200 new homes will be constructed on the Blackfriars site. The homes will comprise of a mixture of 2, 3 and-4-bedroom houses and 1-2 bedroom maisonettes for sale and rent.
The Blackfriars site has been allocated for development for more than 50 years. The site was first allocated for housing in 1967 in the Battle Town Plan and then in successive plans up to the 2006 Local Plan. The development at the Blackfriars site was granted planning permission in April 2021.
In advance of and following the granting of planning permission, extensive work has been undertaken by Rother DC Housing Company and Planning Department to ensure that the Blackfriars scheme will have a positive impact upon Battle and its residents and this has remained a core priority for the new housing scheme.
The development will provide 200 much needed high-quality, sustainable homes, as well as public green space for the wider community. The scheme will include low-cost home ownership in the form of shared ownership, as well as rented tenure.
Both contractors working on the development will not only build the highest quality properties but will also deliver added value to the local community by supporting local employment, training and organisations.
The design at Blackfriars has evolved around the ‘Green Vision’ for the site. All 200 of Blackfriars’ homes have been designed to be environmentally sustainable dwellings and will be constructed to high standards of energy performance. The development will also offer full Electric Vehicle Charging points to all units and Air Source Heat Pumps will be installed to provide heating. The aim is to have all homes built to EPC B with some homes achieving EPC A.
Construction on the site began in Spring 2022 with Breheny Civil Engineering who are responsible for delivering a new road through the development that will connect Harrier Lane and The Spinney. This will be followed by the construction of the 200 homes managed by Wates Residential.
It is anticipated that the construction of these homes will be completed in three phases, starting on site in 2024, with the last of the properties reaching practical completion during 2026.
The current proposals for housing at Blackfriars will be a mixture of private sale, shared ownership and rented properties, which means that the homes will be available to buy or rent. There are a variety of house types and sizes to provide choice for occupants, such as homes for those who wish to downsize and young households wishing to own their first home.
Shared Ownership housing is a form of low-cost homeownership (leasehold sale) whereby shares of the lease are acquired normally between 25 to 75% with the option to buy more shares until the resident owns the property outright. This enables first time buyers to access the market without needing large deposits and mortgages, a key barrier for those trying to access their own homes in Rother. The remaining unowned share is retained by a housing association and a small rent is charged on this share. Further information will be made available on the Rother District Council website as the scheme progresses, sign posting residents to the sales of the scheme, including the low-cost homeownership options available.
Affordable Rent housing is rent charged at up to 80% of open market value (normally capped at local housing benefit levels). Due to the very high demand and low supply of affordable rent, these homes will be limited to those households who need them the most. This includes only eligible households of Rother District Council’s housing register in accordance with the Council’s adopted Housing Allocation Policy. Eligible households considered to have a local connection with the ‘Battle Parish Cluster’ will be given priority over others on the waiting list. For more information on affordable rent, to check eligibility and to apply to join the Council’s housing register, please visit: Social Housing – Rother District Council.
Community Led Housing – The Sussex Community Housing Hub (SCHH) are commissioned on behalf of Rother District Council and other local authorities to support local communities to realise their housing aspirations. This can include groups setting up Community Land Trusts to deliver affordable and private homes. The Council is keen to support a small community scheme at Blackfriars where feasible. For further information on community housing and the work the SCHH do, please visit: Home | Sussex Community Housing Hub.
For advice on joining or starting a community group in relation to Blackfriars please contact = Tom.Warder@ruralsussex.org.uk.
The site working periods for both the road construction and the building of the residential houses will be between the hours of 08.00 to 18.00, Monday to Friday, and 08.00 to 13.00 on Saturdays. Both contractors will keep working on a Saturday to a minimum and will only do so if absolutely required. We are not expecting any work to be carried out outside of these times, but if any exceptional working is found to be necessary, this will be notified to our neighbours well in advance where possible and only carried out by agreement with the Planning Authority.
At the current time, the construction programme for the housebuilding works does not anticipate any Saturday working.
Emergency contact details for the construction teams have been issued for Breheny, the current lead contractor onsite. Contact details will be issued by Wates via introductory letters once the housing construction is due to start on site.
Site agent telephone numbers will also be added to easily visible signage at the site entrances.
Any current enquiries regarding the construction of road and infrastructure should be directed to Breheny Civil Engineering’s Site Agent, Harayshan Pirabaharan, on 07399528626. Calls to this number will be monitored and dealt with as quickly as possible.
Disruption to neighbours and the local community will be minimised by adhering to agreed working hours and adopting best practise measures with regards to undertaking construction activities. In addition, the contractors will continually monitor noise and vibration and take necessary remedial actions as appropriate.
A construction and environmental management plan (condition 12 of outline permission) has been signed off which has involved agreement from both Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council.
There is no plan for night working. The only time night working may be required would be in the event of an emergency, for example if an event has occurred during normal working hours that would result in a Health & Safety or environmental issue if left unattended to.
The existing Public Right of Way (PRoW) across the site between Kingsdale Close and the Emmanuel Centre has been closed as of 08th August 2022 and is planned to be opened when the construction works are completed.
The site is fully secured with Heras fencing with safety signage installed to prevent unauthorised access.
Prior to commencement of the house building, the site will be further secured with a 2.4m high timber hoarding with CCTV security cameras. For safety, the site will be completely closed to the public.
No. This is outside the scope of this project and is not a planning requirement. However, our proposals future proof for the possibility of a footpath connection to the station.
Any vegetation/tree clearance and reptile translocation is being undertaken and or overseen by Temple Group, the consultant specialising in ecology and arboriculture matters. The works are undertaken in accordance with approved plans and in consultation with the planners, county ecologist and Natural England as necessary.
General construction traffic and deliveries will use the main road vehicular routes previously agreed with the East Sussex County Council Highways Department.
Parking provisions are available onsite for construction traffic including site operatives, management and visiting staff. Construction traffic parking on public roads will be avoided unless absolutely necessary. If this is necessary, the vehicles will be considerately parked.
Signage and traffic cones will be placed at site entrances where necessary to ensure vehicles do not park and restrict driver visibility.
Dust nuisance is dependent on the type of construction works being undertaken including plant/vehicle movements, compounded by dry ground conditions, wind and the amount of plant movement on and off site. Dust suppression is via the use of a water bowser to wet the ground at regular intervals throughout the day and as necessary. The frequency of damping down is frequently monitored and increased during periods of extreme dry weather.
All vehicles leaving site are checked to ensure they are properly loaded and materials are secured with wheel washing employed to reduce the amount of mud being drawn onto the public highway.
A road sweeper is used as necessary to sweep public roads used by construction traffic to remove any mud or debris that may find its way onto the public highway network.
Construction traffic including site deliveries will adhere to the routes agreed with the local authority. The contractors will endeavour to operate their traffic flow during off peak hours where possible to minimise disruption to the local community.
Site deliveries to the northern part of the site will be via Marley Lane and through to the site access off Harrier Lane.
Site deliveries to the southern part of the site will be via A2100 Battle Hill/Hastings Road via access off The Spinney, once this access opens
Deliveries will be made during site working hours of 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
Residents will be allocated parking spaces and there will be a management strategy in place.
The parking and infrastructure needs of the scheme are currently under review as part of the new design, and will be considered through the normal planning process.
Whilst it is not possible to stop all unauthorised commuter parking, as there is no direct vehicular or pedestrian route to Battle railway station from the development (with the exception of pedestrian access via Knights Meadow/Meadow Bank) unauthorised commuter parking will be naturally deterred. The scheme itself benefits from being a suitable walking distance from the station, reducing the need for car use.
The design of all roads on the development must allow for emergency vehicle access to all residential areas. The dual access to the site from main highways and the configuration of minor roads within the development allows for multiple access routes for emergency vehicles.
During the construction works the surface water runoff is managed by use of various control measures including use of temporary attenuation ponds and a water treatment system, prior to discharge into the ditch north of the development by Harrier Lane, in accordance with the discharge criteria specified by the Environment Agency.
The completed development includes new general land drainage, together with dedicated surface water drainage from roads and houses, that will be channelled through new ‘attenuation’ tanks with flow control mechanisms. These details will result in the flow of surface water run-off from the site being significantly reduced from current levels and provide a significant reduction to site drainage and decrease the flow to the watercourse adjacent to Harrier Lane and downstream areas. A drainage plan was submitted and approved as part of the consented scheme. The drainage plan will be reviewed again, as part of the redesign and formal planning application process to ensure the current proposals are sufficient to meet the drainage demands of the new scheme.
To contribute to improvements to local amenities, the project costs for the new development includes a Community Infrastructure Levy to help fund the infrastructure, facilities and services.
The allocation of the funding to specific areas within the community will be managed by Rother District Council.
Community Infrastructure Levy is the Councils adopted infrastructure on all new housing schemes. The charge provides a fair and transparent means of ensuring that a development contributes to the cost of the infrastructure it will rely on, including schools, transport, flood defences, hospitals, community facilities and other health and social care facilities. More information on the Community Infrastructure Fund can be found on Rother District Councils website.