The former Streatfeild House retirement living complex in Uckfield could be redeveloped with homes for rental and shared ownership.
Wealden Council’s cabinet is due to discuss proposals on Wednesday (October 21).
Members are recommended to approve general needs accommodation for affordable rent, with a proportion designated as shared ownership.
And up to 20% of the site could be allocated as accommodation for households where a member has a disability.
A final viability assessment for redevelopment is recommended before proceeding.
Streatfeild House, has been empty since being closed in 2019.
It had 44 units, and thirty-three of the residents living there were rehoused at Grants Hill Court, a new development of 67 retirement flats, while others moved to different council properties.
The plan originally was to provide a new upgraded 55 unit retirement living court but since then a number of factors have changed.
The report to cabinet says the Streatfeild House site now provides the council with “an excellent redevelopment opportunity” to deliver new affordable homes for local residents.
Changed factors include:
The council’s housing revenue account being able to borrow more than previously, £95m instead of £71m.
And withdrawal of the submitted Wealden Local Plan, which restricted development because of Uckfield’s close proximity to Ashdown Forest, allows greater flexibility.
The report says: “For Streatfeild House this means any redevelopment scheme considered by the HRA is not now limited to the same use.
“The planning assessment for any redevelopment is simpler and is limited to straightforward matters such as design, layout, scale of development and impact on neighbours’ amenity, rather than an in principle objection to any material increase in traffic crossing the Ashdown Forest (Special Protection Area).”
In addition, the report says, Grants Hill Court has absorbed a significant percentage of the demand for retirement living accommodation and it is increasingly likely there will not be sufficient demand to fill a new retirement living court in Uckfield.
On the other hand there is significant demand for general needs accommodation with 93 households seeking one, two, and three bedroom accommodation.
The full report on the future of Streatfeild House can be seen on the Wealden website here.