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Homes England acquires land in West Sussex

Words: Laura Edgar
Burgess Hill town / Peter Trimming

The government’s national housing agency Homes England has acquired interests in land holdings at Burgess Hill in West Sussex.

This follows work with Mid Sussex District Council, and the main landowners and promoters.

According to Homes England, Burgess Hill, 176 hectares in size, is capable of delivering 3,080 new homes. Two new primary schools and a range of leisure facilities are included in the plans.

It is also a strategic priority in the council’s district plan, an allocation secured by the promoters through the Local Plan Process.

Homes England has acquired a number of other sites recently, including:

  • Coypool in Plymouth, a former china clay works near Marsh Mills. It is set to deliver more than 400 homes. The 32 hectare site is included in Plymouth’s joint local plan.
  • Otterpool Park, Shepway – 60 hectares as part of a garden town being promoted by Folkestone and Hythe District Council.
  • Brue Farm, Somerset – 4.6 hectares in the Hinkley Housing Zone aims to provide 123 new homes and unlock more homes though providing infrastructure to the wider site.
  • Spencer’s Park, Dacorum - 37 hectares in Hemel Hempstead, where, following work with with local partners, about 1,000 new homes will be delivered. 357 homes are already being built. The rest of the site is going through the planning process, with 40 per cent of the homes designated as affordable.

Identified more than 10 years ago as a key location for housing delivery, the landowners and promoters decided to dispose of their interest to Homes England because of complexities surrounding different landownership and the need to deliver significant upfront infrastructure.

Now the landowner for the whole site, Homes England said it will submit an outline planning application later this year, and then bring forward early release of the first phases of new homes as well as investing in strategic infrastructure to ensure that the site is ready for development.

Stephen Kinsella, executive director for Land at Homes England, said: “Homes England’s reinvigorated land role is seeing us step up and intervene to unlock residential sites to help increase the supply of homes where they are desperately needed.

“This acquisition at Burgess Hill shows how we can step in to ensure that complex sites in areas of acute housing need can be brought forward for early delivery through our intervention.

“It is a huge statement from Homes England, demonstrating how we can now intervene and invest to unlock the largest sites. We will now work quickly to achieve an early start on site and ensure the site delivers a great place to live.”

Image credit | Peter Trimming