Council responds to Wealden Housing Infrastructure Fund claims

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Richard Dawson, Head of Economic Development, Skills and Infrastructure, East Sussex County Council and Nigel Hannam, Director of Planning Policy and Economic Development, Wealden District Council, issue response to planning expert Glen Moore

“We’d like to correct the assertion (on 5 February) by planning expert Glen Moore that Wealden district, in East Sussex, has missed out on receiving money from the Government’s new Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF).

“As readers may be aware, the HIF was split into two separate streams – marginal viability funding for bids of up to £10 million for schemes which can be delivered quickly, and forward funding of up to £250 million, intended for a small number of strategic and high-impact infrastructure schemes.

As stated in your article, Wealden District Council, with East Sussex County Council, submitted a bid for £32 million, but this was for money from the forward funding stream – not the marginal viability funding recently announced by the Government.

“We, along with all other bidders for forward funding, are still waiting to hear from the Government on whether our bid can move on to submission of a further, more detailed business case submission.

“We’re not expecting an announcement on actual awards of money under the forward funding scheme until the summer, so it’s premature to speculate as to the outcome at this stage, and incorrect to imply that Wealden has missed out in the latest funding announcement as it didn’t apply for this funding.

“Wealden District Council and East Sussex County Council share Mr Moore’s desire to see the appropriate infrastructure in place to ensure we can deliver the homes the area needs, and will continue to work hard to achieve this end.”

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