Developers blamed for missed affordable housing target in Mid Sussex

Cabinet member Andrew MacNaughton (right) pictured with council leader Garry Wall
Cabinet member Andrew MacNaughton (right) pictured with council leader Garry Wall

Developers have been criticised after Mid Sussex District Council failed to deliver its target of 200 new affordable homes in 2017/18.

A report looking at the council’s performance was presented to a meeting of the Cabinet on Monday (July 9). Members were told that only 97 affordable homes had been built in the district during that period.

Describing the shortfall as a ‘big issue’, Andrew MacNaughton (Con, Ardingly and Balcombe), cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “Ninety-seven is all we managed. I say ‘we’ but it was all the developers chose to build.

“I say it that way because I blame them. There’s no one else.

“We approved planning permissions and they’ve done nothing with them.”

The report stated that there were currently 22 schemes at various stages of the planning process, which allowed for 1,116 affordable homes to be built.

Four of the schemes, with a total of 270 affordable homes, received planning approval more than two years ago but had yet to be taken further.

Mr MacNaughton said: “There must be a better way of getting them to build them.”

Of the 97 affordable homes that were built, 33 were in rural Lindfield, 21 in Burgess Hill, 15 in Crawley Down, 14 in Haywards Heath, five in Pease Pottage, five in Hurstpierpoint, two in Ansty and two in Pyecombe.

Later this month, the council plans to adopt a new Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document, which has been drafted to ensure affordable housing is delivered ‘in compliance with policy in a timely fashion and suitably integrated’.