LETTER: Burgess Hill development answers needed

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I recently attended the public exhibition relating to the ‘proposed’ development of land adjoining The Croft, Kings Way, Burgess Hill.

This, as some will know is the second phase of the development which will add another 64 houses to the 480 which have already been started with a grand total of 544.

The representative from the developers agreed that when completed, at the end of Kingsway and adjacent to a notorious bend in the road we shall have circa: an extra 2,500 residents, 1,000 + children and 1,000 + cars.

I, and many others there studied the plans and asked a number of questions relative to the increase in residents and the vast increase and strain on Public Services. The main four as follows:

Where is the new Medical Centre/Doctor’s Surgery to be sited? Answer: This nothing to do with us. This is the responsibility of the Local Council and the Health Authority and they did not think that there would be a need for a new Medical Centre/Doctor’s Surgery.

There appears to be no allowance for additional schooling? Answer: This is the responsibility of the local council.

How do you propose to deal with the additional number of cars and traffic flow bearing in mind the present, near chaotic situation in Cants Lane and Junction Road? Answer: We are giving the local council £3.5 million pounds to cover the cost of ‘improvements’ to the road system.

What is the proposed system and what are these ‘improvements’? Answer: This has been agreed with the Local Council in conjunction with the Highways Authority. No further information other than 40 parking bays to be allocated in Cants Lane.

Now, I do not think that any of these questions are unreasonable but clearly the developers have washed their hands and walked away from these issues which are vital to the existing residents and future residents, who buy these homes. It must therefore revert to the Local Council to have complete (as they say in Politics) ‘transparency’ in the plans, their approval, and the implementation of the necessary services for this major development which will have a huge impact on the whole of the East side of Burgess Hill.

At present, it appears that the residents have been left completely in the dark. Obviously, deals have been done in the forlorn hope that the developer is to provide a much improved lifestyle for those fortunate enough to reside in the vicinity of this development. However, we all know that this will not be the case. And, what is worse is that the problem becomes even more intense when, on the opposite side of the road yet another 6/700 houses are due to be constructed!

In amongst other things, what disappointed me most was that at this public exhibition, there was not one Local councillor to be seen. So, where were they? Was it not just two months ago that they were pleading for our support to be elected to represent us. Well, the boot is on the other foot now and we must demand that they fulfil their obligations to the Council Tax Payers of Burgess Hill. There was a complete air of arrogance at this showpiece and one which almost portrayed to us the feeling of ‘how dare you little people have the audacity to even question what we intend to do especially as we are giving £3.5 million pounds to Burgess Hill to improve your Town’.

This parcel of land was always going to be ripe for development and no one would wish to stand in the way of progress, subject to the reasonable additions to the infrastructure. But not a brick should be laid until the questions that have been raised have been thoroughly investigated and made public so that the residents can be aware of what has/is to be decided and have some form of input.

Through the medium of this newspaper, perhaps just one local councillor could set out in detail just what has been agreed in relation to the road ‘improvements’ , schooling and medical care because at present what is proposed, is a well-kept secret. So come on Burgess Hill Town Council, show us the transparency that we deserve. Let us know exactly what is going on.

Chris Simms

Rosebarn Close, Burgess Hill

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