Four blocks of flats in Haywards Heath given thumbs up

Redevelopment in Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath
Redevelopment in Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath

Plans for four seven-storey blocks of flats in Haywards Heath have been approved by Mid Sussex District Council.

The 145 flats – including 44 classed as affordable – will be built in Perrymount Road, where numbers 37-55 have already been mostly demolished.

Redevelopment in Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath

Redevelopment in Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath

The council gave outline permission for the plans last year, which include more than 1,200sqm of A2 class commercial floor space on the ground floor.

The A2 class covers financial and professional services such as banks and estate agencies, though that could be changed with future planning permission.

Members of the planning committee were told on Tuesday that the flats would all be built to rent and there would be space for 76 cars.

There was unanimous approval for the scheme, with Dick Sweatman (Con, East Grinstead – Herontye) describing the rent rather than buy decision as ‘a good point’.

He added: “The fact that it’s in close proximity to all the services – railway station and shops – so it’s an ideal location, ticks all the boxes as far as I’m concerned.”

The council only received three letters objecting to the plans – unusual for such a large development.

Parking was one of the main points raised, with the 76 spaces described as ‘unacceptably inadequate’ for the 145 homes.

There were also concerns that the buildings would be ‘overly dominant’, with calls to reduce them to six storeys – even though the applicants had already reduced one of the blocks from eight storeys to seven.

Stephen Andrews, of Broadway Malyan architects, said he hoped the buildings would ‘further enhance the local area for the benefit of local residents, commuters and local businesses’.

There was only one minor quibble from Pru Moore (Con, Burgess Hill – Leylands) – the colour of the bricks.

She said: “It’s very brown isn’t it? I wish we could get off brown.”

When it was pointed out that bricks tended to be brown, she added: “But there are different shades of brown and some are more attractive than others.

“But we seem to be fixated on this type, so it will blend in beautifully with all the other brown bits around it, I suppose.”