Press release

Sussex land acquisition will unlock development of more than 3,000 homes

The Government’s national housing agency has worked closely with Mid Sussex District Council and the main land owners and promoters to acquire interests in different land holdings in Burgess Hill in West Sussex.

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Burgess Hill is a 176 ha site capable of delivering 3,080 new homes and is a strategic priority in the recently adopted District Plan.

The Promoters had successfully secured the allocation of the site via the Local Plan Process and had worked closely with the local community to advance the scheme.

The site has been identified for more than 10 years as a key location for major housing delivery. However, due to the complexities of the different land ownership and the need to deliver significant upfront strategic infrastructure works to provide a link road through the site in advance of homes being built landowners and promoters agreed to dispose of their interest to Homes England.

As land owner for the whole site, Homes England will submit an outline planning application later this year and bring forward early release of the first phases of new homes alongside investing in strategic infrastructure to unlock the site for development.

Stephen Kinsella, Executive Director for Land at Homes England, says:

“Homes England’s reinvigorated land role is seeing us step up and intervene to unlock residential sites to help increase supply of homes where they are desperately needed.

“This acquisition at Burgess Hill shows how we can step in to ensure that complex sites in areas of acute housing need can be brought forward for early delivery through our intervention.

“It is a huge statement from Homes England, demonstrating how we can now intervene and invest to unlock the largest sites. We will now work quickly to achieve an early start on site and ensure the site deliver a great place to live.”

The Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames, MP for Mid Sussex, added:

“I have championed the involvement of Homes England in the growth planned by the Government for Burgess Hill. This very significant investment and long term commitment to Burgess Hill will ensure the housing comes forward in a timely manner and is accompanied by much needed infrastructure. It is a vote of confidence in Burgess Hill and Mid Sussex.”

In a separate intervention, Homes England has also recently completed the acquisition of Coypool in Plymouth; a former china clay works near Marsh Mills will become a development of more than 400 homes and play a crucial part in meeting the housing needs of Plymouth. Homes England has worked in partnership with Plymouth City Council to understand the site’s potential for new homes and this has now been unlocked by buying the entire 32 Hectare site which is included in Plymouth’s joint local plan.

This follows a number of other acquisitions, including:

  • Otterpool Park, Shepway – 60 Ha as part of a garden town being promoted by Folkestone and Hythe District Council
  • Brue Farm, Somerset - 4.6Ha in the Hinkley Housing Zone will provide 123 new homes and unlock more homes though providing infrastructure to the wider site
  • Spencer’s Park, Dacorum - 37 Ha in Hemel Hempstead, we have worked with local partners to deliver circa 1,000 new homes. 357 homes are already being built .The rest of the site is going through the planning process with 40% being affordable

The Burgess Hill development will include the construction of two new primary schools, a secondary school and a range of leisure facilities to help build a community. Homes England will promote the site though its Development Partner Panel on a phased basis, with the first phase of the development due to deliver 460 homes.

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For more information contact Tom Hustler, Senior Communications Manager at Homes England 0113 394 9355 / 07876 131488 tom.hustler@homesengland.gov.uk or Patsy Cusworth, PR and Media Manager at Homes England 0207 393 2201 / 07967 782328 patsy.cusworth@homesengland.gov.uk.

Notes to Editors

Homes England

Homes Englandis the new housing delivery organisation that has been created to adopt a more commercial approach to respond to the long term housing challenges facing this country. The new, expanded agency will play a far bigger role in investing in supply and intervening in the market to help deliver 300,000 homes a year by the middle of the next decade.

Homes England will act differently from its predecessor, bringing together money, land, expertise and planning and compulsory purchase powers to accelerate the supply of new homes and address affordability issues in areas of highest demand.

For more information on Homes England visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/homes-england.

Rydon Homes

Rydon Homes has built a considerable reputation for creating high-quality developments, whilst unlocking the best value from land in the South East of England.

We seek to work in partnership with local communities to ensure our developments provide a positive contribution towards the local area. Our intention is to build design-led integrated developments, neighbourhoods where people choose to live and that offer a range of homes suitable for all buyers from starter homes to family housing. In every Rydon Homes development, our focus is on designing and building quality homes that stand the test of time.

For more information on Rydon Homes visit http://www.rydonhomes.co.uk/.

Published 3 July 2018