New Monks Farm developer faces affordable homes questions

Martin Perry
Martin Perry

Developers hoping to build 600 homes and an IKEA on Lancing’s New Monks Farm have been quizzed over the project’s contribution to Adur’s affordable housing shortage.

The Herald asked a number of questions of New Monks Farm Development Limited – a subsidiary of Brighton and Hove Albion – in regards to plans for the site to accommodate 180 affordable properties.

The figure, equating to 30 per cent of the 600 homes, would help Adur District Council cut its housing waiting list. A Herald investigation in May revealed more than 750 households were currently awaiting accommodation.

Outlining the plans, Martin Perry, director of New Monks Farm Development Limited, said: “The homes will be visually indistinguishable from the open market homes and will be delivered to meet the nationally-described space standards which set out the size criteria for new homes.”

The definition of ‘affordable’ housing is set out in government planning documents.

In terms of affordable rented homes, monthly fees, including service charges, should cost no more than 80 per cent of the local market rate.

The developer has teamed-up with CALA Homes to deliver the housing side of the New Monks Farm project.

Cala will work with the council to identify a housing association to own and manage the affordable homes.

The mix of types of affordable housing is yet to be confirmed but is expected to include both shared ownership and rented properties.

Mr Perry could not confirm the expected prices of either type, with the size of properties varying.

He said affordable rent rates could be capped at local housing allowance levels set by the council.

He said: “The rented homes will be let by the registered provider to households on the council’s choice-based letting register in accordance with their policy to those with a local connection and demonstrating the greatest need.”

The 30 per cent figure is the level envisaged in Adur’s local plan.

Mr Perry said: “The planning application includes a viability statement which is based on 30 per cent. The site would not be viable if this percentage were to be increased.”

The first homes could be available from autumn 2019, if planning permission is granted. The first phase of 250 homes would include 75 affordable units. They will be distributed throughout the site in clusters.