Infrastructure Investment and Property Development in East Sussex

Due to Brexit uncertainty, the property market last year was subdued, as buyers remained wary while plenty of sellers refused to list fresh properties. However, experts are optimistic that 2019 will see up to 3% increase in property value.

The same goes for infrastructure developments in East Sussex, as whichever way Brexit negotiations go, the county still needs to improve its facilities for all its residents.

Here are the infrastructure and property developments you can expect to see in the short and long-term:

1. £5.4 Million Funding For Improved Economy and Skills

Due to the combined efforts of Team East Sussex, East Sussex Council, Sea Change Sussex, and Hastings Borough Council, the southeast county has been awarded a multi-million funding boost to improve its economy and the locals’ skill sets. 

Administered by South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), the £5.4 million additional funding will go to:

  • Plumpton College — £2.9 million will be used to build a new centre of excellence for the county’s agrifoods industry. This will be used to create networking spaces for businesses, training suites, and conference facilities. Within the next 10 years, this investment is foreseen to generate 204 apprenticeship posts and 248 learners.
  • Bexhill Enterprise Park North — £1.9 million will be used to double its existing site, so the area can accommodate more office development. This will also generate up to 493 jobs. 
  • Sidney Little Road in Hastings — 28 new units will be built on the vacant land, aimed to serve small businesses and startups. This development will see up to 74 new jobs.

2. £7 Million Funding for Cyclists and Pedestrians

Also administered by SELEP, East Sussex will receive £7 million to improve the county’s facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. 

The £3 million will go to adding more facilities for pedestrians in the eastern part of the county’s retail area, as well as improving its signage, landscaping, and lighting. Meanwhile, £4 million will be invested in the Eastbourne and South Wealden Cycling and Walking scheme—aimed to create an expanding network for cyclists and pedestrians with complementary and interdependent routes.

With this investment, expect to see:

  • Improved footways and access to shared use paths in London Road, Battle Road, Hawkswood Road, and Hailsham
  • Improved shared use paths and cycle crossings in Stone Cross, Royal Parade via Langney, and Eastbourne
  • 36 more parking spots for bicycles at Cycle Parking Hailsham
  • 155 more parking spots for bicycles at Cycle Parking Eastbourne
  • More on-road cycle routes, shared cycling, and walking routes in Eastbourne town centre 
  • More signage (e.g. finger posts, monoliths) around Eastbourne town centre

    bike parking

3. Redeveloping Old Town Nursing Homes

Canford Healthcare, which owns Summerdown and Pentlow Nursing Homes, is awaiting approval from the Eastbourne Council to have the two period houses redeveloped and expanded. This is to create more facilities to answer the requirements of care homes today.

Located along Summerdown Road, the company requested to have 14 flats within the block to be built as part of the nursing home site. 

Also part of the request is to turn Summerdown Nursing Home into a single mansion block consisting of 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments, while Pentlow (already two original properties linked and reworked through the years) will turn into a 64-bed nursing home.

4. Building Affordable Housing At Former Law Courts

Last March, the Eastbourne Council agreed to purchase the town’s old magistrates’ court and neighbouring Probation Service building. Located in Old Orchard Road, the council aims to develop affordable housing in the area, which has been vacant since 2017.

While the final price was not disclosed to the public, council officers said that the former law courts were acquired below market rate. Negotiations are still ongoing for the purchase of the Probation Service building. 

As soon as both properties are under the council’s name, they will draw up planning and commercial business cases. On top of housing, the council also wants to build office spaces by March 2022.

5. Infrastructure Delivery Plan for East Sussex

The Infrastructure Delivery Plan, drafted by Lewes District Council, details the additional facilities and services needed to support the growing communities in East Sussex. 

Lewes District Council expects around 7,000 additional homes to be built between 2010 and 2030, which means greater demand to the county’s infrastructure. Among the key infrastructures that will be developed 5 to 10 years from now include:

Transport 

  • Manage and reduce car traffic by changing traffic behaviours, improving road junctions, and promoting more sustainable modes of transportation
  • Improve local road capacity by being less reliant on cars and having more sustainable modes of transportation and healthy lifestyles
  • Promote rail services as an alternative mode of transport 
  • Make transport systems fair and accessible to vulnerable groups (e.g. elderly, children)
  • Promote healthier lifestyles and minimise reliance on cars by providing more pedestrian and cycle routes
  • Manage and coordinate parking spaces better, especially in light of increasing residential density

Education 

  • Develop more affordable facilities for students in the early years, primary school, secondary schools 
  • Make facilities for further and higher education more accessible and sufficient
  • Generate more opportunities for adults to gain learning opportunities and develop skills 

Health

  • Work with healthcare providers to make sure there are adequate primary care facilities for East Sussex communities
  • Work with NHS Trusts to identify which secondary care services may need more attention in the future

Community 

  • Develop more and maintain indoor sports/leisure facilities, meeting spaces, and libraries
  • Provide additional land for cemeteries
  • Develop more supported housing for the elderly

Emergency services

  • Emergency services like fire and rescue, police, and ambulance are all functioning well, but the council will continue to draw up plans to better serve the community
  • Minimise flood risks by providing a sound policy framework
  • Minimise the effects of climate change through policy framework, as it also affects coastal defences

Utilities

  • Work hand-in-hand with companies that provide electricity and gas services to help them with investments
  • Develop site-specific policies to allow new infrastructure to connect to water distribution systems for an adequate supply
  • Develop site-specific policies to allow new infrastructure to connect to the sewerage system with adequate capacity
  • Encourage more investments in telecommunications 
  • Improve recycling rates and reduce land disposal

Green infrastructure 

  • Assess new opportunities to develop green infrastructures to help minimise carbon footprint both for environmental impact and promotion of a healthier lifestyle

Improved facilities and services, as well as an increase in property development, creates plenty of opportunities for those living in East Sussex. 

If you need help with future-proofing your business to keep up with developments in the county, get in touch with one of our professional accounting team here at Plummer Parsons today.