'Overdevelopment' in Burgess Hill road sparks road safety fears

‘Overdevelopment’ in a Burgess Hill road has sparked road safety fears from longstanding residents.

The residents in Folders Lane said they take their lives into their hands coming out of their driveways and fear it is going to get worse as plans for more homes have emerged.

Roger Whaley and Rod Dune and other concerned residents in Folders Lane, Burgess Hill. Photo by Steve Robards

Roger Whaley and Rod Dune and other concerned residents in Folders Lane, Burgess Hill. Photo by Steve Robards

Resident Rod Dune, 76, said: “This road when I first moved here some 30 odd years ago was a nice quiet lane with good traffic control and nothing to concern us.

“But more recently, myself and my neighbours have become very concerned about the overdevelopment which seems to be taking place in Folders Lane.

“Seventy-two homes are being built on a greenfield site with one entrance and one exit. As neighbours to this locality, we know that in the 30 years we have been here the traffic increase has been tremendous and during peak hours it becomes quite congested.

“So we have 72 homes being built, coming in one entrance, and exiting one entrance, but a further application has gone in on an adjacent greenfield site for a further 42 homes, which will be using the same entrance and exit.”

Photo by Steve Robards

Photo by Steve Robards

Roger Whaley, 71, said he and other residents felt ‘let down’. “Jones Homes have not been good neighbours in so far as keeping in touch with residents and despite regular involvement with local councillors people feel totally let down,” he said.

Brian Bone, 73, said: “Jones Homes, Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council have ignored the concerns of residents.”

County councillor Anne Jones said she shared the residents’ concerns: “I am not opposed to houses being built but it is where they are built and highways safety is paramount. This will make the exit more dangerous than ever. I have been in touch with Highways officers.”

A spokesman for Jones Homes Southern said: “Work is progressing on 73 homes at Folders Grove in Burgess Hill.

“As part of the planning agreement, Jones Homes is investing more than £1,100,000 in infrastructure, including education, healthcare, libraries, sports centres, traffic calming and transport improvements. The development is also providing 22 affordable homes for local people.

“A second planning application has now been lodged for an adjoining parcel of land, following a call by Mid Sussex District Council for new sites to be included in the next Local Plan, to meet housing needs.

“The application is for full planning consent for 43 homes, accessed from a new road within the Folders Grove development.

“As part of the planning process, a statutory consultation period is currently in progress. This enables local residents to give their opinions on the plans.

“The local authority will inspect every element of the plans before making a decision on whether to grant consent. This includes highways considerations, assessing local housing need and delivery targets and any environmental impact.

“If the plans are approved, Jones Homes will make additional contributions to further support local infrastructure as deemed necessary by the local authority, and will work with the council to ensure any required road improvements or environmental measures are implemented.

“A further 13 affordable homes would also be provided for local people.”

Nick Rogers, district council business unit leader for development management, said: “This planning application is currently open for public consultation and I would encourage all interested parties to submit their views as part of the planning process.

“We understand that some local residents have concerns about the proposed development and I would like to reassure them that all the representations we receive will be taken into account by the planning committee when it meets to determine this application.”