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martlets shopping centre Market Place Shopping Centre Slam Martlets Shopping Centre Proposals In Damning Letter To District Council

1st February 2016
By Peter Chapman

The proposed redevelopment of the Martlets Shopping Centre has hit a significant stumbling block in the form of The Market Place Shopping Centre.

The application by NewRiver Retail was submitted back in October, but only in January have the neighbouring shopping centre come forward with their objections. It's a very long list with solid points.

The author of the letter sent to MSDC is Alison Bembenek, senior planner at Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners. It was on behalf of LaSalle Investment Management, owners of the Market Place Shopping Centre.

You can download the 7-page letter here:
Lasalle Letter To MSDC Planning Department .pdf - you really should!

The main points of objection are:

1. An alternative design solution is needed as the scheme is not currently acceptable.

2. Market Place are disappointed that they've not been called to any meetings with MSDC and NewRiver Retail to discuss the plans.

3. The proposed Cinema building will completely block off access to the western entrance of the Market Place Shopping Centre (by Iceland and Boomerang Barbers) and will disrupt the mandatory retail circuit,

4.The design of the Martlets is a standalone destination, turning its back on the rest of the town centre.

5. Deep concern that there has been little consideration to the movement between the scheme and the rest of the town centre. It should have been a key design consideration and has not been afforded the appropriate weight.

6. It is noted that both the District Council's Urban Designer and the Design Review Panel have raised concerns which have been played down by the applicant.

7. Objection to the reduction of 62 parking spaces in the town centre due to the demolition of the multi-storey car park, which is only to be replaced with a smaller surface level car park right next to the existing Waitrose car park. With the new centre sure to attract extra visitors and Burgess Hill's own population set to swell, there will be insufficient parking to cope with demand.

8. Dwell time is set to increase with the proposed addition of a cinema and restaurants, it means that shoppers at Waitrose could struggle to get a space.

9. The existing Waitrose car park will be the sole entrance for both car parks. The same exit will also be shared, which is currently 'turn left only' onto Civic Way. This proposed arrangement will not work given the expected level of usage.

10. Market Place's own transport consultants take considerable issue with NewRiver Retail's transport figures. They believe the transport assessment grossly under-estimates the future increase in traffic along with a lack of mitigation measures to render the scheme acceptable in transport terms.


It is quite clear that there's many issues to thrash out. It could lead to a significant delay in the application reaching the District Council's planning committee in order for a final decision to be made.

If the 'Retail Circuit' is a solid legal requirement, with the western entrance of the Market Place required to remain open, then it would cause NewRiver Retail to majorly reassess their plans.

There seems no obvious way that they could rejig the cinema building and retain shops underneath due to requiring access to the service yard for deliveries.

It's amazing to think that the requirement to keep this entrance open could bring down some, or all of the plans.

Time for NewRiver Retail to get their chequebook out and make LaSalle Investment Management an offer they can't refuse? (In a perfectly legal way)

We'll keep you updated on this situation.

Spread the word! The Martlets Shopping Centre proposals have hit a major roadblock.

Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below.....
Where do you think the Market Place Shopping Centre's objections leave the plans for the Martlets now? Do you think a significant financial offer will make the problem go away?

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