Letter: Magic wand needed for redevelopment programme

editorial image

Last week the council gave an ‘exclusive’ about the Burgess Hill redevelopment programme.

It claimed an investment of £1bn, but sounded more like a sales pitch looking for investors.

The plan includes the development of 5,000 houses, but the Tories’ failure to adopt a District Plan means we have lost millions in developer contributions.

This then gives an effective sweetener discount to the developers. Some sweet!

The sales pitch glosses over some inherent problems:

- we are building pitifully few truly affordable homes or social housing for those who need care or cannot afford the high rents;

- the loss of the developer contributions means we are going to get short changed on public investment;

- already overstretched health services, social services and schools will struggle to cope even further;

- we are told that the road into Burgess Hill will be ‘dualled’: this is great news, but the roads out of the town are already over-congested, and this will make the through traffic worse;

- parking facilities in the town are already stretched: the new centre needs more parking spaces, many more if the 10 screen cinema is to become viable, but the current plan actually reduces the parking spaces - just more cheese paring.

So I hope the council has budgeted for a magic wand in their programme plans – to solve these problems they will certainly need one.

Roger Cartwright

Keymer Road, Burgess Hill