Burgess Hill Blog

Latest Plans For Burgess Hill Town Centre Revealed!!

The torture that we go through here at Burgess Hill Uncovered to bring you the latest news….. Today we were present at the ‘Better Mid Sussex Advisory Group’ meeting at the district council chamber.

Martlerts Shopping Centre Burgess HillThis meeting was of interest as NewRiver Retail – Owners of the Martlets shopping centre – were finally making a presentation to the council revealing  how they would like to redevelop the town square.

Due to the meeting lasting over 2  hours!!! (thanks to silly discussions about species of trees, more on that another time) your  reporter’s brain is rather mashed at the moment, so here are the main highlights…

NewRiver Retail have two options for what to do in the town centre…..

Option A involves an 80,000 sqft supermarket on the site of Lidl and the surface area of the  multi-storey car park.
Burgess Hill library would be moved next to the Burgess Hill Town Council Help Point (bye bye theatre club?)
A big retail unit would then take up the space vacated by the library.

Option B involves Lidl staying where it is and a smaller 50,000sqft supermarket being built next to it. The library would not be moved.

Both plans appear to incorporate the following….
It was confirmed that Cyprus Road car park will not be used to transfer smaller retail units from the Martlets. NewRiver Retail revealed that it was the MSDC officers that said to leave the land alone.

Instead, shops are planned for Waitrose car park. An underground car park will be built as a replacement on the same site.

The big office block near Iceland will be knocked down.

A new cinema was discussed at length, one set of plans showed the entrance would be where Sussex Appliances is currently situated.  This points to many shops being relocated to Waitrose car park.

A kiosk – like a cafe – is planned for the central square outside Lidl.

There are no plans for a new civic building. NewRiver Retail will be making  the outside of the Martlets Hall look very fancy, however it is down to MSDC to make internal improvements.

Space and cost is an issue with regards to a department store coming to Burgess Hill. It is not in the immediate plans but option A and B do allow for a department store to come in the future.

Time Frame For Development

  • Deciding which option to choose  – November 2012
  • Partnership approval – November 2012
  • Development agreement – February 2013
  • Pre-let agreement – February 2013
  • Pre-application stage – March 2013
  • Public consultation – April 2013
  • Submission of plans – June 2013

Tell us what you think?
From the information above, what do you think of NewRiver Retail’s plans?
Would you be happy to have a new supermarket and a new cinema in the town centre? What do you think to lots of shops going into Waitrose car park along with a new underground parking facility?

19 Responses to “Latest Plans For Burgess Hill Town Centre Revealed!!”

  1. I prefer Option B BUT I also would refer to see the existing cinema refurbished and stay where it is. After all its an historic building and not a very long walk from the town centre, parking is handy. Anyway it won't matter what I think because the Council don't do proper consultations, do they!

  2. Much respect to BHU for the service being provided here – many thanks for your efforts

  3. Agree with Claire, option B is best and the existing cinema should be refurbished. A big name store is needed in the town, but that looks unlikely according to these plans. Hope we get the chance to have a proper consultation and the townspeople get a right to comment and be heard???? Or am I being overly optimistic!?!

  4. Yes, well done BHU.

    It does seem very unfair that the job of reporting on what the future holds for our town falls to a few upstanding citizens, and that such triffling matters as these would otherwise remain burried in the annals of council business.

    Please continue to provide the community with this invaluable insight into what is being discussed and decided upon on our behalf. It is very much appreciated.

  5. Why do we need MORE supermarkets? Good quality small shops for clothing, household, gardening, books,childrens and babies wear and local food and vegetables are what is needed. Make the rents cheaper and the parking FREE.

  6. Robert Eggleston on September 30th, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    We appear to be going backwards here. The whole deal with New River was to see improvements in public realm assets and specifically a new Arts Centre. This is no longer in the plans. It will be very interesting to see the design for the new cinema – on top of a supermarket. Will that really work in a design and functional sense and I doubt whether New River will kit it out. If it is ok and can provide affordable entertainment then we will need to think of an alternative use for The Orion because it is part of our history and should be retained. New River's market is explicitly NOT in upmarket retail so if anyone expects a Debenhams, River Island or the like you can forget it. You will get discount clothing, value retail (i.e. pound shops), hair and beauty and a few more cafes. Neither we nor the landlord has any real control over which retailer opens up in the town and and the reports suggest that high street retail is in decline. We desperately need some new thinking on town centre investment.

  7. Surely it's best to leave things as they are? Instead of building more units, maybe more companies could occupy the current empty shops (quite a few, so I've seen) by reducing the rent. "Sussex Bookshop" is available to rent for £25,000 per annum (http://www.cradick.co.uk/availableRetail.php?p=viewProperty&vId=35260) whereas Barcena/Fusion is £45,000 per annum (http://www.cradick.co.uk/availableRetail.php?p=viewProperty&vId=40967)!! According to: http://www.andrew-france.com/property_search_foun… most properties are available to rent

    Also, Sue… are Lidl, New Look, Argos, Millets, Waitrose, Blockbusters, Iceland, WHSmith, Boots, Wilkinson, Superdrug and Greggs "big name" shops?

  8. Well personally I would like to see an old fashioned market town with a thriving high street of independent shops interspersed with a few popular high street chains. A bowling alley, indoor ski slopes such as Xscapes in castleford, something different to whats available in other towns to draw customers here, If we must have a big brand in the town an Ikea on the land at the side of the porche garage would be better that repeating the same old same old with duplicate shops. We have 3 supermarkets in burgess hill all appealing to different markets and ensuring competion

  9. Supermarkets KILL retail and the smaller boys and girls can NOT compete….I live in NZ now but was born and bought up in B.Hill. The issue of planning is a very OLD chestnut and the council ALWAYS get it wrong. The 70's saw the concrete monstrosity that was the old martlets, the eighties saw the concrete being replaced with tiles and anything the resembled oldy worldy was torn away.The noughies saw everyone arguing about what a shambles the town centre is and now in the 21st century the council do not have the courtesy to go out and ASK thre public what THEY want for a change. YOU GOT IT WRONG TWICE now, council, ask the public and make it right, make it for the future not just the Current retail trends and make it for the poeple not some municipal board room dream.

  10. the theatre needs to stay and so does the library though moving th latter elsewhere shouuldnt be an issue. Do we need another major supermarket in the town NO, do we need one outside with plenty of parking YES, Morrisions please and place it near the Triangle would be ideal.

  11. I am totally confused as there was another link saying that the cinema was staying and there were plans to rejuvinate cyrpus road???!!!!

  12. I really do not see the point of these new plans as we have far too many empty shops. Bringing in larger supermarkets will not make a difference to the smaller retailers. Moving the library well I am so against that. Another thing to consider is how long will Store 21 be in Church Walk if you read the business news you will see the company is in trouble. I am all for change & moving on but not re-vamping the town in the present economic climate.

  13. Enraged resident on March 14th, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Considering the size and poulation of this town (lots of young families) the town centre is an absolute disgrace. It is ugly and has nothing but poor quality shops, far too many cafes/charity shops/estate agents/nail bars and hairdressers. Lets have some fresh local produce …….perhaps a decent market one ot two days a week, childrens shop etc. We do not need more supermarkets or large shops just small DECENT shops and FREE parking. Until then I will contiue to shop in Haywards Heath, Lewes or Horsham and B.Hill can continue to rot.

  14. Frank a Morrisons near the Triangel yes please!

  15. A big supermarket in the town centre will revive it but we need other shops. Flatten the shops on the side of store 21 all along the pedestrianized area, build backwards with a supermarket and other stores, multi level car park at the back, knock out Conservative club (we dont need that) for access to car park

    Pull out stupid metal buses and trains and cut down seating area in Church walk, add traditional general market Tuesday, Fridays and Saturdays with 50 pitches . Limit the number of charity shops, coffee shops and allow dedicate some smaller units for independent traders, lower the rents or they wont survive, make the town centre unique in style not a smaller copy of many other towns.

  16. Burgess Hill needs redevelopment with modern sized shops created that will attract the larger retailers. But retail floorspace needs to be shrunk not expanded. With fewer retailers both retailers and landlords benefit. There may be less shops but that will mean the remaining shops will do better and will be able to pay higher rents. There just isn't the trade to support numerous shops

    So I think that shops should be moved or concentrated to the centre. If you're going to have any retail floorspace on the current periphery then it should go to a shed operation. Otherwise convert the shops on the periphery to homes. That's the only realistic thing you can do. Any increase in retail floorspace will be a white elephant

  17. Has there been any news on these plans recently? I'm fairly new to Burgess Hill but I quite like the current layout of the town centre, personally I prefer it to the sprawl of Haywards Heath. Could do with a few more big name shops and definitely don't need another supermarket. A local market would be nice as it is historically a market town I believe.
    Some free parking would be a massive bonus to local businesses and more green space is always good.

  18. OH SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TRUE, it's a sh– hole now and it use to be such a lovely little town with varied shops but now it's nothing more than a passing eatery – Burgess Hill will become the fattest town in England with so many supermarkets and coffee/food outlets absolutely disgusting for a town the size of Burgess Hill now.

  19. Burgess Hill was a lovely town once with several different little shops but one by one they have all disappeared and low and behold we have now got supermarkets, coffee shops and eateries, well I guest they want Burgess Hill on the map they are certainly going that way as the majority of people will end up being so overweight………

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