Blackfriars, Battle: Update from Rother District Council

Blackfriars, Battle

Rother District Council is committed to promoting housing development within the District and particularly the development of affordable housing. The Blackfriars scheme in Battle brings forward a site that was first identified for housing in the 1960s. The market has not delivered this site for multiple reasons, including multiple ownership necessitating land assembly, a requirement for a new spine road, and complex site conditions due to its unique topography and ecological challenges.

Recently there have been social media posts about the Blackfriars housing scheme and in particular the new spine road costs and delays. For clarity, the Blackfriars onsite road development started in April 2022, partially funded by an £8.7m Homes England Grant for the completion of the 200 homes. The original spine road specification has been modified to accommodate an improved road design, increased drainage, utility cabling and the future ecology preservation of the area. These developments have increased the overall site costs and are currently being finalised with planning authorities. The increases are being majority funded by the Homes England Grant and the home development scheme.

The Council has worked closely with the contractor throughout the period of the work and will continue to do so to see the scheme through to completion, taking into account any disruption a large development of this nature brings to existing residents.

Any changes from the original scheme will have to be managed through the Council’s Planning Committee and will therefore be carried out in an open and transparent manner.

The Blackfriars scheme intends to deliver 200 homes for the District and the Council is wholly engaged in the Rother District Council led road development, and the funding of its Housing Company to deliver houses at Blackfriars.