for the shared ownership properties with the option to staircase to 80%.

Reasons for the decision:

  • This scheme will provide 4 affordable homes - and affordability is a huge issue for the District in terms of housing.


  • These homes will also add additional affordable homes to the Councils housing stock and will be managed by the in house SCDC Leasehold team.


  • The provision of affordable homes is likely to reduce significantly due to recent policy changes for housing providers and the lack of HCA funding available.


  • Changes to housing benefit and welfare reform will also mean that the demand for affordable homes will only increase in this area.

Alternative options considered:

Option 1: Option 1: The Council decides not to enter contract with Arbora Homes Ltd for the purchase of the 4 affordable homes on this site.


Reason for Rejection:

  • To reject the scheme would require a substitute scheme of similar size and cost to be found in the district to provide new affordable homes. This would be by no means certain and is unlikely to be achieved in the timescales. It would be resource intensive and is unlikely to be possible, with the return of unspent right to buy receipt back to the Treasury with interest if no suitable scheme could be sourced.

Publication date: 03/06/2021

Date of decision: 03/06/2021

Effective from: 11/06/2021

Accompanying Documents: