Issue 16 September 2019

Matters

Affordable Housing boost for East Grinstead

The Guinness PartnershipThe Council has approved the sale of land at Blackwell Farm Road in East Grinstead to enable the delivery of 10 new homes for local people in housing need.

Our Cabinet met on Monday 16 September and agreed to sell the land to the Guinness Partnership for £400,000, subject to the grant of suitable planning permission.

The Guinness Partnership works in 165 local authority areas across England to provide homes for rent at prices significantly lower than those charged in the private market and on tenancy terms which offer far greater security. Any profit they make helps them to invest in and build more affordable homes.

There is currently a serious shortage of social housing in East Grinstead for local people in housing need. The Common Housing Register has 291 people from East Grinstead on the waiting list and for 268 of those people their first choice preference is to remain in the town.

Under the current planning system we are reliant on housing developers to provide Affordable Housing as part of their new housing schemes. However, private developers are under no obligation to build right away and the reality is there haven’t been any new Affordable Housing units built in East Grinstead since the St Margaret’s Convent development in 2016.

By using this parcel of Council land we can ensure that 100% of the new homes that are built are used to provide much needed homes for local people who desperately need them. The sale of this land provides us with the opportunity to help 10 local families find a home of their own and make a huge difference to their lives.

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Last year, West Sussex County Council (WSCC) asked residents what would help them make the switch to electric vehicles.

The survey showed that lack of public charging points and range anxiety were significant factors discouraging people from switching. WSCC has taken into account those results and has produced a draft Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy, which is now open for public consultation until Tuesday 1 October.

Residents, businesses and commuters into the county are being asked 16 questions to see if the strategy will help address the initial barriers and give individuals the confidence to switch to EV’s.

Early investment in infrastructure to support the transition from petrol and diesel vehicles to alternative fuels is critical. Long-term it will also help improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions across the county.

With electric vehicles looking to be similar price wise to conventional vehicles in the UK as early as 2021, WSCC wants the public’s view on its draft strategy so they can make sure it’s fit for purpose. Whether you currently own or drive an electric vehicle, are considering buying one in the future, or even if you have no plans to switch, they would like to hear from you.

All consultation responses will help shape the final Electric Vehicle Strategy. You can take part by visiting the Have Your Say Consultation Hub on the WSCC website.