Wealden District Council

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Let us build 214 new council homes

Media Release : 11 September 2018

Wealden District Council is calling on the Government to increase the amount of money it can borrow so it can build an additional 214 council houses.

Old Hop Garden progress

If approved, it would increase the amount Wealden can borrow through its Housing Revenue Account by an extra £28.7 million. This would be on top of its current £71.7 million borrowing limit.

“This extra borrowing is urgently needed to put more affordable housing in locations where it is most needed,” said Councillor Graham Wells, Cabinet member for Housing and Benefits. “We will repay the money through rental incomes over the life of the property.

“This summer, the Secretary of State for Communities called on local authorities to bid for increased borrowing capacity in order to build more affordable homes. We have an excellent case for our share of the extra £1billion of borrowing capacity on offer. Higher than average house prices and lower than average incomes exacerbate the housing situation for our residents. We have built an enviable record of delivering affordable housing within budget and on time. I call on the Government to back us.”

“Phase Two of our new build strategy is nearing completion. It includes 67 retirement living apartments in Grant Hill House, Uckfield, and 29 affordable homes at Leap Close and Old Hop Gardens in Hailsham. And four affordable homes in East Dean. 

“The extra borrowing limit would enable Phase Three to undertake developments in Crowborough, Uckfield, Heathfield, Horam and Polegate, creating another 214 much-needed affordable homes.

The full cost of Phase Three will be £44.3 million. This includes money from Right-to-Buy sales and shared ownership payments, as well as additional spending from the Council’s Housing Revenue Account.

The 214 new council homes would be built between 2019 and 2022 and includes rebuilding Streatfeild House in Uckfield.  This retirement living court is in need of modernisation. The proposal will increase the number of retirement living homes on the site by 11 to 55 and get rid of its existing outdated bed-sitting room stock.  

This £1 billion increase in the borrowing cap was announced by the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP on 26 June 2018.