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15/11/2015 - Planning Application for Burgess Hill Town Centre Development – Objection Deadline 20th November

You may be aware from articles in the local press that a planning application has been submitted by New River Retail for the redevelopment of Burgess Hill Town Centre. The objection period deadline is Friday, 20 November.

Whilst Burgess Hill Labour Party supports the investment in the town, we have concerns that certain parts of the planning application have not been thought through sufficiently – therefore we intend to submit our own objection, but we are aware that many members have concerns about the redevelopment and, if so, we urge you to submit your own objection, using notes 1-10 below.

Comments on the Planning application can be made:-

Online at www.midsussex.gov.uk (Type DM/15/3858 in the search box)

By email to (make sure you attach your home address at the start of your email)

In writing to Planning Department, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex,RH16 1SS.

The official deadline is 20th November but Mid Sussex District Council say they will accept comments and recommendations until a decision is made on the application, most probably in January, but we suggest that you get your objection in by 20 November if at all possible.

The issues on which we consider you can object are as follow. We understand that some of the issues may concern you more than others, so we are happy for you to pick and choose those issues on which to object, and to include them in whichever order your wish.

1. Given the increase in the number of deliveries inevitable with the new development the suggested access for delivery vehicles is totally inadequate.

2. Parking provision is inadequate. The whole aim is to increase numbers using Burgess Hill Town Centre with the population building towards 45,000-50,000 in a relatively short time. Parking provision only allows for 120 spaces for 146 flats. Apart from that there will be a loss of 225 spaces in the multi storey etc. compensated for by only another 163 spaces adjacent to the current Waitrose car park.

3. There needs to be a proper appraisal by MSDC of the road system and public transport provision. It is unrealistic to rely, as the planning application does, on people using public transport rather than coming into town by car.

4. The proposed new library is smaller than the current library. Common sense would suggest that the expected increase in the population will justify a bigger rather than a smaller library.

5. There is already an effect on current businesses by these proposals. Businesses have not been adequately consulted and are apprehensive about their future. They and the community will have to put up with major disruption for a prolonged time. The proposed size of the new shops is not large enough for major department stores and not small enough for many independent local businesses.

6. There are objections to the design and materials being proposed. The community wants development with individual character and architectural merit. Far more use should be made of brickwork which is in line with the tradition and history of the town.

7. Some aspects of the proposals are contrary to the Neighbourhood Plan on which residents will be voting in the referendum on 10th December. The proposed cinema and hotel are both in areas of the town which have been designated for retail and are away from the entertainment, cultural and hotel areas designated in the Neighbourhood Plan.

8. The loss of the Martlets Hall live entertainment and community centre is deplored. It is unacceptable at a time when population is growing rapidly for the town to lose this venue without agreement on an adequate top quality replacement to coincide with the demolition of the Martlets Hall. This town does not wish to become a cultural desert especially with the number of younger people who will be living here.

9. A key weakness of this Planning Application is that it fails to address the issues which will arise with the increase in the population. Current road movement, traffic accident statistics etc. produced by the applicant are meaningless when assessing the future of a rapidly growing town.

10. There does not seem to be details of the Section 106 agreement attached to this application. Assuming that the MSDC guideline of £9,000 per property is correct then the Section 106 requirement for 146 extra flats should be quite substantial. The agreement should be made before any planning application is approved.

We hope this information will be useful to you when considering whether to object to the planning application.

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