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Martlets Hall To Be Demolished And Turned Into A Car Park - At The Public's Expense!!!

15th November 2018 | By Peter Chapman

Mid Sussex District Council appear to have grown tired of the lack of progress made by NewRiver Retail on redeveloping the Martlets Shopping Centre and have decided to take matters into their own hands by bringing forward the demolition of the Martlets Hall.

It was decided at Monday's cabinet meeting that a 100-space car park will be built in its place which could net MSDC a yearly income of £25k. Currently MSDC are liable for empty property rates on the hall.



The cost to demolish the hall and library is £180k which will be paid for by the tax-payer.

It is hoped that NewRiver Retail will pay back £90k of this cost once the terms of the new head lease are 'unconditional'.

The stripping of the internals of the Martlets Hall has been on-going since it closed in the Summer, thus the building is no longer capable of reoccupation. The council hope to have a demolition company lined up to do the job in January.



Although being billed as a 'temporary' car park, how long is 'temporary' really going to be? The council are talking about how much they can make per year. Part of this land is supposed to be for the 10 screen cinema and shops such as Next. Are they ever going to come? If so, when?

NewRiver Retail have 2020 as the completion date for the entire scheme. Brexit is more likely to be completed first!

Robert Eggleston - Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Mid Sussex said:
"So the Martlets Hall is being demolished and we're paying for it. We keep on paying under the Tories. Over the last twelve years they've been promising us a £65m town centre investment and what do we get instead? A car park! Enough is Enough".

Meanwhile, the construction site for the new Lidl on Leylands Road is a hive of inactivity, it appears all ready for the work to begin, but it's empty. The project was supposed to be finshed by the end of January 2019, but now we're hearing it'll be Summer 2019 at the earliest. The Gas Holder was demolished in October 2017. The local Conservative party even ran sponsored social media post 6 months ago declaring that the work was about to begin. We're still waiting.



Cllr Pru Moore said that the Martlets redevelopment was a 'once in a lifetime opportunity'. Substitute the word 'opportunity' for 'nightmare' and you'd have a far more accurate statement!

This isn't just a slight delay, this is now years late from when NewRiver first put forward a planning application. All the while our town centre businesses are having to operate on a reduced footfall as shoppers know that Burgess Hill only has half a town centre to offer.



The leadership at Mid Sussex District Council who made the announcement at Monday's cabinet meeting.


Spread the word, the martlets hall is to be demolished in January and replaced with a car park due to the delays in the full centre redevelopment


Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below.....
How do you feel about the Martlets Hall being demolished for a car park and that the public will have to meet some - if not all - of the cost? Should the hall have been left open longer due to NewRiver's inability to get the project moving? Will the proposed Cinema ever come on this plot of land?




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