Housing association Aster Group has announced further expansion in the south of England with plans to build its first homes in West Sussex through a new joint venture with top 10 housebuilder, Linden Homes.

Aster and Linden Homes, have launched the JV, called Kilnwood Vale, to develop 130 new homes near Horsham. The move follows Aster’s expansion into Surrey for the first time and developments in new areas in Oxfordshire and Hampshire over the past year.

Construction on the properties, which include 33 affordable homes, is expected to begin in early 2019. Linden Homes will market the homes from Summer 2019.

The partnership’s White Rock JV, which has homes in Paignton, Exeter and Okehampton in Devon, and its Boorley Green JV in Hedge End in Hampshire are building 1,406 homes for market sale, affordable rent and shared ownership across the south of England.

Jane Gallifent, development and sales director at Aster Group, said: “West Sussex is a new growth area for us and forms part of our strategy of expanding further into the South East.

“This third partnership further cements our strong relationship with Linden Homes and we’re excited to be bringing the model to an area where there is a clear shortage of high-quality affordable homes. It means we can quickly build and market a wide choice of new properties as we play our part in tackling the housing crisis.”

Philip Chapman, Managing Director at Linden Homes South, said: “We plan to deliver a mix of two-bedroom apartments and two, three- and four-bedroom homes from our popular Linden Collection at Kilnwood Vale and we look forward to working with Aster Group who will also be delivering the affordable homes as part of this development.

“The proposals also include a primary school, nursery, library, local shops including a health centre, community centre and plenty of open space and sports areas to create a new community setting.”

Partnerships are a key part of Aster’s long-term development plans. The group is investing £2.1bn over the next seven years to provide over 9,000 homes available for sale and via shared ownership and affordable rent.

Aster delivered a record 939 new homes last year, a 14 per cent increase on 2016’s total.