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Town Centre Trader: "Kick The Developers, Make Them Do Something"

16th March 2018 | By Peter Chapman

A town centre trader in Burgess Hill has hit out at the owners of the Martlets Shopping Centre and the council during an interview broadcast on BBC Radio Sussex.

Reporter Paul Sawtell was in the town on Wednesday morning as part of the station's feature on the state of the high streets in Sussex. Burgess Hill was chosen as a case study for the show due to the number of empty shops and the impending redevelopment.

BBC Sussex spoke first to Burgess Hill Uncovered live on location to get the background story as to why there's currently so many empty shops in the town..

Paul Sawtell then went and recorded an interview with Andy Mitchell from Rocking Horse Emporium, which located next to Lidl in the Martlets Shopping Centre. Mr Mitchell had plenty that he wanted to get off his chest....

Andy is upset that the centre is being run down with too many empty shops while the centre awaits redevelopment. "People have been moved on, moved out, there's just too much uncertainty" he said. "People don't come into Burgess Hill as much as they used to because there is nowhere to go, what are you going to look at? There are a few cafes, but you can't just sit in a cafe all day, you need shops and you need variety.

"The smaller shops have gone, there's a few nationals, but not many. There's talk of nationals coming in, but where's the development? We've been waiting for 10 years and over the past three years it's been postponed continuously."

When asked how it makes him feel, Andy said: " Fed up! Not knowing what's going to happen to the town. They just keep talking about it and no action."

As for what he'd like to say to the council: "Get a move on, kick the developers, make them do something. At least show us you're doing something"

The whole tower block of offices and the shops underneath have all gone in the last month, but there's no talk of what's happening.

BHU hope to get an update from the council and NewRiver Retail next week.

Spread the word! A local trader is not happy about a lack of activity on the Martlets redevelopment project.

Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below.....
Do you agree with Mr Mitchell that less people will want to visit the town at the moment due to a lack of shops available? Should Mid Sussex Distict Council hurry NewRiver Retail along to get the shopping centre redevelopment under way?

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