LETTER: What authority does a plan have?

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Recently Burgess Hill Town Council Planning Committee agreed a proposal to re-locate the important Lidl supermarket out of the town centre.

In doing this, both the town centre retail provision is weakened and a large popular supermarket is sited over half a mile away into a residential area.

Two months ago Burgess Hill Neighbourhood Plan, which gives a detailed vision for the development of the town over the next 16 years, was agreed through a referendum. Some details relevant to the above proposal are:-

- page 31. A core objective is to “promote the vitality and vibrancy of Burgess Hill Town Centre...”

- page 35. Of the retail quarter it says “the existing retail offer will be maintained and enhanced in this area...” and “new developments supported in this area include food retail...”

- page 14. The Gas Holder site on Leylands Road is committed for 58 houses.

Instances may arise when the Neighbourhood Plan can be superseded, but surely not without careful explanation of the reasons and benefits? If the town council don’t take the Plan seriously, how can developers be expected to?

David Henwood

Oakwood Road, Burgess Hill

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