New affordable housing is set to be built in the heart of Shoreham on the site of Adur District Council’s former headquarters.
The authority has moved to a new purpose built home in Pond Road and is now selling the old Civic Centre site in Ham Road to Hyde Group for £7.05million.
The housing association plans to build 171 new homes. At least 40 per cent would be social rented and the rest shared ownership.
Flexible commercial floorspace would also be included in the development.
The sale was agreed by Adur District Council’s executive members on Tuesday (July 9).
Neil Parkin, leader of the council, said: “I think this is a great scheme and having shared ownership does give our young people a chance [to get on the housing ladder].”
He along with several others said they would have liked to have seen a hotel, but admitted none of the major operators currently wanted to bring one to Shoreham.
Addressing the suggestion Adur could have taken the development on itself, Cllr Parkin felt the council was already ‘stretching ourselves to the limit’ in delivering schemes at Cecil Norris House and Brighton Road.
Officers describes how the council had received 13 bidders, whittled that down to four and then conducted interviews with the shortlisted developers.
Since Hyde Group is a strategic partner of the Government agency Homes England it would be able to access significant funds to help finance the project.
Hyde’s plan would see two main buildings built to provide a pedestrian route through the site.
It hopes to secure planning permission next year and complete the project by 2022.
During the tender process several bidders did put forward schemes with a hotel but without a major operator signed up, while the quantum of development was ‘pushing the parameters too far as likely deliverability was concerned’.
Carson Albury, executive member for customer services, said: “I would have liked to have seen 100 per cent social housing but the figures do not stack up and there’s no way Adur could financially do it.”
Brian Boggis, executive member for regeneration, pointed out that even 40 per cent social rented housing was significantly above what is required in their local plan.
He hoped the scheme would provide an attractive entrance to Shoreham and suggested it would be ‘something to be proud of’.
After the meeting Cllr Parkin said: “I’m pleased that after many months of hard work we are able to bring forward a low-risk proposal for this prominent site in the heart of Shoreham which will deliver real benefits to hundreds of local residents.
“This deal makes total sense to the council, generating a sizeable sum which we can re-invest in other services while creating close to 200 affordable apartments in a prime town centre location
“I’m particularly pleased that close to 70 of the new properties will be solely for people on the housing waiting list, meaning what was the Council’s home could soon be our tenants homes.”