Why can’t I get a refund on my £500 deposit for a help-to-buy home?

After a nine-month wait for a handover date, I couldn’t get our money back

I paid a £500 deposit on a new-build flat using the help-to-buy scheme. The development was supposed to be completed three months later, but nine months on there was still no handover date, so I withdrew. But the agent, Claremont Property Group, says the deposit is non-refundable.

DE, Swindon

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Source: the guardian – property
Why can’t I get a refund on my £500 deposit for a help-to-buy home?