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Bugress Hill Action Group

Full Audio Recording: The Burgess Hill Action Group Public Meeting Featuring Town Council Leader Andrew Barrett-Miles

2nd October 2012
By Peter Chapman

On Monday 1st of October 2012 it was standing room only at the Sheldrake Suite in the Martlets Hall building as local residents came to hear from Andrew Barrett-Miles and the Burgess Hill Action Group regarding the proposed 6000+ new homes for Burgess Hill .

A cracking hour-long question and answer session with the panel followed the speeches.
Let's just say that things got a little heated!

Burgess Hill Council RecordingsCaptured on tape!

Once again Burgess Hill Uncovered took their highly expensive audio recorder along and captured the entire meeting to ensure that all claims by Andrew Barrett-Miles were documented.

The 6,000 Homes For Burgess Hill - Full Audio Recording

Length - 1hr 24 minutes Size - 38mb Direct Download (right click the link and 'save as')

Meeting MinutesThe Burgess Hill Uncovered compiled 'Minutes' from the meeting

00:00:01 Chairman Harry Lloyd-Owen opens the meeting and introduces the members of the panel:
Andrew Barrett-Miles - Leader of Burgess Hill Town Council.
Justin French-Brooks - Chairman of the Mid-Sussex division of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
Kevin Hudson - Spokesperson for the Burgess Hill Action Group.

Andrew Barrett-Miles' speech

00:13:00 Justin French-Brooks speech

00:22:43 Kevin Hudson' speech.

00:27:10 Downlands pupil Holly speaks about what the development means from a young persons perspective. Cracking!

burgess hill action group public meeting

The Q and A session

00:31:07 Barry Mills questions if the houses built are going to be carbon neutral as they should be by 2016. He says this development will be a scar on Burgess Hill and will go down in the history books. He wants to know why we're letting the councillors go through this on our behalf.

00:33:17 Robert Eggleston highlights that vaster numbers of houses will be needed in the future beyond the current figure and wonders if another alternative in the region is available. Robert asks how much of the £40 million will be left after paying for roads and new schools. Andrew Barrett-Miles claims that in total we'll be getting £80 million and that there will be £40 million after the schools and roads etc are paid for.

00:42:40 Chris French - Chairman of UKIP Mid Sussex, says he is embarrassed by the public consultation. He highlights a letter sent by Andrew Barrett-Miles to the Green Circle Network which tells them to either agree with the town-wide strategy or to risk getting no money to complete the green circle. During the answer (@46:50) Barrett-Miles seems to gets narked and says "You don't know what we believe in, so be careful" A threat? People in the room seemed to think so.

00:47:24 Karen George asks Andrew Barrett-Miles if he has any cast iron guarantees from Mid Sussex District Council that all money from the developers will actually be spent on Burgess Hill? He says 100% will be spent in the Burgess Hill area.

00:48:40 Andy Genders want to know why the council can't stop the developers when they managed to stop development at the land at the Triangle. Andy reminds the room that a waste incinerator is on the horizon for the local area.

00:51:57 Barbara Woods is worried about Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath merging, thus creating a small city. She blames indecision from the District Council over a number of years for the mess it now finds itself in.

00:55:32 Lib Dem County Councillor Sue Knight makes some very good points, essentially saying that MSDC could stop some of the development locally if they wanted to. "District Councillors can and do decide where they want to a development" Sue also says that the District Council needs more planning officers to tackle the issues.

Carol Lambert says the Burgess Hill Action Group and the C.P.R.E have a bit more of the 'Dunkirk spirit' about them compared to our local councils. Carol ask why the three layers of local government won't stand up and speak out collectively for the views of the people that development is not wanted

01:03:48 District Councillor Graham Knight points out to the room the committee that Andrew Barrett-Miles is chairman of at the District Council Scrutiny Committee for Planning and Economic Development. Graham says that MSDC have not have a strategic plan for building new houses across the district for a number of year and if they did then we wouldn't be where we are at now.

01:08:15 Cllr Anne Jones speaks to moan about the West Sussex highways department.

01:12:21 Dave Rogers is worried that Burgess Hill may go the same way as Bolnore village and will not get the amenities that it needs and is also worried that our council are not up to the job of overseeing such a big project. He would also like to know if normal members of the public are allowed to be officially involved during council progress meetings to ensure that fairplay takes place regarding the proposed developments.

01:16:50 Local resident Doug Penfold says you only get the councilors that you deserve. So if you don't come out and vote, you don't get the policies and the people that you want. Doug says only one man from the green circle was apposing the town-wide strategy. Doug would like to know why money is being spent on Ditchling common when it's located in East Sussex. He points out that East Sussex wouldn't spend money in West Sussex and in fact, East Sussex are trying to dump houses on us!

01:18:50 Lib Dem member Roger Cartwright blames the district council for not having any form of strategy and wants to know why the likes of Haywards Heath and East Grinstead aren't taking any significant number of homes.

01:19:45 A mysterious individual named Peter Chapman makes an outrageous claim that town councillors have been told to only sell the benefits of the town development and not to speak against it. Andrew Barrett-Miles, Cllr Anne Jones and Cllr Steve Hansford all rubbish his claim. Mr Chapman fired back at them and was later backed up by Robert Eggleston who confirmed that it was true! How do you like them apples Andrew, Anne and Steve!

01:21:50 A woman wants to know if the water and sewage are going to be sorted before any more houses are built.

01:22:20 Barry Mills says that what the public want is different from what we are being told that we want. He wants to know if there is corruption taking place!

01:22:58 Clive wants to know what is the action from the Burgess Hill Action Group. What are we going to do?


NOTE: This write-up is a work in progress. If any names or details are wrong, please contact us

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Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below.....
Did you attend the meeting? What did you think? Can Andrew Barrett-Miles be trusted? Why is it that the original housing figure for Mid-Sussex has been reduced but Burgess Hill is still taking their original quota? Is the Haywards Heath bias on the district council cabinet to blame?

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