A bid to allay fears that part of a major public park in Haywards Heath is to be built upon has been made this week by the town council.
Residents are concerned that a portion of the historic Beech Hurst Gardens off Butler’s Green Road could be swallowed up for housing.
They say that the land forms part of a plot earmarked for 24 homes in nearby Bolnore Road.
The gardens are home to a miniature railway, restaurant, children’s playground, bowls lawns, tennis courst, a petanques site and picnic lawn.
But a town council spokesman said: “The site in question is a proposed housing allocation in the ‘draft’ Haywards Health Neighbourhood Plan, which has been consulted upon by Mid Sussex District Council, over the last six weeks, as the Local Planning Authority.
“Mid Sussex District Council are also the landowner of the site, which includes its old depot and a green piece land adjacent to Beech Hurst Gardens.
“The town council have been guaranteed by Mid Sussex District Council that the land in question does not form part of the Beech Hurst Land Trust.
“As landowner Mid Sussex District Council promoted the site for inclusion in the Haywards Heath Plan for a 20 plus housing scheme that will be 100 per cent affordable housing, which is much needed for an ever growing population.
“There are no proposals for development on Beech Hurst Trust land as outlined in the Haywards Heath Neighbourhood Plan.”
A protest letter over the proposals has already gone to Mid Sussex District Council from a residents’ group known as ARROWW.