Hastings council awarded almost £7 million to develop land in St Leonards for housing
Hastings Borough Council has been awarded up to £6.9m to develop council-owned land off Bexhill Road in Bulverhythe, St Leonards.
The funding from Homes England is part of the Local Authority Accelerated Construction programme, which helps local authorities prepare land for the development of new homes.
The council said the funding will help deliver around 190 new homes, of which 40 per cent will be made available as affordable housing, providing residents with the opportunity to buy a home through shared ownership or to rent through a registered provider.
In July council leaders gave the go-ahead to the proposals for the development at the Lower Tier Site in Bexhill Road.
House building there had initially been proposed as part of a larger scheme brought forward by developer Keepmoat Homes. This scheme would have involved building up to 400 homes on the Bulverhythe Recreation Ground and the construction of a sports complex to act as a new home for Hastings United Football Club, Hastings and St Leonards Priory Cricket Club and South Saxons Hockey Club. But Keepmoat pulled out of the scheme in December 2017, for what it described as ‘commercial reasons’. Although of a smaller scale, the proposals have still proven controversial with residents, almost 350 of whom have put their name to a petition opposing the scheme.
Cllr Andy Batsford, the council’s lead councillor for housing, said: “We are in a housing crisis and more and more families in the town are struggling to find suitable housing. We have growing numbers of families living in temporary accommodation. Many young adults are living with their parents because they’re unable to get a foot on the property ladder. This development gives us a real chance to make a difference to local people’s lives.
“The council is committed to encouraging local feedback on large developments. As promised, we have started a public engagement process. This makes sure that people interested in the project can share their views and help shape this exciting new place to live.”
Before the council submits a planning application, there will be a further public consultation event on Thursday (October 31).
The council will share emerging proposals followed by a pre-application forum at a later date. Further information can be found at www.hastings.gov.uk/new-homes.
Stephen Kinsella, chief land and development officer at Homes England, said: “This funding will enable the council to prepare their site for development and bring forward the construction of new homes, which will be built out at pace using modern methods of construction.”
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