Work begins on eight new affordable homes in Uckfield

Representatives from Wealden District Council and Stonewater, one of the UK’s leading housing providers, gathered this week (22 June) to mark the start of construction on eight new homes for affordable rent off Lealands Drive and Campbell Close in Uckfield, East Sussex.

Stonewater is working with Wealden District Council, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Trinity Homes Ltd to deliver the urgently-needed housing which will be built on previous underused car parking sites purchased from the Council.

The schemes will provide a mix of eight homes for affordable rent, with two three-bedroom houses and four two-bedroom flats being built in Lealands Drive, and two three-bedroom homes in Campbell Close. Each house will have its own private rear garden, whilst a communal outdoor area will be available for residents living in the new flats. The homes, due for completion in April next year, are being financed by Stonewater with additional grant funding support from the HCA.

The new rental housing will be a welcome sight for Uckfield residents, particularly young people, struggling to find affordable accommodation in the area where the affordable housing shortage is putting more pressure on the rental market, pushing up prices. The new Stonewater homes will be allocated to members of the community by Wealden District Council.

Each home will have gas central heating and will be well insulated to help achieve a Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 energy-efficiency rating to keep resident’s energy bills down. Both housing developments are within walking distance of the town centre and public transport links and local shops.

"Like many rural towns in the country, young people and families who support the local shops, schools, services and amenities in the area, are being forced out of the community because they cannot find an affordable place to live,” said George Blunden, Chair of Stonewater’s Board. “Rural towns like Uckfield need affordable housing. Providing a small number of homes like these new properties in Lealands Drive and Campbell Close, can have a huge impact on the long term economic health, growth and sustainability of the town. We look forward to working with the Council and other local stakeholders to provide more high quality, affordable housing in the area for people who need it most.”

Stonewater has a long established working relationship with Wealden DC and was appointed a Preferred Partner in 2001. The housing provider manages around 180 properties across the District, providing affordable homes in both the larger settlements, such as Hailsham, Crowborough, and Polegate; and also in rural areas, such as Frant and Five Ashes where new affordable housing developments have been completed in recent years.

“It is important we make the best use of what little property the Council owns,” said Wealden Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Graham Wells. “With more than a 1,000 people looking for affordable housing in Wealden, we are keen to work with partners, and to build homes ourselves, in order to help residents.”

“We are happy to be working in partnership with Stonewater and Wealden District Council to build these much-needed new affordable homes within Sussex,” said Marcus Cory, Managing Director for Trinity Homes. “It is a pleasure to be providing homes which will benefit those living in the local community for years to come.”