Building work starts on new affordable homes in Sussex village

Work has started on a new £10.75 million development of much-needed affordable, energy efficient homes in West Sussex.

Pond Copse Lane

Leading housing provider Stonewater is building 50 houses and flats at Pond Copse Lane, off Guildford Road, in the village of Loxwood.

Due to be completed in spring 2022, this is one of several schemes Stonewater has partnered with developer Thakeham Homes to deliver.

The development will comprise 30 homes for affordable rent, 13 for shared ownership and seven for ‘rent to buy’.

Properties will feature energy efficient heating systems, as part of Stonewater’s work to help meet the government’s 2050 net zero carbon emissions target. Flats will be fitted with infra-red heating and the houses will have air source heat pumps, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 37 per cent.

There will also be landscaped communal open space, a play area and Stonewater will be providing wildlife friendly features such as bat boxes, martin nest boxes and swift nest cups.

Stonewater recently announced its very first competition for established and emerging artists, the George Blunden Public Art Prize, and has confirmed that Pond Copse Lane will be one of the five schemes, the winning artist will be commissioned to produce public artwork for families to enjoy.

Matthew Crucefix, Director of Development (South & West) at Stonewater, said: “We are delighted to be starting work on this development with Thakeham, to deliver desperately needed affordable homes for local people in the small rural village of Loxwood, whilst also giving an artist the chance to have their work installed at the scheme.

“As well as creating beautiful places for people to live, whilst helping to meet local housing need, these homes showcase the kind of energy efficiency innovations we are introducing to help reduce the UK’s carbon footprint to net zero by 2050, while cutting our residents’ energy bills.”

Stonewater is already working with Thakeham on a development of 51 new affordable homes in Smallfield, Surrey.

Rob Boughton, CEO of Thakeham, said: “Our agreement with Stonewater in Loxwood is a massive boost for our Southern Home Counties region. The deal has combined several elements, including land sale and overseeing the planning agreement.

“This outcome reflects Thakeham Group’s ability to understand and meet the needs of our partners, plus our agility and flexibility to respond to their unique residential market needs.”

Specialist surveying and construction consultancy Rund Partnership is advising on the scheme.

Simon Stewart, Senior Surveyor at Rund, said: “After coordinating the negotiations of the building contract, we are looking forward to putting words into action with work on site beginning at Stonewater’s Loxwood development.

“The land at Little Farm is a beautiful area for providing high-quality rural affordable housing. Our main focus will be ensuring the quality of the site continually exceeds standard requirements and we work to ensure the successful completion of the development.”

The scheme includes two one-bedroom flats, four two-bedroom flats, 14 two-bedroom houses, seven three-bedroom houses and three four-bedroom houses for affordable rent, along with 13 three-bedroom houses for shared ownership.

There will also be four two-bedroom houses, one three-bedroom house and two four-bedroom houses for rent to buy – a government scheme designed to ease the transition from renting to buying a home by providing subsidised rent.