Fewer affordable homes to be provided on site of large Ringmer development

Caburn Field, Rngmer SUS-170911-084854008
Caburn Field, Rngmer SUS-170911-084854008

Proposals for a major housing development in Ringmer are to be reconsidered next week due to issues with a legal agreement to provide affordable homes.

In February Lewes District Council’s planning committee approved proposals to build a 77 home development at the Caburn Field site in Ringmer.

Proposed layout of new homes

Proposed layout of new homes

The development will facilitate the move of Ringmer Football Club to a new home at King’s Academy where new and improved sporting facilities are planned.

As part of the committee’s decision, full planning permission would only be granted once the developer and the council reached a legal agreement to provide 23 affordable homes on the site.

Council officers say this legal agreement could not be reached as originally planned, but an alternative has been put forward which has been agreed in principle by both parties.

In a report to the committee, a council officer said: “The standard procedure for affordable housing to be acquired from a private developer, would be for a housing association or the district council to pay a percentage of the open market value of the homes.

“However, neither Lewes District Council nor any of the housing associations who work within the district are able to purchase all 23 affordable homes.

“Lewes District Council has been able to negotiate an acceptable purchase price on 11 of the 23 homes.

“However, due to the high open market value of 12 of the homes, they are not able to afford to purchase the remaining affordable dwellings.”

As an alternative, council officers say, the developer has agreed to offer the council a £480,000 contribution towards providing a scheme for 12 affordable homes elsewhere.

Council officers say this is an acceptable arrangement, but will need to be approved by the planning committee as it is a significant change from the previous agreement.

The application is set to be discussed by the committee at a meeting on Wednesday, April 3.

For further details see application reference LW/18/0808 on the Lewes District Council website.