Block of Haywards Heath flats next to railway line approved
Plans to build a seven-storey block of 54 flats in Haywards Heath have been given the nod by Mid Sussex District Council.
The application, which will see Maxwelton House, in Boltro Road, demolished, was approved at a meeting of the planning committee on Thursday (April 15).
The council received 40 letters of objection to the plans, with parking being top of the list of concerns.
Only 28 spaces will be provided – fewer than is recommended under the county council’s parking standards. Nine of the spaces will be charging points for electric cars and there will be space for 78 bicycles.
The low number of spaces means some people will have to park elsewhere – a fact which did not sit well with neighbours.
Robert Wild, of Boltro Road, pointed out that there were only 12 unrestricted spaces along that road, with the rest subject to a one-hour restriction Monday to Saturday.
He added: “There’s very high demand for the unrestricted space. You often have to circle to park or use Muster Green or Paddockhall Road.”
Councillors, though, were largely happy with the situation, with some suggesting that many new residents would not have cars as the flats would be so close to the railway station.
Clive Laband (Con, Haywards Heath – Heath) said there was evidence that people had been attracted to other developments in the town despite the lack of parking.
He added: “We don’t want to actually encourage more car ownership in our towns. We want to actually see a sustainable development with cycle parking, electronic cars – and this is a great location.”
Councillors did have concerns about the size and design of the new building, which will have a lower ground floor and under croft, while the top two storeys will be set back from the rest.
Rex Whittaker (Con, East Grinstead – Imberhorne) was worried it would be ‘extraordinarily large’, while Richard Bates (Lib Dem, Haywards Heath – Ashenground) didn’t think the development was good enough to approve.
Approve it they did, though, by 10 votes to zero with one abstention.
Chairman Robert Salisbury said: “We’re going to see a lot more slightly taller buildings.
“I think it’s good that we’ve contained it to this sort of height and we’re not ending up with a London or a Manchester and we reflect the market town that Haywards Heath is.”
The development will be made up of 11 one-bedroom and 26 two-bedroom flats for market housing, with 10 two-bedroom and seven one-bedroom flats classed as affordable.
Applicant Maxwelton House Property Co Ltd has until July 15 to sign a S106 agreement which will include £186,945 of contributions to education, libraries and transport.