Revised £65million regeneration plans for Burgess Hill town centre have formally been submitted to the council.
NewRiver’s first application to transform the Martlets Shopping Centre was approved by Mid Sussex District Council back in 2016.
But the plans have been revised to include increased space for commercial leisure such as bowling, a revised layout of the library to accommodate a changing places toilet, a reduction and reconfiguration of some of the retail units to allow more units for independent retailers and an increased amount of residential units.
The scheme is split into two blocks. The first includes 170 flats, new and refurbished retail units, a 16-lane bowling alley, gym, 89-bed hotel, serviced offices and undercroft parking.
The second block is for a ten-screen multiplex cinema, and retail units.
The existing Waitrose car park to the south of the site will be extended and a large central public space would be created.
Plans for the temporary library to become a permanent location have already been approved.
Justin Thomas, director at NewRiver, said: “We are really pleased to have submitted this application to the local authority, demonstrating our commitment to this exciting project. The revised plans help ensure that we can deliver a retail and leisure destination for the Burgess Hill community that it relevant and sustainable for the long-term in response to changing market dynamics.
“Over the past few months we have worked closely with the local community to ensure that these proposals benefit all and create a town centre that everyone can be proud of. We are especially delighted that we have been able to include a number of suggestions from local residents.
“We remain committed to working closely with the community as these plans reach the next phase, and look forward to delivering this exciting step-change for Burgess Hill town centre.”
The planning application’s submission follows two open days, with feedback helping to shape the final proposals.
The new Lidl store opened in Leylands Road back in August, freeing up its former home for redevelopment.
Several letters from residents have already been received by the council, with several raising concerns about the height of the block of apartments,
One objector said: “I believe it is totally unnecessary to build a tower block, it certainly has nothing to do with enhancing Burgess Hill.”
Another wrote: “How has the developer justified building 170 residential units with only 72 residential parking spaces? This lack of provision is going cause parking issues in the general vicinity.”
But several respondents just wanted something built in the town.
One said: “Please build something the town is on its knees.”
Another added: “The town is dying on it’s feet with the delays over rebuilding and retailers are likely to exit if this continues (many having already done so).
“The local population needs something to keep Burgess Hill alive and friendly.”
In its submission Burgess Hill Town Council has raised many of the same points about the height of the block of flats, lack of parking and also raised concerns about the lack of section 106 developer contributions.
To comment on the application visit www.midsussex.gov.uk/planning using code DM/19/3331.