Detailed plans for the Northern Arc site in Burgess Hill have been agreed by cabinet members.
The masterplan by Homes England, which took control of the strategic site north of Burgess Hill in July, for up to 3,500 new homes to be built, was agreed by cabinet members on Monday.
It was welcomed by councillors at a full council meeting last night.
Here is how we broke the news: 'Masterplan' for Northern Arc in Burgess Hill welcomed by full council
Homes England worked closely with Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council in delivering the masterplan.
Details were exclusively revealed to the Middy this week. Garry Wall, leader of the district council, described the news as a ‘big success’. “This is what people haven’t seen before – it is reassuring,” he said.
“In terms of me personally, for someone who has led this council through a challenging period, to see these plans come to fruition, and to make sense, is a culmination of all that work.
“It makes me very proud of what this council has done and very proud of what we are trying to achieve for people who live here now, for people who live here in the future, and for people who want to live here, and want to make Mid Sussex their home.”
The site is allocated in the District Plan, but bringing it forward had been made complex by land being in a number of different ownerships.
As the landowner for the whole site, Homes England will be able to speed up the rate at which new homes are built and also invest in infrastructure such as new roads up front.
The key features described in the masterplan include the provision of approximately 3,500 new homes, two primary schools, a secondary school, three mixed-use neighbourhood centres, a centre for community sports and health provision.
Homes England say the Northern Arc will make a ‘significant contribution’ to delivering the district council’s vision for the wider district as a ‘thriving and attractive, desirable place to live, work and visit’.
Mr Wall said planning applications will now follow, aligned to the masterplan. “This, along with the college site, are two strong components, reassuring people that there is a plan,” he added.
“This is a council doing a very good job at a time where it has been very challenging for local authorities and we are now seeing the fruits of our labour.”
The Northern Arc will combine the ‘best of the town and country to offer vibrant local centres, excellent community facilities and well-designed residential neighbourhoods’, Homes England says.
Set within a ‘highly attractive’ landscape of existing mature woodlands, river valleys and extensive natural areas, it will provide a ‘great place to live, work and visit’.
Thirty per cent of the new homes will be affordable and full-fibre high-speed broadband will be put in from the outset. There will also be employment opportunities.
Mr Wall said: “Mid Sussex is a great place to live and work, a great place to play and a great place to invest.
"We are not just building housing, we are building homes, we are looking at infrastructure, digital infrastructure, and we are looking at education, so people can move into Mid Sussex with the knowledge that all those aspects of how they live their lives are covered by our planning.
“Those building blocks have all started to sort of sit together and it now makes sense, and it makes sense for me who has been involved in this since day one and I now want it to make sense for the people who live in Mid Sussex.
“This is fundamental to the housing challenges that Mid Sussex has had, and the Haywards Heath college has also been the forefront of people’s thinking since the day it closed, so these are two areas the council has been working very hard on. Both are part of the continued economic development work of the council.”
Following approval of the masterplan, the next steps for the Northern Arc development will be various outline and full planning applications being submitted.