Hailsham is set to be the first to benefit from new council homes which are planned by Wealden District Council as part of Phase Two of its New Build council homes project.
The Council has applied for planning permission to build 12 new council homes on the site of the former Leap Cross Enterprise Centre in London Road, Hailsham.
The council-owned business park has been designated for start-up companies but lettings have declined in recent years as new businesses sought more up-to-date, modern locations.
With many of the 12 units unlet, the council believes much-needed affordable rental accommodation is a better use for this particular site.
“We have looked at other options to refurbish or rebuild the business units but they are no longer viable in this predominantly residential area,” said Councillor Graham Wells, Cabinet member for Housing at Wealden.
“With more than 1,000 households currently on the council waiting list for affordable housing, we think the best use of the site is to help meet the high level of housing need in Hailsham.
“The proposal has been supported by local residents, councillors and members of the public who took part in a consultation earlier this summer about the future use of the site. Their views have helped shape the design for 12 new homes.
“The plans have now been submitted to the local authority’s planning department.”
The first phase of the council’s new building scheme involving 64 new council homes on council-owned land in Willingdon, Crowborough and Forest Row was completed last year. They were the first new council homes Wealden had built in 30 years and were completed at a cost of £7.8 million - below the original £9 million estimate - £1.4 million of which came from the Homes and Communities Agency.
Plans for the new Leap Cross homes have been submitted to Wealden’s planning department and, if approved, work on the development will begin in the new year.
Changes in housing legislation have given Wealden District Council the opportunity to build new Council homes in the district.
The changes, outlined in the Localism Act 2011 and self financing proposals, allow the council to keep its rental income from Council Housing and invest it in new homes for local people.
To view the plans in more detail, visit www.wealden.gov.uk/Wealden/Residents/Housing_Health_and_Advice/Housing/Council_Housing/Housing_New_Build_Council_Homes.aspx.
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