Council to discuss plans for former RBL building

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Demolition is one option being put forward for the former Royal British Legion (RBL) building in Burgess Hill – currently being used as a foodbank.

It is being discussed by Burgess Hill Town Council, who acquired the building in Cyprus Road with the idea that it might be developed into a community space.

The building is currently being used as storage space for the food bank and items of the council.

It came up for sale and is in the area identified as the Cultural Quarter in the town’s neighbourhood plan.

Steve Cridland, CEO of Burgess Hill Town Council, said: “Having acquired the building we decided to undertake a study to determine whether there was a need for a community space in the centre of town and if so what it might look like and whether it would be sustainable.

“It would have been too costly to repair and repairs might have been be a waste of money as we were uncertain as to whether we wanted to retain the building or use the site.

“Apart from the food bank nobody else uses the building as it is in need of refurbishment or reconstruction.

“The consultant concluded that a flexible community building with a performance space and flat floor and ancillary rooms was needed, and was affordable and sustainable.

“We have been pursuing ideas to develop the site and have appointed a consultant to undertake a feasibility study to provide a building as described. This may or may not include the Cyprus Hall next door which the council also owns.

“In order to not delay things we decided to get a council resolution to demolish the building if the consultant we have appointed agrees that the existing building cannot be used.

“I informed the food bank of this prior to the council meeting so that they were aware of the councils future plans.

“They acknowledge that the council has always had ideas for the building and that they would probably have to seek new premises at some or other stage.

“We have appointed a 12-member action team comprising six councillors and six members of the community to take the project forward.

“The consultant hopes to have done his initial plans and diagrams by the end of the year and we will then be in a position to consult with the public on our plans.”

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