A prospective house owner says his dream home has been ripped away from him after issues with a new estate have left a “ghost town” on the outskirts of a country village.

Ingram’s Farm in Ninfield near Battle is expected to bring 55 new homes to the village. Homebuyers said they were due to be handed the keys at the end of June.

But after what the developers call “unprecedented cost increases and labour shortages”, building has now been put on hold, leaving people looking for new places to live.

James Tucker, 48, said he was due to move in to one of the shared-ownership homes at the end of June but near-completed houses have now been left abandoned.

Ingrams Farm in NinfieldIngrams Farm in Ninfield (Image: Dan Jessup)

He said: “You have 55 beautiful homes all completed – you can see them through the gate - but the development has been locked up and abandoned.

“It has all come crashing down. The house was everything you would have wanted in a home and I was on the brink of paying my holding deposit.”

James, who works for the fire service in Eastbourne and is currently based in Hellingly, said he had been saving for nearly two years to buy the house through a shared ownership scheme and had a mortgage in principle.

But, having declined to renew his tenancy at his current rented home, he was told that he would not be able to move into the new house after all.

James claimed there were issues between homebuilders Southern Housing and affordable housing providers Sage Homes, adding: “It’s like a divorce and they are fighting over who gets to keep the family dog.”

Ingrams Farm in NinfieldIngrams Farm in Ninfield (Image: Dan Jessup)

Southern Housing said the issues were due to “recent unprecedented cost increases in materials and labour shortages” but it was aiming to resolve the issues “as soon as possible”.

Aerial photographs of the development show rows of newly completed homes abandoned with no workers on site.

Listings for the development online say that the project includes a mixture of two, three and four-bedroom homes.

A spokesman for Sage Homes said: "Southern Housing is responsible for the delivery of the new homes at Ingrams Farm and we expect them to be delivered in line with the planning consent."