ARTISAN homes in an apartment block where developers controversially chose to pay £1.2 million rather than build affordable homes have now come on to the market, costing more than half a million.

Show homes by King Alfred developer Crest Nicholson in Davigdor Road, Hove, open this weekend with one to three bedroom apartments on sale from £345,000 to £680,000.

Housing campaigners said the homes would do nothing to alleviate the city’s housing crisis and would take up valuable land which could be used to deliver homes within the budgets of local workers.

Developers said the homes were “competitively priced” and starting prices could begin at £275,000 under the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

The scheme was granted consent in February 2016 to level offices in Hove and build 47 flats including eight affordable. Nine months later they appealed to the council to remove their affordable housing commitment because they could not afford to build them as they struggled to find a housing provider to manage them.

Instead they paid £1.2 million for the council to build affordable housing elsewhere in the city.

Living Rent campaigner Diane Montgomery said: “Almost every new development we are seeing now in the city is beyond the reach of any ordinary working person.

“These homes will not go anyway to solving the housing crisis. They are not building houses for people who live here, people on the housing list; they are building homes for people who could live anywhere.

“They are taking up valuable land in Hove where there is not much space to build new homes. This is social cleansing. When I first moved to Hove 25 years ago, you could buy a two up, two down for £60,000. Now you’re talking about anything up to £500,000.”

Cllr Mary Mears, Conservative housing spokeswoman, said commuted affordable housing payments could be used more in the future to ensure truly affordable housing was actually delivered in the city.

She said: “If developers are just interested in making money, then we should be taking their money to build housing elsewhere. The council has the land, and its land with the infrastructure that we need, so we can build the affordable housing ourselves.”

A Crest spokesman said: “We’ve had an enormous amount of interest in the development, particularly among first time buyers. The apartments at Artisan are competitively priced and reflect the wider market value of the local area. Properties are also available on the Help to Buy scheme, making the development an attractive location for all buyers.”


House prices for new flats in Davigdor Road, Hove:

One-bedroom ground floor apartment £349,950 (With Help to Buy (HtB) £279,960)

One-bedroom ground floor apartment £359,950 (HtB £287,960)

Two-bedroom first floor apartment £459,950 (HtB £367,960)

One-bedroom first floor apartment £344,950 (HtB £275,960)

Two-bedroom first floor apartment £459,950 (HtB £367,960)

Three-bedroom second floor apartment £679,950 (HtB £275,960)

Two-bedroom second floor apartment £474,950 (HtB £367,960)