Independence...Integrity...Value

Sheerwater Regeneration

Report to Council - 13th February 2020

As at February 2020, work is progressing well on the leisure facilities and first phase of residential housing. The next stage is agreeing the legal process for moving remaining tenants and home owners.

The Council will be agreeing the next stages of the Sheerwater Regeneration Project when it meets on Thursday 13th February 2020.  All Council meetings are webcast and open to the public to attend.

You can view the Council report at Parkview or by following the links below:

Flats at Sheerwater

The Council’s Sheerwater Housing Team was established in 2017 and provides dedicated staff to support residents with the re-housing process.  Officers have been engaging with tenants at the earliest opportunity to assess their respective needs for new accommodation.  By late January 2020, the Team had engaged with 298 secure tenants.  There are currently 28 households who have not yet responded to contact.

Based on the individual discussions, 71% of tenants want to leave Sheerwater with the other 29% looking to remain and wait for the new properties.  In 2017, there were 326 remaining secure tenants, of which 159 have now moved out of Sheerwater on a voluntary basis.

The Council intends to proceed as follows:

Where possible, the Council intends to continue to work with secure tenants to agree a suitable move.  However, where this is not possible the Council reserves the right to seek possession through the legal process, in which case the criteria for re-housing will be as defined by legislation and not as defined in the Sheerwater Community Charter. Legal action to gain possession of tenanted properties will be a last resort.

The Council has powers under the Housing Act 1985 to seek possession of a property that is earmarked for redevelopment. Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1985 contains a number of grounds on which the Council may seek possession of a secure tenancy.  These include where the Council intends to demolish and/or redevelop a property within a reasonable time and suitable alternative accommodation is available.

To ensure the successful delivery of the regeneration scheme, Notices of Seeking Possession will be served on all secure tenants within a phase or across the whole regeneration area.  This will not require a secure tenant to move immediately, but is a safeguard to ensure that the re-housing programme is not disrupted where agreement cannot be reached.

In the unfortunate circumstances that the Council is unable to reach agreement with a secure tenant, the Council may apply to the court for a possession order the Housing Act 1985.  This would be done under delegated authority to the Director of Housing, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, to proceed with possession proceedings under the Housing Act 1985 at the appropriate time.

It is anticipated that Notices of Seeking Possession will be served approximately twelve months’ before the Council requires possession to commence the redevelopment.

Once Council has agreed the report on 13th February, they will write to tenants individually over the following few weeks to let them know how this may affect them as individuals.

Most residents have already engaged with the Sheerwater Regeneration Housing Support Team at Parkview and are receiving help to move. If any tenant has not yet made contact, please take the opportunity to do so. Contact the team by telephone at 01483-743870 or by email at sheerwater.tenants@woking.gov.uk

If you are a tenant and would like independent advice, please contact me, Adrian Waite by freephone at 0800-321-3461 or by email at sheerwater@awics.co.uk

A Map of Sheerwater.

sheerwater_10

Flats on Sheerwater

Woking Borough Council plans to transform Sheerwater through a regeneration scheme.

To contact the Independent Tenants Advisor, Adrian Waite, and his team, email sheerwater@awics.co.uk or telephone the freephone helpline at 0800-321-3461.

Please note that this service is only available to secure tenants of Woking Borough Council.

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