Developer postpones plans to close major Haywards Heath route

Proposed site of new roundabout at junction of Balcombe Road, Borde Hill Lane and Hanlye Lane (photo from Google Maps Street View)
Proposed site of new roundabout at junction of Balcombe Road, Borde Hill Lane and Hanlye Lane (photo from Google Maps Street View)

A developer has postponed its plans to close a major Haywards Heath route.

In November last year, we reported that developer Redrow wanted to close Balcombe Road, Borde Hill Lane and Hanlye Lane for three months for road improvements as part of the Penlands Green development.

The news came as a huge blow to a group of small businesses at Borde Hill Garden, which said it would have a ‘devastating’ effect.

Read our story here: Major Haywards Heath route closure will be ‘devastating’ says business owners

However Redrow has now confirmed it will be withdrawing its road closure application and will instead pursue the closure for the summer of 2020.

Mark Becker, technical director for Redrow South East, said: “Following our advanced notification in October 2018 and the subsequent application for road closures at Balcombe Road, Hanlye Lane and Borde Hill Lane, Redrow has been in regular discussions with local members and officers at Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council to find a way to reduce disruption to local residents and businesses as much as possible.

“In response to the concerns that have been raised, we will be withdrawing the current road closure application and will pursue the road closure for the summer of 2020.

“This will allow for the safety improvement works on London Lane, Cuckfield, to be completed this summer and provide additional time for investigation and discussion on how disruption to the wider community can be minimised while the works are undertaken.

“We will continue to keep the local community updated on our plans.”

The news has been welcomed by county councillor Pete Bradbury, who previously said the closure was ‘unacceptable’.

He said: “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to find a way forward. This welcome decision gives much more time to enable businesses and residents to plan for what will inevitably be a period of significant disruption.

“We will continue to work with all parties to seek ways to minimise inconvenience. I’m grateful that Redrow has listened to concerns and reacted in a way which shows a very positive approach to community relations.”

Outline permission for 210 homes at Penland Farm was granted on appeal by a planning inspector back in January 2015.

Final details of the housing scheme were then approved by Mid Sussex District Council in December 2016.

Plans included a new roundabout at the junction of Balcombe Road, Borde Hill Lane and Hanlye Lane.