LETTER: Surprised by the figure of £4 million on housing

I was interested in the article titled ‘A dark cloud has now been lifted’ regarding the question of £570,000 being spent on just the preliminary stages of Lewes District Council’s (LDC’s) New Homes project.

On page five of the 2015/16 budget document which I have attached for you it states that £2,700,000 has been allocated to installing solar panels on Council Houses, as well as £5,300,000 on repairs and £4,000,000 on building council houses.

These figures are massive and are all allocated to what already amounts to subsidised living accommodation, I have no problem with council housing as long as it is not sold because it is public property.

I would be interested to know as would many others whether after fitting these panels and having all their repairs done by the council tax payers that these houses could then make it on to the open market at vast profit to the owners (if they were to move to smaller properties/leave the area).

The one figure that did surprise me however was the four million spent on new council housing.

I’ve lived in Lewes since 1991 and have never known of any new council houses being built and I am sure would have known about them if that was the case in Lewes.

This would present an interesting balance to your article.

Nearly all new property in Lewes is privately funded and built with the eye to guaranteed massive profit margins due to strong consistent sale prices.

The one exception to this of course is Oakley’s over confidence in the £1.5 million they are asking for what are large boxes without gardens adjacent to a tidal river with all that entails.

This riverside development has also made the lives of people living in Morris Road’s lives a misery for the last two years.

The residents of Morris Road had to deal with the intense and totally unavoidable vibration and extreme noise to remove the concrete platform which was like constant mortar fire I had to where ear defenders just to paint the windows and I was 100 yards away.

To cap it all at the end of it these new-builds have destroyed the open westerly views of the long suffering residents of Morris Road and now these are an asset in the sales literature of the estate agents to help sell the new houses! All this so that Oakley can casually ask 1.5 million for an oversized box for ‘luxury’ housing.

Thank you for writing the article, this is an absolute scandal and it is clear that Lewes District Council have their own ‘mindset’ also.

Julian Hills