Councillors suggest inappropriate development possibilities for land next to Triangle Leisure Centre
There is a 1.28 hectare plot of land available for development on the same site as the Triangle Leisure Centre.
Previously a DIY store was being earmarked for the site when Thornfield Properties were in the driving seat for regenerating the town. Thankfully the council were against that idea and Thornfield Properties went bust anyway and all plans for Burgess Hill were dashed.
On January 5th 2011, The Mid Sussex Better Lives Advisory group met to discuss plans for the land.
The majority of the panel are not from the town.
It's safe to say that Burgess Hill is rather limited for leisure pursuits for all the family. The logical proposal for the land would be for the installation of a Ten Pin Bowling Complex or a Multi-Screen Cinema. Both of these venues would provide entertainment for a wide range of ages.
The minutes from the meeting included the following line -
"Residents appear to prefer that the site be used for ten pin bowling and strongly disagreed with it being developed fo retail use"
However, one councillor suggested the land ' could be used to address the need for bowling greens in the town'
What! Where is the need for more bowling greens? We already have Burgess Hill Bowls club. Bowls is an activity mainly enjoyed by older people. What about the younger generation?????
Oh wait, the same councillor also said... 'part of the site could be managed as a graffiti wall'
What a brilliant idea, the majority of young people just love to go out and spraypaint the town don't they?
Another councillor suggested 'crazy golf' - pointless really, Beech Hurst Gardens will be introducing crazy golf to replace the pitch and putt (as I type this a pig just flew over the BHU offices)
A climbing wall, Ice Rink and Indoor Tennis were also discussed.
The Niche Market
'Members suggested that there might be more niche markets that might bring people to Burgess Hill from further afield. Potential uses suggested were a BMX facility, a velodrome for cycling, an artificial skiing facility or a wave generator for indoor surfing'
Why the need to bring people in from outside Burgess Hill? Local residents should be the priority. Why is a niche installation better than something to appeal to the majority?
Burgess Hill is not blessed with lots of free land, so why waste it on something with minor appeal when we don't have enough leisure facilities for the local residents?
The Waiting Game
The panel appear to favour the option of doing nothing with the land for now and to wait until the future of the town centre has been worked out. The council don't want to build a cinema or bowling facility next to the Triangle when a space may open up in the town centre.
Readers, we all know what the town centre looks like, unless some serious bulldozing takes place, we are not going to see a new cinema or bowling complex in the town centre.
Additionally, the consultation with Thornfield properties took years and that all came to nothing. It could be a good 5-10 years until the future of the town centre is worked out.
The land at the Triangle is free now. Why not use it?
Don't expect a decision any time soon. When it does come, it's worrying to think that the District Council 'Cabinet' will have the final say. A small amount of 'mature' people deciding what they think is best for the people of Burgess Hill, a town in which many cabinet members don't even live!
Its issues like this that make the Burgess Hill Uncovered team want to run for local council ourselves
Attention Councillors - Would you like to explain to the BHU readers why this process is so clearly flawed? Why are the best interests of the local residents not the priority? Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
Reader Feedback Wanted - What do you think to the ideas being floated about for the site? What would you like to see built, and do you think its right for councillors outside of Burgess Hill to have a large say in the final decision?
Please comment below: