Old Hop Gardens, Wealden’s latest affordable housing scheme for Hailsham, is beginning to take shape. When completed later this year, it will provide 17 high quality affordable homes helping to meet the specific requirement for smaller rental properties in the area.
This month Wealden Chairman, Councillor Chris Hardy, attended the topping out ceremony where the development was officially named Old Hop Gardens, recalling the previous use of the land at the east of the town for growing hops to brew local beer.
The development will consist of nine one-bedroom flats, three two-bedroom flats and five two-bedroomed houses.
“Hailsham is the area of Wealden with the highest housing need, with a quarter of those on our housing register seeking accommodation in the town,” said Councillor Graham Wells, Wealden Cabinet member for Housing. “As a provider of affordable housing we are striving to meet this need. More than half of those on the register looking for local accommodation require one-bedroom homes and a further third are seeking two-bedrooms.
“Following on from the recent completion of 12 new affordable homes at Leap Close with its range of one-, two- and three- bedroomed homes, I think real progress is being made.”
Old Hop Gardens, designed by Sussex architects Frankham, is an imaginative project on the site of Elizabeth Court, a former Wealden District Council Retirement Living housing scheme which was in need of redevelopment. With many other schemes for older people in the town, including Helen Court which the Council recently purchased as part of a new development to complement affordable retirement living needs, Wealden decided to redevelop the St Mary’s Avenue site for general needs accommodation.
Old Hop Gardens’ distinctive design will make it another one of Wealden District Council’s eye-catching New Build affordable housing schemes, which include Evelyn Clark Square in Forest Row and Leap Close. Leap Close has been shortlisted in the Best Affordable Development category of the Local Authority Building Control ‘Building in Excellence’ awards.
Old Hop Gardens is being built on behalf of Wealden District Council by Eastbourne–based Trinity Homes, who also built the Leap Close development. The firm employs local staff where ever possible with 80 per cent of its workforce coming from the Eastbourne and Hailsham area.