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Ben Groves The Origins of the estate


The Hydneye Estate is an estate of 281 houses built between 1935-38 under the Housing Financial Provisions Act 1933. The aim of this Act was to accelerate the upgrading of the Nation's Housing Stock by encouraging private capital to work in co-operation with Local Councils.

The 1933 Act was ahead of its time. It stated "The houses provided must be well laid out and of good design and have regard for the beauty of the landscape and other amenities of the area".

A pleasing well laid out estate based on a Prize Winning design by Newcastle Architects Oliver & Leeson.

House Design

Within a prize winning layout, the houses were built to a good standard of construction with 11" brick cavity walls, tiled roofs with felt underlay, sprung tongue and groved timber flooring and full damp proof coursing. They remain sound houses well able to provide family accommodation for another fifty years.

However, design was dictated by the 1933 Act, this limited the floor space, the property was required to have a fixed bath with a hot water supply and an indoor toilet. Eastbourne Borough Council stipulated that manly three bedroomed houses were to be provided. To fulfil these conditions within the limited budget allowed, metal window frames were used, the bathroom was sited downstairs, with a resulting steep and winding staircase.

Originally hot water was provided by a back boiler in the lounge fireplace, this provided hot water for the bath and kitchen sink and heat for the oven, although these have now been manly replaced by modern gas central heating and boilers.

In 1935 the properties offered a good quality of life at a reasonable rent, in 1995 with the then 21st century approaching expectations moved on. Upgrading was needed that expectations may be me and enhance quality of life.

Examples of Improvements Within the Original House

Winders removed for safer stairs - downstairs bathroom becomes cloakroom - bathroom goes upstairs - Small cloakroom toilet remains downstairs - Backdoor goes to the side - a safer more workable kitchen - fitted units supplied and kitchen designed with space for modern appliances - Double glazed windows, central heating - fully fitted carpet throughout is now standard - Some with patio doors and off street parking.

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