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Strategic Vision for Burgess Hill

Church Walk, Burgess Hill

Burgess Hill Town Council is committed to taking a lead role in the future development of the town and its economy to make it an even better place in which to live, work and invest.

The Vision for Burgess Hill
Working with its partners - the local planning authority of Mid Sussex District Council, West Sussex County Council and other local organisations - as well as you, the local community, the Town Council has been creating a vision for the town which inspires and can ultimately be delivered.

Over the past few years, the Town Council has identified, through extensive local consultation, a number of key objectives that will help make the town an even better place.

These include:
- A revitalised town centre
- New economic investment in the town
- Improved and additional services and facilities in the town - such as new schools, better/more open space, modern and frequent public transport and a network of community facilities.

Despite the recent downturn in the economy, which has seen the District Council’s town centre developer partner Thornfield Properties go into administration and a number of public sector funding streams potentially drying up, the Town Council is still fully committed to delivering its objectives and fulfilling its vision for the town.

Achieving the Vision
The Town Council and its partners at Mid Sussex District Council are in the process of seeking new investment in the town centre in order to realize the ambitions of the local residents, businesses and the adopted Town Centre Masterplan.

Whilst the town centre is one important objective, economic investment as well as new facilities to cover existing deficiencies and provide improved services in the wider town is seen as just as important.

However, this new infrastructure will not come cheap and the Government’s recent public spending cuts are likely to mean that funding towards new services and facilities in the town will be extremely limited. Despite the likely cuts, these improvements could still be delivered if combined with new residential development in the town.

Has new housing brought benefits to Burgess Hill before?
Burgess Hill has a proven track record of securing benefits this way. In the 1990’s the Triangle Leisure Centre, the A2300 link road, Jane Murray Way, the Green Crescent, the extension to the Victoria Business Park, a new secondary school and a local centre - all of which are vital to the town today - were all achieved through the development of housing to the west of the town in the last twenty years.

This development also provided much needed family housing to help support the economy in Burgess Hill today. Therefore, there is a case to encourage further new housing development in Burgess Hill to:
- Create a larger population to support
the town’s shops and businesses
- Provide the type of housing, both private and affordable, that the town needs
- Pay for new and improved services
and facilities in the town.

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What potential ‘town benefits’ could we get this time around?
Additional new housing in the town could, once again, help fund new services and facilities such as:
- A new Centre of Community Sports
- A new business park on the A2300, providing more local jobs
- Improved education facilities
- Affordable housing
- Further develop the Green Circle Network
- Public realm improvements to the town centre acting as a catalyst for future
inward investment
- New Civic Centre facilities
- Modern rapid public transport
- Better linkages and connections to
the town centre
- Improvements to east-west
travel movements
- Better station interchanges
potentially including a new car-park
at Wivelsfield Station
- A link between York Road, Victoria Road and Queen Elizabeth Avenue
- New, high quality open space in neighbourhoods that are currently deficient
- Enhanced management of Ditchling Common Country Park
- Improved recreational/community facilities on the east side of town
- Additional community facilities

What is being done to understand how many new homes will be needed to deliver these benefits?
Now is the opportunity to work out what housing we need locally. Failure to assess and plan for local need could result in:
- Delays in house building with knock on impacts for the delivery of the town benefits
- Interim, unplanned and piecemeal housing development that does not help achieve or deliver these benefits or the overall vision for the area.

The Town Council is keen to push ahead to deliver a better Burgess Hill that ensures that this future and necessary housing growth in the town:
- Is located in the right places
- Is of a scale that can really deliver the wider community benefits
- Does not just comprise isolated pocket developments, but instead fully integrated communities.

What next?
Burgess Hill Town Council is currently working with Mid Sussex District Council, West Sussex County Council and a number of stakeholders to examine the feasibility of achieving the town benefits. In particular, this work will explore:
- The number of new homes needed to fund the town benefits
- Where this housing could/ should go
- How everything could fit together to create a coordinated Town Wide Strategy for Burgess Hill.

Once this work has been undertaken it will be over to you to comment on and help refine the proposals through a series of public exhibitions to be held in the town (locations to be announced). These exhibitions will be held early in the new year and will enable you to meet key members of the Town Council and discuss the strategy further. In essence, help us help you to create a better Burgess Hill.