Council shows support for ‘first phase’ of Northern Arc development

Outline plan for land south of Freeks Farm, in Freeks Lane.   Photo courtesy of Rydon Homes via the Mid Sussex District Council website.
Outline plan for land south of Freeks Farm, in Freeks Lane. Photo courtesy of Rydon Homes via the Mid Sussex District Council website.

Councillors have issued their support for the ‘first phase’ of the Northern Arc development after developers agreed to amend their application.

Burgess Hill Town Council discussed plans for 130 new homes on land south of Freek’s Farm, in Freeks Lane, at the council’s planning meeting yesterday evening, October 10.

The Northern Arc strategic site. Photo courtesy of Rydon Homes via the Mid Sussex District Council website.

The Northern Arc strategic site. Photo courtesy of Rydon Homes via the Mid Sussex District Council website.

The application has been put forward by Rydon Homes and will also see public open space, recreation areas, play areas and associated infrastructure created.

Despite expectation for a large crowd only five members of the public turned up to the meeting.

Speaking after Pru Moore, councillor for Leylands, told the Mid Sussex Times a private meeting had been held the Friday before (October 7).

At that meeting local councillors along with members of residents groups and the church brought forward issues raised by locals.

“We met and brought residents concerns to the developers who agreed to make a lot of changes to their planning application which has gone a long way to resolving some burning issues residents had,” she said.

One of the main concerns raised was the loss of the current play area. It was due to be demolished and rebuilt inside the new development as access was created from Maple Drive.

Mrs Moore said: “The access road was designed to go straight through the middle of the children’s playground so the developers have agreed to move the access road to the east which will allow the playground to stay where it is now.

“If we move it to the east we will go through the little kick about area they have got but we will leave the children’s play area untouched.

“Residents were rightfully getting upset at the playground being moved back out of site. You don’t have a playground that is not visible from all angles because of police issues.”

The play area will be refurbished and improved to cater for a wider age group.

It is due to be closed for six months while the new road is created and Mrs Moore called for the developers along with the town council to work with young people during this time to find out what they would like to see in the new and improved play area.

The development has been labelled the first phase of the Northern Arc East development, which is part of a bigger scheme aiming to bring up to 3,500 homes to the town.

The Northern Arc strategic site stretches from land near Goddards Green Water Treatment Works (WTW) in the west, to the edge of the Bedelands Nature Reserve in the east.

It has been identified as an area for development in the emerging Mid Sussex District plan, which is due to be finalised later this year.

Residents had also raised concerns about traffic coming into Maple Drive from the new development and further traffic which would be created by the emerging Norther Arc plan.

Mrs Moore said the developers had agreed that different access points would be created for further North Arc developments and the Maple Drive access would only be used by those moving into the Freek’s Farm development.

“The thought of 500 vehicles coming into Maple Drive is unacceptable but 130 is acceptable,” she said.

“One of the other big issues, as it is obliviously a residential area, it has been asked that West Sussex Highways will put a 20mph speed limit in Maple Drive.”

She added the developers were also looking at using Fairbrdige Way, at the Household Waste Recycling site, as access for construction vehicles to limit the impact on Maple Drive.

“The council has always supported the Northern Arc development and this is the first phase of it,” she said.

“I don’t think there is a ton of Nimbyism here because everyone knows we need these houses.

“They have been very cooperative. Hopefully the final product will reflect the conversation we have had.”

What do you think? Send your views to middy.news@jpress.co.uk

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.