Work is underway to create the new Waitrose at Haywards Heath Station Quarter.
Demolition work has started as part of the £35 million regeneration project by Solum Regeneration, a partnership between Network Rail and Kier, working with Southern and Waitrose.
“The regeneration of the station quarter will be a boost for Haywards Heath”Councillor Garry Wall, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council
The project will deliver: An improved integrated transport hub at the station, a ‘radically enhanced public realm’ around the station, improved pick up and drop off facilities, more station car parking, a direct link from the car park to platforms, and a new Waitrose with its own parking.
The start of the demolition work on Chelwood House was attended by councillors Garry Wall, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council,Jonathan Ash-Edwards, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and service delivery and Gary Marsh, cabinet member for economic development and property.
Mr Wall said:“The regeneration of the station quarter will be a boost for Haywards Heath and this investment is a real vote of confidence in the town.
“This new gateway will improve shopping opportunities for local residents and commuters, provide 200 new jobs and enhance visitors’ first impression of the area. I want to see this new station quarter up and running as soon as possible”.
Mr Marsh said:“It’s great to have the chance to visit the development site and see all the excellent work that’s taking place.
“Local residents are understandably excited about the station improvements and the arrival of Waitrose in Haywards Heath so it’s really encouraging that work on this project is now progressing so quickly.”
Simon Rutter, director of Solum Regeneration, said:“Residents have been waiting for over 30 years for something to happen here and have been hugely supportive of our plans. The regeneration around the station will benefit all station users and dramatically improve the look and feel of the surrounding area”.
Julie Boyle, project manager at Southern, said the operator will ensure any changes affecting passengers will be communicated in good time.
“We appreciate that station users are currently being inconvenienced by works taking place in the development,” he said. “We are working to reduce the impact and we are providing additional staff during this time to assist customers”.
Nigel Keen, Waitrose Director of Development, said the investment represents its confidence in the town.
Work is due to finish before Christmas next year.
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