LETTER: Give precedence to need over numbers

Lewes District Council has over 2,000 on its housing register, and this figure rises by a quarter each year. Half of these people want single bedroomed houses according to LDC’s Affordable Housing Assessment 2013-2018, of whom most want to stay near where they live.

For instance five are listed in Rodmell – three for one-bedroom houses, seven are listed in Glynde - four for one- bedroom houses, 10 in Kingston etc.

Small scale developers and charities are perfectly able to provide small mixed enclaves in towns and villages, but there is little chance of their doing so. LDC has tried to persuade us that the 30 sites that they intend to develop will provide these houses – they won’t.

Southern Housing Trust, a partner, rents only to those with incomes between £18 – £60K per annum and sells on the open market from £50K upwards.

The Council has a tendency to side with these large companies, such as Santon, Gleesons etc., and rely on the “affordable” quota to diminish the shortfall.

The fact is that as more people arrive from the Metropolis to fill the houses built for them, (3,000 since 2013 in Lewes district) the housing register list gets longer, the sites for genuinely affordable houses get fewer, and the countryside groans under the strain.

The challenge is for Lewes District Council to reverse this process, give precedence to need over numbers.

Why can’t they start to help small developers, self-builders and so on, also encourage exception sites and finance to come forward as no-one on the housing needs register seems to be getting the housing that they need in the place that they want?

Marina Bury,

Hurstbarns Farm,

East Chiltington

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