Wealden will have to wait until the summer to find-out if its has been successful in receiving a share of the £2.3 billion Government fund aimed at “unlocking” 100,000 new homes.
The Housing Infrastructure Fund provides vital investment to local authorities needed to build roads, bridges, energy networks and other utilities, which continues to hold housebuilding back.
It has been announced that collectively projects in Battle, Eastbourne, Hastings and Lewes, will be receiving £16.7 million to support the building of more than 1,000 new homes.
The Housing Infrastructure Fund was split into two separate streams – “marginal viability funding” for bids of up to £10 million for schemes which can be delivered quickly, and “forward funding” of up to £250 million, intended for a number of strategic and high-impact infrastructure schemes.
East Sussex County Council together with Wealden District Council submitted a bid for £32 million from the second wave of funding from the scheme. If successful the money will be to unlock the building of 4,500 homes – principally in the Hailsham area. If successful, the money will be used towards funding a new primary school for Hailsham, mitigation of nitrogen deposition in the Ashdown Forest, and road improvements between Hailsham and Eastbourne.
Cllr Rupert Simmons, East Sussex County Council lead member for economy, said:
Across East Sussex there is a growing need for new homes – particularly affordable housing to allow young people and
first-time buyers to stay in this area and contribute to our economy.
It’s vital that in areas where new homes are planned, we have suitable infrastructure in place to support it, and this funding will play an important role in delivering this.
This funding is great news for East Sussex, allowing us to open up land for much-needed new housing, creating jobs and providing a boost for the county’s economy.
The successful bids are the result of some excellent collaborative work between the county council and district and borough councils, and we’ll continue to work with colleagues in Wealden to make the case to Government for the significant extra funding the district needs.
Housing developments which will benefit from the first round of funding are the Blackfriars development in Battle, Bedfordwell Road in Eastbourne, Combe Valley Sports Village in Hastings, and North Street Quarter in Lewes.