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Work set to start on Burgess Hill town centre revitalisation

NewRiver retail has announced that building work on the new Martlets retail and leisure development in Burgess Hill will start this summer.

The development will transform the existing shopping centre into a lively and vibrant town centre with new shops and restaurants including Next, Nandos, Wildwood, New Look as well as a 10-screen multiplex Cineworld cinema. It will also create much needed homes, a 63 bed Travelodge hotel, a new purpose built library and improved public space. 

As part of the development, frozen food chain Iceland, which is currently located in the development site, will take possession of a new store in the Church Walk area of Burgess Hill in February.

The supermarket giant Lidl is also currently located within the development area so they will be moving to the site of the former gasholder on Leylands Road, which was demolished by NewRiver retail in October last year. Long considered an eyesore by many local residents, the demolition of the gasholder has been a significant step forward for the new £65 million town centre revitalisation. A new purpose-built Lidl store can now be built on the site, freeing up space for the new town centre leisure and retail project. The land at Leylands Road is currently being prepared for development and the site is due to be handed over to Lidl in the spring, with building work expected to take place during the rest of 2018.

The new development will provide a much improved environment for leisure activities, whether shopping, eating out or going to the cinema, and will deliver a significant boost to both daytime and night time economies in the town. The plans will provide a modern shopping environment with a wide range of shops to draw customers during the day and new restaurants and cafes, along with a multiplex cinema making Burgess Hill an attractive place for evening entertainment.

The redevelopment includes larger shop units better suited to modern retailer needs to attract big name fashion retailers that are currently under represented in the town. The new units will feature a stylish modern design, with glass fronted retail units at ground level and town centre residential apartments above.

Work will begin in February to create a temporary home for the library in the vacant shop units alongside New Look. This will ensure the library remains open in the town centre while the redevelopment work takes place. The library will then reopen a new purpose built facility as part of the new development.

Mid Sussex District Council has agreed with partners Places for People Leisure that Martlets Hall will close on 30 June 2018 to make way for the new development. The council is actively working to support the relocation of the remaining users to other local venues and has negotiated a financial contribution from New River Retail which will be used to assist with this.

Building and construction work will continue at the town centre site from summer 2018 through to the end of 2020, when the project is expected to be completed and launched to the public.

News

District Plan Hearing

Planning Inspector Jonathan Bore, who is examining the Mid Sussex District Plan, has arranged a public hearing for Monday 5 February to discuss the possible inclusion of a site for the development of 500 new homes in Hassocks.

The District Plan must identify a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide five years worth of housing against their housing requirements. At the end of the last public examination in July 2017 the Inspector recognised that the Mid Sussex District Plan had a 5 year housing land supply but asked Mid Sussex District Council to look at options to strengthen it and make the housing land supply more comfortable in the immediate future.

The Council considered a number of options, including a proposed allocation for a strategic site in Hassocks and this was presented to the Independent Inspector for consideration as part of the Council’s Main Modifications document.

The hearing will discuss why the Hassocks site has been chosen to strengthen the 5 year land supply in Mid Sussex. The Inspector will explore the proposed development’s relationship to the village, the scale of development, the availability of local facilities, infrastructure, the landscape setting and how the proposal fits with the emerging Neighbourhood Plan. The inspector will then decide if this site should be allocated for development.

 

 

 

Corporate Plan and Budget 2018/19 - A message from Council Leader Garry Wall

Recent years have presented challenges to everyone who lives and works in our local area and to the nation as a whole. Whether you work for a small or large company, are involved in business or manage a household budget you will be very aware that both personal and public finances must adapt to the financial climate.

At Mid Sussex we have always taken a pragmatic and long-term approach to our finances. This allows us to maintain the quality and levels of service that you expect. We have been doing this at a time when we are experiencing increasing demand and reducing income from central government. As recently as 2010 we received nearly £7m in support grant from central government, contributing to the delivery of your public services. Now, in 2018/19, that funding grant has diminished annually to zero. As a result, we are now a self-sufficient Council.

Our aim has always been to deliver value for money. We provide the best range of services we can, support our local economy by encouraging inward investment and maintain our long-term support for the voluntary sector. Our Leisure services, following significant investment, are the envy of many, our Health and Well-Being service has worked successfully with more people than ever before and, with your help, we have recycled more waste, reducing our reliance on landfill.

In a changing world we need to ensure the services we provide are flexible and able to adapt to future demands. This year’s budget proposals do require an increase in Council Tax and for good reason. We can’t stand still. Local services are important and highly valued, and investment is needed if we are to ensure our communities can grow and look to the District Council with confidence. These investments are focussed on local priorities and key services that we know will make a positive difference to residents and businesses across the District.

In recent years we were able to freeze Council Tax for 5 years in a row. We are the 3rd lowest Tax Authority in Sussex and will remain so. This year’s Budget proposes an increase of 3.2% p.a. A modest rise of £4.95 p.a. at Band D levels. This represents excellent value for money.

Our Budget proposals for 2018/19 are published on our website. Please look at the proposed Budget, your comments are most welcome and can be made in writing or via the website.

Garry Wall

Leader

Mid Sussex District Council

Council grants £119,000 to Citizens Advice

We have formally agreed to contribute £119,404 to help Citizens Advice provide their valuable services in Mid Sussex over the next 12 months.

The Citizens Advice Service provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everybody, whatever the problem. They link to a network of over 300 local charities across England and Wales, helping people to resolve a range of issues from problems with benefits and tax credits to the impact of a breakdown of family relationships.

The Council has provided financial support for the local Citizens Advice Service for many years as part of a county wide funding agreement with West Sussex County Council. The County Council is preparing a new two-year agreement, with the option to extend for a further two years, that will see all District and Borough Councils join with West Sussex County Council to jointly fund the Citizens Advice Service in West Sussex. In the meantime, we have agreed that we will extend the current funding arrangement until March 2019, providing the Citizen’s Advice Service with £119,404 over the next 12 months.

In Mid Sussex there are Citizens Advice drop-in centres in the three major towns of Burgess Hill, East Grinstead and Haywards Heath. In 2016/17 the Central & South Sussex Citizens Advice, which serves Mid Sussex, helped 24,608 people to deal with 55,646 issues.

Almost three quarters of Citizens Advice Service clients said their problem caused anxiety and financial difficulty, so the support services they provide make a real difference to the wellbeing of local people.

For more information about the services provided by Citizens Advice call their Adviceline on 0344 477 1171 or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk.

Extra security for park pavilions

We have installed new security measures at two community pavilions in Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath to help deter criminals.

St John’s Park pavilion in Burgess Hill and Clair Park pavilion in Haywards Heath have experienced a number of break-ins over the past two years. The pavilions have been repeatedly targeted at night by vandals who have caused significant damage to the inside of the buildings. The pavilions are used regularly by local volunteers to provide sports and recreational activities for local people. We own both buildings and representatives from local sports clubs approached the council to ask if any security improvements could be made. 

We have listened to the concerns of the local community and have fitted stronger uPVC windows and doors at both pavilions. Internal security screens have also been installed behind the windows and doors that slide across at night and act as an added deterrent to intruders when the buildings are closed.

The new windows and doors have been constructed to Secure by Design standards, an official UK Police flagship initiative that combines the principle of 'designing out crime' with physical security.
 

Positive Placements project scoops top award

YMCA Downslink receive Positive Placements awardCongratulations to our partners at YMCA Downslink who recently won an award at the Children and Young People Now Awards 2017 for their Positive Placements project.

The YMCA DLG topped the Advice and Guidance category at the Children and Young People Now Awards 2017, which are the gold standard for everyone working with children, young people and families.

The project, which is funded in Mid Sussex by the Council, helps 16 to 25 year-olds deal with a range of issues from neglect and abuse to mental health issues and a reliance on addictive substances.

Young people are matched with mentors from relevant backgrounds who provide them with one-to-one support and help to identify goals and formulate step-by-step action plans.

The mentors help vulnerable young people to build confidence, improve communication skills and get back into education, work or training. In total, 88 young people were referred to Positive Placements in 2016/17 and 54 went on to enter education, employment or training, six continued to work on goals and six were referred to specialist support.

For more information visit www.ymcadlg.org/training-and-education/positive-placements/

Council granted Bronze Award by Defence Employer Recognition Scheme

We have been granted the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Bronze Award from the Ministry of Defence for the support we are showing the armed forces community.

The Award was presented by Lieutenant Colonel Simon McMenemy at a meeting of Full Council on Wednesday 31 January 2018. It means Mid Sussex District Council pledges to support the armed forces; promote being armed forces-friendly and is open to employing reservists, armed forces veterans, cadet instructors and military spouses/partners.

Working in the armed forces often requires servicemen, servicewomen and their families to be away from home for extended periods of time. It’s a different way of life to that of a civilian and Mid Sussex District Council has pledged that nobody will be at a disadvantage when accessing Mid Sussex District Council services as a result of serving in the Armed Forces.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support defence personnel and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community.

Veterans can find making the transition to civilian life extremely challenging, particularly in finding and securing lasting employment. The Council has introduced a Guaranteed Interview Scheme for veterans to help them fulfil their potential outside of the Armed Forces. The scheme helps veterans to overcome the barriers to finding civilian employment and the Council benefits from the transferable skills and qualities the veterans have to offer.

 

What’s on

Lady Maisery

In an English folk scene currently bursting with bold and innovative folk music, vocal trio Lady Maisery shine brightly and you can see them perform live at Martlets Hall on Sunday 18 March at 7:30pm.

With their harmony singing, intelligent and thoughtful arrangements of both traditional repertoire and original compositions, Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheighamns harness and celebrate their united voice. Whether unearthing a feminist twist hidden in a traditional tale, delivering a poignant anti-war ballad, or showcasing their immense multi-instrumental talents in original compositions that draw on a myriad of musical influences, Lady Maisery are skilful explorers of the power, beauty and vitality of song. Over the past 5 years the trio have toured widely, performing to sell-out shows across the UK and Europe.

Tickets: £14 / £13

Book Now

Dusty & The Shades of the 60’s

Head to Martlets Hall on Wednesday 21 March at 7:30pm for Dusty & The Shades of the 60’s, a celebration of the life and music of one of the most iconic female artistes of our time, the legendary DUSTY SPRINGFIELD.

The show covers an incredibly successful decade for Dusty featuring the songs ‘I Only Want To Be With You’, ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’, ‘I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself’ and ‘You Don’t Own Me’.

The ever graceful Shades of The 60’s take you on a journey through the artists and writers who worked with Dusty over a career spanning 3 decades; including hits by Burt Bacharach, Carole King, Aretha Franklin and performing popular songs such as ‘Say A Little Prayer’ and ‘Downtown’.

Supported by the glamorous Shades, the soulful Dusty Springfield is honoured and her personality brought back to the stage in a great night out that takes you back to the era of peroxide blonde bouffant hair.

Celebrate the 60’s in style, relive memories and create new ones with this unforgettable evening of Dusty and The Shades of the 60’s.

Tickets: £21.00 / £19.00

Book Now

An Evening with Arsenal Legends

Join three Arsenal FC legends at Chequer Mead on Tuesday 6 February at 8pm as they talk about their brilliant careers at Arsenal and what it’s like playing at the top level in the beautiful game.

Come and join Paul Merson, Alan Smith (both now Sky Sports pundits) and Perry Groves as they discuss games, dressing room/training ground stories, managers, fall outs and everything you wanted to know about playing for a successful football club!
There will be a chance to put your questions across on the night to the lads.

There is also VIP meet & greet tickets available, which offers the best seats plus a meet and greet and photo opportunity with the players before the show.

Tickets: £30 / £50 VIP

Book Now

Your Council

Visits of the Chairman

The Chairman of the Council represents the organisation in a non-political role at functions and engagements. The Chairman is elected annually by his 53 fellow Councillors and serves for a period of 12 months during the civic year, which begins in May.

Below is a selection of events attended by The Chairman of the Council, Cllr Bruce Forbes and the Vice Chairman of the Council, Cllr Phillip Coote from November 2017 to January 2018.

Wednesday, 8 November      
The Vice-Chairman attended a Case Study Visit to Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, hosted by the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC.

Saturday, 11 November    
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jennie, attended a service at the Burgess Hill War Memorial to mark Armistice Day arranged by the Royal British Legion Burgess Hill Branch.

Sunday, 12 November          
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jennie, attended a Remembrance Parade and Service at Burgess Hill organised by the RBL Burgess Hill Branch where he laid a Wreath at the War Memorial on behalf of Mid Sussex District Council.

Sunday, 12 November  
The Vice-Chairman attended a Remembrance Service at All Saints Church, Crawley Down, where he laid a Wreath on behalf of Mid Sussex District Council.

Sunday, 12 November 
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jennie, attended a Remembrance Service organised by the Royal British Legion at St Leonards Church, Turners Hill.

Saturday, 18 November        
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jennie, attended the Autumn Concert of the Burgess Hill Symphony Orchestra at St Andrews Church, Burgess Hill.

Monday, 20 November          
The Vice-Chairman, accompanied by his wife, attended the East Grinstead Town Mayor’s Charity Dinner at the Woodcock Inn, Felbridge.

Tuesday, 21 November         
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jennie, attended the SSAFA Christmas Concert with the band of the Grenadier Guards at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead.

Saturday, 25 November        
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jennie, attended the Young Enterprise Trade Fair at the Martlets Shopping Centre, Burgess Hill, where he participated in the judging of the award for the best company at the Trade Fair.

The winning team Inuti, from Hurstpierpoint College; Burgess Hill Town Council Mayor Councillor Jacqui Landriani; Mid Sussex District Council Chairman Councillor Bruce Forbes; Mr Andrew Harvey, Centre Manager for The Market Place Shopping Centre.

Saturday, 2 December          
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jennie, attended the Mid Sussex Older Peoples Council Annual Christmas Party at King Edward Hall, Lindfield.

Sunday, 3 December            
The Chairman’s Civic Service took place at St Leonards Church, Turners Hill during the Christmas tree festival and was attended by Mrs Forbes and the Chairman’s family. Also in attendance was the High Sheriff of West Sussex Lady Emma Barnard, Jeremy Quin M.P., Deputy Lieutenant Andrewjohn Stephenson Clarke, District Councillors, County, Town & Parish Chairman and Mayors. Turners Hill Primary School, members of the Uniformed Youth and the Royal British Legion took part in the service. Refreshments were held at The Crown at Turners Hill.

Thursday, 7 December          
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jennie, attended the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and County Council Carol Service at Chichester Cathedral with refreshments afterwards at County Hall.

Thursday, 7 December          
The Vice-Chairman, accompanied by his wife Claude, attended Christ’s Hospital’s Community Carol Service at Christ’s Hospital, Horsham.

Friday, 8 December               
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jennie, visited Turners Hill Primary School.

Sunday, 10 December          
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jennie, attended the Friends of Arundel Cathedral Service for Solemn Advent Vespers held at Arundel Cathedral and presided over Rt Revd Richard Moth, Bishop of Arundel & Brighton.

Tuesday, 14 December
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jenny, attended a Christmas Sounds Concert, hosted by The Burgess Hill Academy at Barnden Hall.

Friday, 15 December
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jenny, attended a community lunch at Turners Hill Free Church.

Sunday, 17 December
The Vice-Chairman, accompanied by his wife Claude, attended The Mayor and Mayoress of Crawley’s Christmas Carol Service at Crawley Baptist Church, West Green, Crawley.

Sunday, 17 December
The Vice-Chairman, accompanied by his wife Claude also attended carols with the Choir of the Parish Church of St Swithun’s hosted by the Mayor of East Grinstead at Meridian Hall, East Grinstead.

Saturday, 27 January
The Vice-Chairman attended the West Sussex Prayer Breakfast at the Wiston Estate, hosted by the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Lady Emma Barnard, with guest speaker Chief Supt John Sutherland of the Metropolitan Police Service.

Saturday, 27 January
The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Jenny, attended the Royal British Legion Sussex County Annual Conference at Downsland Community School where he welcomed the guests and delegates and was invited to inspect the Colours.

Saturday, 27 January
The Vice-Chairman, accompanied by his wife Claude, attended a Civic Dinner Dance at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley hosted by the Mayor of Crawley Councillor Brian Quinn in aid of his two charities, ‘A Band of Brothers and Alzheimer’s Crawley.



 

Your services

Council Meetings

Council ChamberPlease find below a list of all Council meetings coming up. All meetings take place in the Council Chamber at Oaklands in Haywards Heath unless otherwise stated.

Meeting agendas and papers should be available online five working days before the meeting at the following locations:

13 February - Scrutiny Committee for Customer Services and Service Delivery (19:00)

14 February - Licensing (19:00)

15 February - Planning Committee B (19:00)

19 February - Cabinet (16:00)

22 February - District Planning Committee (14:00)

27 February - Audit Committee (19:00)

28 February - Council (19:00)

1 March - Planning Committee A (19:00)

7 March - Scrutiny Committee for Community, Housing and Planning (19:00)

8 March - Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Resources and Economic Growth (19:00)

12 March - Standards (18:00)

13 March - Scrutiny Committee for Customer Services and Service Delivery (19:00)

14 March - Cabinet Grants Panel (16:30)

15 March - Planning Committee B (19:00)

16 March - CenSus (Central Sussex Partnership) Joint Partnership (10:00)

19 March - Cabinet (16:00)

21 March - Scrutiny Committee for Community, Housing and Planning (19:00)

22 March - District Planning Committee (14:00)

 

Faster charging points for electric cars

Electric Charging PointsWe're keen to support environmentally friendly travel in Mid Sussex so we have upgraded the electric charging points in our car parks to new fast chargers, which are able to deliver a full charge in 3 to 4 hours.

Electric car technology is improving at a rapid rate and the latest models from Nissan, Hyundai, Tesla and others can travel for upwards of 160 miles on a 30 minute charge. Electric cars may be outnumbered by petrol and diesel powered vehicles at the minute but that is set to change dramatically over the next 20 years.

The government has identified poor air quality as the greatest risk to public health in the UK and has announced a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars in Britain by 2040. This means we will all have to switch to full electric or hybrid power vehicles when we buy a new car. The move is aimed at reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and cutting the nitrogen oxide pollution produced by cars that is having such a damaging effect on public health.

You can find our new fast charging points in our car parks at Cyprus Road in Burgess Hill, Chequer Mead in East Grinstead and Hazelgrove in Haywards Heath. There is no charge for the electricity you use. If you would like to make use of the charging points then sign up for the Charge Your Car scheme by calling 01912 650500 or visit www.chargeyourcar.org.uk/

 

Changes to rubbish and recycling collections

Rubbish and Recycling truckWith new homes being built in Mid Sussex we are experiencing a much greater demand for our rubbish and recycling collections.

We have introduced an additional rubbish and recycling lorry to enable us to carry out all the required collections but we also need to make some changes to our existing rubbish and recycling collection arrangements. 

For some residents this will mean their rubbish and collection days will change or their rubbish and recycling collection weeks will swap. The first round of changes, which will affect 2,368 properties, started on 29 January 2018.

If your rubbish and recycling collections are set to change weeks then you will be asked to leave out both bins for a special one off collection. The rubbish and recycling will be collected on the same day by different vehicles so waste remains separated. This transition week will mean that no one will be required to wait 3 weeks between collections.

We are writing to all of the affected households to make sure you know exactly what will change and what you need to do.

The letters will contain the following:

  • Details of your last collection day under the existing collection arrangements
  • The date to put out both bins if the change requires it
  • Details of your next two collections after the change
  • The date when the online collection calendar will be updated with the new collection scheduled

We are planning to make further round changes for approximately15,000 households in March and April.

If you have any questions about our changes to rubbish and recycling collection days then please contact our Customer Services Team on 01444 477440 or email wastematters@midsussex.gov.uk

Electoral Canvass savings

Thank you to everyone who responded to our annual Electoral Canvass by telephone, text message and online.

Every year we are required to carry out an electoral canvass to check that everyone's electoral registration details are correct and up-to-date on the electoral register. To make it quick, easy and convenient for residents to confirm their details we provide the option to respond by telephone, text message or online. These digital methods are by far the most efficient and are much better for the environment than paper forms.

This year, to encourage people to respond digitally, we offered residents the chance to win one of three £50 Marks and Spencer vouchers in a free prize draw if they replied to the annual electoral canvass by telephone, text message or online. A staggering 33,357 households supported our competition and with your help we have increased the number of digital responses from 44% last year to 61% this year.

By responding via telephone, text message or online form you have helped us to reduce the amount of money we spend on costly follow-up letters and doorstep visits. Every digital response adds up and together you have helped to save over £15,000 in processing costs.

Congratulations to Alan Salamon from Balcombe, Maria Wedlock from Cuckfield and Tracy Scott from Haywards Heath, who were the three lucky winners of a £50 Marks & Spencer voucher. The vouchers were presented by Councillor Mandy Thomas-Atkin (pictured centre) our Cabinet Member for Customer Services.

New Clip 'n' Climb wall exceeds expectations

Our new Clip 'n' Climb wall at The Triangle in Burgess Hill is proving to be a big hit with visitors.

We expected to have around 1,100 bookings a month but we have already had over 2,500 people try out the new climbing walls in December and well over 2,000 this January.

If you haven't had a go yet, what are you waiting for? Head to www.placesforpeopleleisure.org/centres/the-triangle/centre-activities/climb/ for more information and to book your place.

Wellbeing

Make your way towards a healthier lifestyle with our Wellbeing Team

Our Wellbeing team run regular Weight off Workshops to help local people build confidence, make positive food choices, engage in more activity and work towards a sustainable weight loss.

They have a team of trained advisors who can work with you to make the changes you need to set yourself on the path you want to be on.

By completing our 12 week course, you will be motivated to make and maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle.

Here are a few things local people have said about the workshops

“I would recommend this course. I have found that the whole of the 12 weeks interesting and very well run by our facilitator and very informative. In the past I have attended other weightloss programmes but I have taken more away from this course than any other”.

Ms Armstrong, Haywards Heath

“I started off at 15 stone 4 pounds and I am now 12 stone 12 pounds, so I have lost about two and a half stone. I’m delighted to break that 13 stone barrier and my husband is happy as well because he’s lost weight due to the changes I’ve made to our cooking. He’s gone from struggling to get into his 38 inch trousers to comfortably getting into a size 36.”

Mrs Chapman, Burgess Hill

“Without being cliché, this has genuinely changed my life. More importantly it will also affect my parenting and therefore my children’s lives. The tutors were amazing, so kind and understanding in a really accepting way, I have not once felt judgement."

Ms Steely, Burgess Hill

The next course starts at St Richards Church, Haywards Heath (1.30pm - 2:30pm) from Monday 5 February 2018 but there are lots of courses across Mid Sussex at a variety of times, so if you’re ready to make a lifestyle change in 2018 contact our Wellbeing team on 01444 477191 or email wellbeing@midsussex.gov.uk to book your place.

 

Parks & Rangers

Local children help to design new playground

IdeasLocal school children have been helping Mid Sussex District Council to design a new playground for World's End Recreation Ground in Burgess Hill. 

Manor Field Primary School is next to World's End Recreation Ground and the Council held a design workshop at the school so local children could talk about their ideas for the new play area.

The Council is committed to ensuring new playground facilities are accessible to all, so the workshop focussed on finding play equipment that's great for children of all abilities. The youngsters were encouraged to think about who might use the park and what could be done to improve it for everyone, young and old, able bodied or those with a disability. The children were very considerate of other people who might use the park and were full of excellent ideas to improve it.

The whole school took part in a competition to design some new equipment for the playground. Design ideas included, tree houses with lifts for people in wheelchairs, slides and swings; monkey bars over trampolines; a zip wire with an animal seat; a race track for wheelchairs and remote control cars; and large swings so children can swing together with their little brothers and sisters.

The Council's Landscape architect will now use the ideas submitted for inspiration when designing the new playground.

Woodland facelift at Clair Hall Recreation ground

We are starting work in early February 2018 to make the woodland at Clair Hall Recreation Ground, Haywards Heath more visible, open and accessible for the public.

The woods next to Clair Hall Recreation Ground in Haywards Heath have become overgrown and covered with brambles and shrubs. The thick foliage means it is an unwelcoming place for most residents and the cover it provides makes it a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

We are cutting back the overgrown brambles, Laurel and Holly shrubs in the section of woodland that runs alongside the cricket pitch. The larger trees will have branches that are lower than 6ft from the ground removed and the shrub cover around the Cricket Pavilion will be trimmed.

Removing the undergrowth will allow woodland flowers like bluebells, snowdrops, and daffodils the sunlight they need to grow and spread. It will make the area much more open, attractive and visible, which in turn will help to reduce anti-social behaviour and help local people to feel safer.


Work starts on new Haywards Heath skatepark

Victoria Park skateparkThe final design for a brand new skatepark in Victoria Park, Haywards Heath has been confirmed and work has already started on site to bring the plans to life.

The new skate park has been designed on behalf of the Council by the experts at Maverick Industries, a skater run business that has installed some of the best skateparks in the UK. It will be made of concrete to ensure users have a fast and perfectly smooth ride with plenty of flow lines to choose from.

The new skatepark design features a mix of ramp and street elements, designed to flow effortlessly together yet also function as 3 distinct 'zones'. At the entrance will be an open-plan 'street' area featuring a hipped bank with inset grind ledge. The central zone will have a 6ft roll-in, leading to a unique, hipped box-jump, and a 6ft quarter pipe extension. Towards the rear of the site will be 2 x 4ft half pipes linked by a spine ramp.

There will also be a circuit around the main space utilising the street bank, the roller between the spine and box jump, and the corner pockets in the transitions, which gives the feel of a 'bowl'-type setup. The proposed design is suitable for all ages, abilities and disciplines, and can be shared safely by multiple users at any one time.

The council hosted a public consultation so local skateboarders, BMX enthusiasts and scooter riders were able to have a say in the design and content of the new skate park. The designer from Maverick met with existing users and used their feedback to shape the final design.

The new skatepark will take around 12 weeks to build and it should be ready for you to try out towards the end of April.

Public Art unveiled at Burgess Hill Green Circle

Green Circle Art TrailIf you have taken a stroll along parts of the Burgess Hill Green Circle network recently, you might have noticed a few new additions.

A Public Art Trail has been created within the Green Circle to mark the achievements of some of Burgess Hill's most noteworthy inhabitants.

Burgess Hill Town Council commissioned local artists to commemorate the lives of prominent Burgess Hill residents with a series of sculptures for the trail and the public artwork was formally opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester in October 2017.

The art trail pays tribute to natural history film-maker John Charles Bee-Mason, artist and Burgess Hill benefactor Emily Temple, inventor and pioneer of railway signalling John Saxby and the Norris Brothers, Burgess Hill based engineers who broke the water and land speed records in the 1950s and 1960s. A final sculpture celebrates the flora and fauna of the 33 hectare Bedelands Farm Local Nature Reserve, the largest green space in Burgess Hill.

You may also have noticed that we have installed a series of new information boards to provide details about the birds, butterflies, wildlife, plants, trees and local history in the vicinity. The information boards link in with a free children’s spotter guide that can be picked up from the town council help point in Burgess Hill.

 

 

Get fit and active with Healthy Walks in 2018

Are you looking to take a bit more exercise in 2018?

We have a programme of FREE healthy walks that take place right across Mid Sussex and they're a great way to stay in shape, meet new friends and enjoy the beautiful Mid Sussex countryside.

All our walks are led by trained walk leaders. In this video, the wonderful Marianne Greenwood from East Grinstead talks about how much people enjoy her healthy walks in the town and how everyone is getting fit and enjoying their time together.

Walking is a great form of exercise with many health benefits such as reducing high blood pressure, lowering the risk of certain types of cancer and heart disease, and helping to control body weight. Walking can also be great for mental health and to escape the stresses of everyday life.

If you would like to find out more about FREE Healthy Walks in Mid Sussex visit www.midsussex.gov.uk/healthywalks call 01444 477561 or email rangers@midsussex.gov.uk 

New equipment for Fry Crescent Play Area

We've started work to improve the Fry Crescent Play Area on the Sussex Way open space near Bretton in Burgess Hill. The old springy bikes and climbing frame are being replaced with a new roundabout, extra seating and a multi-purpose climbing unit that features a rope walkway, slide, drag ramp and a fireman's pole.

The new equipment has been designed to make the play area more inclusive for all small children and their families. The roundabout is wheelchair accessible and the climbing unit also has wheelchair accessible platforms. The slide is has been specifically designed at the top and bottom to make transfer to and from wheelchairs easier and the drag ramp has hand rails at two different heights to enable less mobile children to climb to the top using the rope and soft grips. The climb nets have a shallow incline to make it easier to reach the top and are wide enough for helpers to support children if it is needed. The top of the picnic table will also be extended so children in wheelchairs can sit next to abled bodied friends and family.

Careful arrangement of colourful plants will create a secret log seating area for toddlers to practice their balance skills and across the play area is a quiet seating area, again shielded by plants, to help nervous children adjust to the activity of the play area. There will be a sensory path made up of different surface textures for little explorers to practice traversing cobbles, timber decking and rough concrete.

The frames of the swings are being repainted and one of the seats will be replaced with a face-to-face seat so an adult or older child can sit facing a toddler and enjoy watching their expression as they share the swinging experience.

Work to install the new playground equipment is expected to take six weeks and is due to be ready towards the end of March.

 

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