Councillors vote to scrap controversial New Homes project

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No Caption ABCDE SUS-150306-001516008

Cabinet councillors today (Wednesday, February 17) agreed to terminate the New Homes project.

At a specially-convened meeting this morning, councillors heard that restrictive covenants on two key sites, the Buckle and Normansel Park Avenue in Seaford, which would have generated the capital need for reinvestment into affordable homes, made the scheme financially unviable.

Independent legal advice confirmed that any attempts to lift the covenants would take time, expense and might not be successful.

Councillor Andy Smith, Leader of LDC, said: “We have an acute shortage of affordable homes in Lewes district and my priority remains addressing this local need. However, this cannot be achieved by entering into contracts that expose the public purse to undue risk.

“The finances on this project do not stack up and it was the correct decision to terminate the agreement today.

“We will now reconsider our options for affordable housing in the district, and to this end I hope to begin an open and transparent consultation with residents and businesses on new proposals in the coming months.”

The New Homes contract was between LDC, Karis Developments and Southern Housing Group.

A Southern Housing Group spokesman said: “While we’re naturally disappointed that this project is no longer going ahead, we’d welcome the opportunity to work with Lewes District Council in the future.”

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