Brookleigh welcomes its first residents to affordable homes

Sage Homes has handed over the keys to its first 50 customers at the new Brookleigh development being built in Burgess Hill under a major public-private sector partnership.

These Shared Ownership and Affordable Rent homes are the first affordable properties to be finished at Brookleigh, which is a partnership between Mid Sussex District Council, housing providers, and Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator.

Sage Homes is the largest provider of new affordable homes in England, and one of its affordable properties at Brookleigh is now the home of Tabitha Lane and Charlie Singer, (above) who have moved into their new two-bedroom flat with their daughter Ava-Grace, aged three, and 15-month-old son Albie.

Originally from south London, Charlie, 29, and 32-year-old Tabitha moved to Mid Sussex in 2020 for a better quality of life, but had to leave a private rented house in East Grinstead in February 2023.

Thanks to their names being put forward by Mid Sussex District Council, Tabitha and Charlie were able to avoid homelessness and moved into their new Affordable Rent flat with Sage Homes.

Charlie, who is a trained gardener and primary carer for Ava-Grace, who has autism, said their new home is better and cheaper than what they had been paying with a private landlord.

He said: "I was blown away by it – I had never lived in a new-build before, so to be offered the option of living here was amazing. It’s more affordable, and it’s good to be part of the new community that’s being built here."

Tabitha, who works for a London council, said she was impressed by the quality and finish of their new home.

She said: “It totally exceeded my expectations. It’s so lovely and the room sizes are so spacious."

Tabitha said that it was important that they stayed locally because of the autism support services they receive for Ava-Grace. She added: "We had to stay in Mid Sussex because the services our daughter receives have been second to none – we wouldn’t move out now that we’ve got everything set up for her."

Their home was built by Countryside Partnerships, which was the first housebuilder appointed at Brookleigh. Over 50% of its 460 homes - 237 - are designated as affordable and being built for Sage Homes customers. These 460 homes are the first of a wider 3,500-home development.

All Sage Homes’ Affordable Rent properties at Brookleigh will be allocated by Mid Sussex District Council to people on its housing register assessed as being in priority need.

When completed, Homes England’s flagship Brookleigh development in the north of Burgess Hill will have a total of around 3,500 homes, three new schools, a new employment hub, public parks, and an extended nature reserve off Maple Drive.

Councillor Rachel Cromie, Cabinet Member for Housing and Customer Services, Mid Sussex District Council, said: "The delivery of high-quality affordable housing like this is so important because it helps those most in need to find a home of their own. By working closely with Homes England we’ve been able to increase the amount of affordable housing at this development to over 50% so we can help more local families get off the housing register and into a brand new forever home."

Lucian Smithers, Chief Customer Officer at Sage Homes, said: “It’s great that Tabitha and Charlie love their new affordable home and that they’re settling in well as our customers.

"Sage Homes is all about getting people who need a house into an affordable place of their own in their local area, and that’s exactly what we’re doing with 237 homes at Brookleigh."

Antony Iren, Associate Development Director at Countryside Partnerships, said: “As the first housebuilder appointed at Brookleigh, it is fantastic to see the progress we have made on this exciting development as the first residents settle into their new homes.

“We’re proud to play our part in providing much-needed and high-quality affordable housing, helping people stay local to the area that they call home.”

Graham Hyslop, Director for Projects (South) at Homes England, said: "Having our first residents move into their new family homes is a really important – probably the most important - milestone for Brookleigh. Homes England is committed to placemaking and all that that involves – including providing supporting infrastructure like connecting roads, footpaths, cycleways, green corridors, schools and shared outdoor spaces to enable more new homes to be built here and to create a real feeling of “place”. I look forward to watching this sustainable community continue to come to life as more people and families move in over the coming months and start to use the excellent facilities Brookleigh will provide, both now and in the future."

All Shared Ownership houses delivered by Sage Homes at Brookleigh go to local people looking to buy but who cannot afford a full-market price property. For more information, visit: