Decision details

Sale of land at former Lowfield School to Yorspace community housing group.

Decision Maker: Corporate Director of Health, Housing and Adult Social Care

Decision status: Decision Made

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Agreement to sell 0.765 acres of land at the former Lowfield School site in the Westfield Ward, off from Dijon Avenue to Yorspace community benefit society. Land is to be sold for £300,000 plus an additional fee for construction of parking spaces and roads on the north of the plot. Completion of the sale is conditional upon YorSpace getting full planning approval for 19 units of accommodation and the council providing the site serviced to an agreed level. The land is to be sold on a freehold basis. This decision follows an Executive decision in December 2016 to sell one acre of land at the Lowfield site for self-build and community housing, as well as an officer decision in August 2017 to enter into an exclusivity agreement with Yorspace for part of this land.
The sale of land to YorSpace will be guided by Section123 of the Local Government Act 1972 which authorises the Council to dispose of non-housing land at the best consideration reasonably obtainable or for less than best consideration/full open market value provided that: (i) the difference between the price obtained and full market value does not exceed £2 million AND (ii) the Council (acting reasonably and properly considers) that the disposal will facilitate the improvement of economic, environmental or social well-being of the area.
The group will be constructing 19 units of housing that will be held by the community benefit society meaning that no individuals can profit from the activity. The Mutual Home Ownership Society housing model they use is designed as such that they will be economically accessible to lower income families and the affordability of the homes is maintained in perpetuity.

Options Considered:

During public and stakeholder engagement regarding the Lowfield Green development, YorSpace expressed an interest in being involved as part of our ambition to deliver community and self-build housing on the site, allowing us to give life to our legal obligations to support self-build and custom build housing.
YorSpace have shown interest in being involved in other sites and were formed to support the delivery of affordable and alternative housing types in York.
We also considered making more land available as self-build plots and less for community self build but, after public and stakeholder engagement, it was concluded that the development risk is best managed by having the larger portion of land devoted to community build rather than individual self build.

Options Rejected:

The sale of the land for development of open market value housing. Other land on the site will be devoted to this purpose.

Publication date: 18/01/2019

Date of decision: 10/01/2019

Accompanying Documents:


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