Council chiefs unimpressed by affordable home commitment

possibility of new homes between Henfield and Sayers Common
possibility of new homes between Henfield and Sayers Common

DEVELOPERS hoping to build 10,000 homes near Sayers Common are linking up with a housing association on the scheme to provide affordable homes.

But Mid Sussex Council is maintaining its opposition to the huge development.

Backers of the scheme say analysis of regional data shows that nine in 10 properties in the south east are deemed unaffordable for average first time buyers.

In addition, say the backers, according to Shelter’s Housing Data Bank, in Mid Sussex in 2012 there were 4,170 households on the housing waiting list but only 190 affordable homes delivered in the year 2011-2012.

Mayfield Market Towns says it has therefore partnered with Affinity Sutton, to put forward plans for what it calls a new “market town” to meet housing needs in the area.

The new “market town” would include up to 10,000 new homes, 30% of which will be affordable and made accessible for a range of housing needs – first time buyers, social tenants, key workers and shared equity. These affordable homes will be delivered and managed by Affinity Sutton one of the largest Housing Associations in England.

Kerry Kyriacou, Group Director of New Business and Development at Affinity Sutton, said “We are committed to tackling the shortage of affordable housing and believe everyone has the right to safe, secure homes they can afford. That is why we are pleased to be a part of such an exciting project, which has the ability to deliver 3,000 affordable homes in Sussex.”

Lee Newlyn, a Director of Mayfield Market Towns Ltd, said “Partnering with an affordable housing provider at such an early stage was an important decision for the Mayfields board. Providing affordable homes is key to building a well-balanced, integrated community.”

But Mid Sussex Council this week re-iterated its opposition to the project.

Garry Wall, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council,said: “Whilst we note Mayfield’s intention to provide 30% affordable housing, this is the same percentage our planning policy expects from all development sites.

“We remain totally opposed to the creation of a new town near Sayers Common. “A development of this size and scale would have a serious impact on nearby villages, destroying their unique character and rural nature.”