Work has started on a major new eco-friendly housing development.

An agreement between housing association Aster Group and developer Thakeham, worth an estimated £58 million, will see 120 new homes across a 19-acre site in Burgess Hill.

Named Templegate, the development is expected to be the first net zero carbon scheme of its size in Mid Sussex. All homes will be built with a sustainable specification that includes timber frames, solar PV panels and air source heat pumps, wastewater heat recovery systems, alongside more energy efficient windows and doors and increased floor and roof insulation.

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The partnership said the combination of renewable energy and efficiency mean that carbon emissions from operating the homes are zero or below and will leave no carbon footprint.

Construction is already under way with completion expected in spring 2026. Once finished the development will include one-bed apartments to four-bed houses. Of the 120 homes, 27 will be affordable while a further nine will be available through the government’s First Homes scheme.

The first joint venture between the organisations, the collaboration builds on an existing partnership that includes the delivery of 34 new affordable homes in Petworth, which are currently under construction.

Amanda Williams, chief investment officer at Aster Group, said: “Having previously established a strong working relationship with Thakeham, we’re proud to be coming together again this time through this joint venture to deliver an exciting net zero carbon scheme in Mid Sussex.  

“I strongly believe that adopting a collaborative and targeted approach to housebuilding is crucial given the acute housing shortage as we continue on our mission to deliver the quality, sustainable homes our communities so desperately need.”

Rob Boughton, founder and chief executive at Thakeham, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Aster Group to deliver this pioneering zero carbon development in Burgess Hill. Sustainability is at the forefront of Thakeham’s design from the outset and a guiding principle in everything we do - and this development with Aster will set a new benchmark for sustainable living.”