Burgess Hill town centre redevelopment: Residents invited to open day

The community is invited to an open day to find out the latest on the redevelopment of Burgess Hill town centre.

Developer NewRiver is inviting residents to the open day at on Saturday, May 18. The location is yet to be confirmed.

An artist's impression of the Martlets redevelopment. Picture: NewRiver

An artist's impression of the Martlets redevelopment. Picture: NewRiver

It said the open day will be an opportunity for residents to have their questions answered.

It added that it remained ‘fully committed’ to thw £65million regeneration project and said it is is making progress with the wider development programme.

A spokesman said: “NewRiver continues to make progress with its proposals, with a permanent new home for the library now confirmed and the first phase of works to the main site commencing with demolition works beginning on Martlets Hall.

“The confirmed permanent unit was previously set to be the library’s temporary home – this is a positive outcome because it reduces the original timetable for the library transition by removing the temporary stage altogether and minimises the overall disruption for the library services.

We are committed to investing in Burgess Hill for the long term and delivering this exciting project for a revitalised, sustainable destination that will meet the future needs of the local community.

Justin Thomas, director for NewRiver

“The library facility will retain a highly convenient and prominent location in the heart of the community in a more accessible location than the formerly proposed space.

“The revisions to the proposals allow advanced discussions to continue with Hollywood Bowl in order to bring a 16-lane bowling alley to the town, which would provide a fun activity for all of the family, whilst introducing a vibrant day and evening economy.

“Hollywood Bowl will compliment the proposed line-up at the exciting retail, leisure and community destination, which includes Next, Travelodge, Nando’s, Cineworld and New Look.”

The new library building has an attractive modern glass frontage as well as extensions to the former unit to provide a library over two floors, NewRiver said.

Once open, the new library will continue to provide the full range of library services currently provided in the existing library but in an attractive newly refurbished building, said a spokesman.

The confirmed new permanent space for the library will benefit from enhanced footfall and boast additional third-party services that were not part of the previous lease that permitted only library services; one such new service is a Registrar’s office, added the spokesman.

Justin Thomas, director for NewRiver, said: “We are committed to investing in Burgess Hill for the long term and delivering this exciting project for a revitalised, sustainable destination that will meet the future needs of the local community.

“In recent months, we have been reviewing the development proposals in order to create suitable accommodation for new leisure operators who want to be a part of Burgess Hill, such as Hollywood Bowl.

“The changes being considered reflect changing market dynamics, allowing us to deliver our vision to provide an important mix of high-quality retail, leisure and community uses in the heart of the town, boost local employment and create a vibrant day-to-evening economy.

“The new permanent home for the library is in a more accessible location in the centre of the development and will be a focal point for the community.

“We would like to thank West Sussex County Council for working with us to allow us to establish a suitable permanent location for the library.”

Works to the new library building, formerly the home of Rocking Horse Antiques, are nearing completion, a spokesman for NewRiver said.

Demolition works have also begun on the main site with the first phase including the demolition of Martlets Hall, said the spokesman.

They added: “The library will remain in operation in its current location with unrestricted access throughout this time. The revisions to accommodate Hollywood Bowl require some additional changes to the consented development.”

NewRiver said it will be sharing further updates in due course.

Peter Stuart, Mid Sussex District Council’s head of corporate resources, said: “We want the town centre to become a space which provides the right amenities for its residents. 

“We are working with NewRiver to ensure that this vision is delivered. These proposed changes, which include Hollywood Bowl, will bring something new for our community.”

Louise Goldsmith, leader of the county council, also said: “We are committed to working with NewRiver and Mid Sussex District Council to regenerate Burgess Hill town centre and I am delighted that we have been able to find a new permanent home for the library in the heart of the community, helping to keep the town centre vibrant.”