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New Burgess Hill Town Centre plans revealed

Martlets visionNewRiver REIT (NewRiver) were delighted to welcome almost 1000 local residents to their open day on Saturday 18 May, where revised proposals for the £65 million redevelopment of Burgess Hill Town Centre were on display. Over 200 residents left their comments on the proposals.

In recent months, NewRiver has been reviewing the development proposals against the backdrop of changing conditions in the retail sector. In order to create a vibrant town centre that is relevant and sustainable for the Burgess Hill community for the long-term, NewRiver is proposing to reduce the total area of retail space and increase the space for new leisure operators and community services. This includes the addition of a 16-lane Hollywood Bowl.

For those who were unable to attend, the revised proposals are available to view on the Martlets website: where there is a page on Regeneration outlining the overall development plans.

The community is invited to share feedback on these proposals until 8 June 2019. After this date, NewRiver will be focused on finalising the revised plans to submit for planning.

The revised proposal will be shared with the community at a second open day in the summer ahead of a planning submission. The date for this open day will be shared in the coming weeks.


£63 million infrastructure boost for Northern Arc

Freeks Farm artist impression

Homes England, the Government’s housing accelerator, has secured a further £63 million investment in the Northern Arc at Burgess Hill in West Sussex.

The Northern Arc development will create a new community of approximately 3,500 homes (30% affordable) employment opportunities, three new schools, health provision, improved pedestrian and cycle connections, sports and leisure opportunities as well as supporting highways infrastructure.

The funding injection, which comes from the Government’s Land Assembly Fund, will allow the construction of key infrastructure – including roads, a bridge, landscaping, drainage and utility works – to be accelerated at the eastern and western ends of the site.

Countryside Properties has now been confirmed as the developer for the Freeks Farm area of the site. Countryside will start building the first phase of 460 homes in March 2020, on the east of the site. It is expected that these homes will be completed in December 2020, providing a mix of apartments and one to four bedroom houses. Their proposals prioritise design quality and use of Modern Methods of Construction.

If you have any questions about the proposed Northern Arc development then please visit the dedicated FAQs page at

For more information on Homes England visit

Phone: Sarah Ward on 07776 527 643

Council secures another income generating asset

HalfordsThe Council has secured two commercial buildings that will generate much needed rental income and help to finance council services for many years to come.

We have agreed a £5 million deal to purchase the freehold of two 16,500 sq. ft. retail warehouses on London Road, Burgess Hill, one of which is currently occupied by Halfords.

Government funding for Mid Sussex District Council has reduced dramatically in recent years. In 2010, Mid Sussex received £6.4 million in Revenue Support Grant towards the provision of local public services but this reduced year-on-year to zero in 2018.

With the removal of the Revenue Support Grant, we must find other ways to generate the income we need to continue providing services for local people.

Car and cycling specialists Halfords occupy one of the two retail units and the second is currently vacant following the closure of Carpetright. We are already in negotiations with a leading gym operator to take over the lease of the second unit. 

The purchase of the two retail warehouses in Burgess Hill will provide a sizeable rental income that will help to offset the loss of government grant funding and provide the Council with a stronger financial platform for the future.

Sussex firms gather to discuss skills and apprenticeships at Open4Business 2019

Representatives from over 45 Sussex businesses gathered to network, make new connections and gain valuable insights about how apprenticeships and other solutions could help them address skills gaps in their organisations at our annual The Open4Business event in March.

The focus this year was on Skills and Apprenticeships, so it was it was fitting that the Harlands Road College site in Haywards Heath was selected to host the event.

An extensive programme of speakers delivered interesting and informative talks on a range of topics including:

  • Busting apprenticeship myths
  • Launching the Young Apprenticeships Ambassadors network and the benefits of apprenticeships to businesses
  • The Catalyst team: a new way of sourcing talent in Sussex
  • The importance of STEM skills
  • How to match talent to your organisation
  • Meeting the skills challenge in Sussex
  • The different options available to fill skills gaps in your business

As an area with a period of rich development and growth ahead of it, Mid Sussex is poised to welcome many more innovative businesses and employees to the region. Events such as this help the business community to come together, share experiences and ideas and work together to prepare for this exciting future.

Earn a qualification and meet new people with an apprenticeship

Apprentice Fair

Over 330 people attended our Apprenticeships Fair at Harlands Road college site in Haywards Heath earlier this year.

The event was organised in partnership with West Sussex County Council to help people find out more about the apprenticeship opportunities available in Mid Sussex.

One of the attendees was Megan Hughes, an apprentice here with us at Mid Sussex District Council, who is keen for others to discover the benefits of becoming an apprentice.

"It’s great for gaining practical experience, earning a qualification and meeting new people", said Megan, who works as a Business Admin Apprentice in our Communications Team.

“I chose to go down the apprenticeship route because I felt as though I needed to gain more skills, knowledge and experience working in a different environment in order to progress in my chosen career.

“An apprenticeship is great for anyone who wants to gain practical experience in a new environment, earn a qualification as you work and meet new people.

“I would encourage anyone who wants to work towards their chosen career to consider an apprenticeship, because you have the opportunity to progress in your chosen company and earn money at the same time.”

Apprenticeships are no longer age restricted and are a great way to gain a qualification while working and earning at the same time. If you would like to find out more about apprenticeships visit

Beacon Academy win Mid Sussex STEM Challenge

The Beacon Academy studentsThe Government is encouraging the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects because it believes the knowledge gained will be vitally important to the future of the UK economy.

The Mid Sussex STEM Challenge, which is supported by Mid Sussex District Council, is one of the many ways local authorities are encouraging young people to engage with Science and Technology based subjects.

In March, students from Burgess Hill Academy, Downlands Community College, Oathall Community College, St Paul's Catholic College and The Beacon Academy in Crowborough battled it out to become the Mid Sussex STEM Challenge champions.

Each school was asked to identify a business opportunity for the commercial use of drones, build a working prototype and develop a clear business case for their product.

A 'Dragons Den' style judging panel assessed each team's business model and drone experts prepared a challenging course to test out each team's ability to pilot their drone. With a faultless run around the drone course and an impressive presentation on the use of drones to help the farming industry control livestock, The Beacon Academy students were crowned Mid Sussex STEM Challenge champions 2019. 

What’s on

Seann Walsh; After This One, I’m Going Home

Seann WalshFresh from his USA TV debut on Conan, Seann Walsh brings his outstanding 2019 stand-up routine to Chequer Mead on Thursday 6 June at 8pm.

An Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee, team captain on Channel 4's Virtually Famous and self-dubbed “Lie-In King”, Seann Walsh is unquestionably the best observational comic of his generation.

Tickets: £16

Book Now

Seriously Funny Comedy Club

Seriously Funny Comedy ClubThere is nothing like LIVE stand up comedy! Back for its 13th season, the Seriously Funny Comedy Club returns to Clair Hall on Friday 31 May 2019 at 7:30pm. A laughter-packed comedy night, with over 2 hours of the latest stand up acts to hit the UK comedy circuit. 

The club has played host to some fantastic acts before they reached their giddy stadium heights, including Michael McIntyre, Rhod Gilbert and Micky Flannigan! Don't miss your chance to see the next generation of comedy stars LIVE in Haywards Heath at the Seriously Funny Comedy Club.

Tickets: £9

Book Now

Your Council

Mid Sussex Local Election results 2019

votingAt the local elections on Thursday 2 May 2019, the Conservative group retained control of Mid Sussex District Council, winning 34 of the 54 available seats.The Liberal Democrat Party took 13 seats, the Green Party gained 3 and Independent candidates were elected to 4 seats.

The newly elected Councillors have already undertaken their induction and their positions were made official at our Annual Council Meeting on Wednesday 22 May.

There were 143 candidates who put themselves forward for election to the 26 wards of the District Council. Of the 109,434 people who are eligible to vote in the Mid Sussex District, nearly 38.5% voted. This includes postal votes which were issued to 17,946 residents with a 65% postal vote return rate.

Election Day itself saw 75 polling stations in the Mid Sussex District open all day from 7am -10pm. The count for the elections took place at The Triangle Leisure Centre, Burgess Hill on Friday 3 May. In some cases the results were very close, including three occasions where the difference in being elected or not was under 25 votes.

Town and Parish Councils were also contested on the same day. A full listing of those elected for all of the Councils is available online at

Councillor Ash-Edwards elected as new Leader of Mid Sussex District Council

Council Leader Cllr Jonathan Ash-EdwardsConservative Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards was elected as the new Leader of Mid Sussex District Council at a meeting of full Council on Wednesday 22 May 2019.

The leadership position was vacant after former leader Garry Wall decided not stand for re-election to Mid Sussex District Council.

At the meeting, Councillor Judy Llewellwyn-Burke was appointed as Deputy Leader of the Council.

The following Cabinet Members were confirmed at the meeting:

Cabinet Member for Community - Councillor Norman Webster
Cabinet Member for Customer Service - Councillor Ruth de Mierre
Cabinet Member for Economic Growth - Councillor Stephen Hillier
Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery - Councillor John Belsey
Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning - Councillor Andrew MacNaughton

Councillor Colin Trumble was elected as Chairman for the next civic year and Councillor Margaret Belsey was appointed as Vice Chairman.

For more information about council committees, meetings and decisions visit

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:

29 May - Planning Committee (19:00)

30 May - District Planning Committee (14:00)

3 June - Cabinet (16:00)

10 June - Standards Committee (18:00)

12 June - Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finances and Performance (19:00)

13 June - Planning Committee (19:00)

18 June - Cabinet Grants Panel (16:30)

26 June - Council (19:00)

27 June - District Planning Committee (14:00)

1 July - Licensing Committee (19:00)

3 July - Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth (19:00)

4 July - Planning Committee (19:00)

8 July - Cabinet (16:00)

10 July - Scrutiny Committee for Community, Customer Services and Service Delivery (19:00)

Your Council Tax for 2019/20

Council TaxYour Council Tax goes to fund a huge range of vital services in the area. Each Council Tax bill lists the different organisations which provide your services and details their part of the entire bill.

Recently published rates for 2019/20 gives the expected increase and an idea of what it means for a Band D (average Council Tax range) property.

  • Sussex Police, 14.5% increase, £24 per year for Band D
  • West Sussex County Council, 4.99% increase, £66.04 per year for Band D
  • Mid Sussex District Council, 3.1% increase, £4.95 per year for Band D
  • with an additional section from your Town or Parish Council.

The slight raise in the Mid Sussex District Council element of Council Tax will enable us to support economic growth through the delivery of full-fibre gigabit connectivity and increase the number of electric vehicles charging points around our District.

We will secure infrastructure improvements to support housing growth, like GP surgeries, schools and community facilities. Further, we will invest in our playing pitches, playgrounds, parks and open spaces and in our leisure centres to make sure we have great facilities to help people stay fit and active.

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 or her 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 Colin Trumble from 28 February to 22 March 2019.

Thursday, 28 February

Hall and Woodhouse Community Chest launch

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Jennie Forbes attended the launch event for the Hall and Woodhouse Community Chest scheme, at the Hornbrook, Brighton Road, Horsham.

Monday, 4 March

Turners Hill C of E Primary School

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended a visit at Turners Hill C of E Primary School.

Wednesday, 6 March

Civic Lunch

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended a Civic Lunch hosted by the Chairman of Tandridge District Council, at Bletchingly Golf Club, Bletchingly.

Friday, 8 March

Tree Planting Ceremony

The Vice-Chairman along with Councillors John Wilkinson and Anthony Watts Williams attended a very special tree planting ceremony in their Ward.
The actress Judy Parfitt, a Hurstpierpoint resident, planted an oak tree to mark the 150th birthday of St Lawrence School. The tree was provided by Hurst Society and replaced a long standing horse chestnut which had to be felled a few years ago.

Tree planting at St Lawrence School

Wednesday, 13 March

Jim Green Challenge

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Jennie Forbes attended the 21st annual competition of the Jim Green Challenge hosted by the South of England Agricultural Society at the South of England Showground, Ardingly. The challenge is for students with mild or moderate learning difficulties attending land-based Colleges and Further Education Centres.

Thursday, 14 March

Chairman of Chichester Reception

The Chairman accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended the reception hosted by the Chairman of Chichester, held at the University of Chichester.

Friday, 15 March

Mid Sussex STEM Challenge Awards

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Jennie Forbes attended this event hosted by the Haywards Heath Town Team and MSDC, where he presented awards with the High Sheriff.

Sunday, 17 March

Renshinkan Tournament

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended the Renshinkan Tournament at the Triangle, Burgess Hill, where he presented the team colours to the Renshinkan Athletes.

Renshinkan Tournament

Monday, 18 March

Sullivan’s Heroes Presentation

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes met with the founders of Sullivan's Heroes to officially present the funds raised from charity events during his term of office as Chairman. The presentation took place at the home of one of the children who has benefitted from help provided by the charity.

Friday, 22 March

Chairman of Tandridge - Afternoon Tea

The Vice Chairman, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Judith Trumble, attended this civic event hosted by the Chairman of Tandridge District Council at the Woldingham Golf Club.

Your services

New Hurstpierpoint community building ready to open

Hurstpierpoint HubA derelict building in Hurstpierpoint has been transformed from a burnt out shell into a brand new community building for local people.

The Court Bushes Community Hub is a flexible space that can be divided into three self contained areas to allow different events and functions to operate simultaneously, or opened up to make space for larger events. The building is set overlooking the large Court Bushes Recreation Ground, with football goals, play areas and a skate park.

The new community building, which was formerly the Ex Servicemen's Club, has been brought back into use by Mid Sussex District Council after it was devastated by fire in 2017. The building will be managed by Hurstpierpoint Parish Council and you can find more information about the facilities, activities and make bookings at

A special opening event takes place on Saturday June 1st, 1pm - 3pm and everyone is welcome to come along and celebrate the launch of this fantastic community building. There will be free refreshments, a bouncy castle, music by DJ Neel, dance demonstrations and the nursery will be open for soft play.

Hurst Festival will also be running a Mosaic workshop to create a beautiful sign for the new Hurstpierpoint Community Hub. Mosaic Artist and Teacher, Caroline Budden (LunaMoon Mosaic) will be leading the session and everyone is welcome to join in and contribute to the community mosaic. No experience is necessary and all materials will be provided.

We hope to see you there from 1pm - 3pm on Saturday 1 June 2019.

£110,000 grant funding for community groups

FundingWe're showing our support for local charities, voluntary groups and community projects by awarding them over £110,000 in grant funding.

Our Cabinet Grants Panel met in February to discuss our latest grant funding allocations and a total of £111,193 has been awarded to 16 successful applicants.

The charity Branch Line has been awarded £50,867 towards the cost of a new learning centre next to the miniature railway at Beech Hurst Gardens, Haywards Heath. Thousands of people ride the miniature train each year and the new centre will provide somewhere for visitors to play with moving models and find out more about the technology and engineering involved.

4Sight Vision Support has been granted £4,803 to support the valuable services they provide for visually impaired people in Mid Sussex, helping them to live more independently and gain confidence. They are a well-established local charity which provides support, leisure activities, assistive technology training, assistive equipment, information, advice and sight care advisors in local hospitals for people who are blind or partially sighted.

West Sussex Mediation Service (WSMS) has been granted £3,000 to help resolve local conflicts. WSMS specialise in neighbour disputes and help local people to resolve issues like noise nuisance, anti-social behaviour and disagreements over property boundaries. By resolving conflict they help to improve people’s lives, removing the stress and anxiety caused by the dispute and improving health and wellbeing.

For more information contact the Mid Sussex District Council Community Services Team on 01444 477495 or email


Footballers tackle mental health issues

Football training

We have teamed up with Places for People Leisure to offer a new mental health support programme at The Triangle leisure centre in Burgess Hill.

Run by the Crawley Town Football Club Community Foundation, the ‘Move the Goalposts’ programme is open to anyone who is experiencing or has a history of mental health issues, including stress, anxiety or depression. Staff members from the CTFC Community Foundation are trained to offer guidance and support on physical and mental health matters.

The programme is split into two halves with the first hour providing a chance to talk with the group about anything that may be troubling you. The second half focusses on physical activity and often includes a friendly game of football.

The group meet at Costa Coffee in the Triangle leisure centre, Burgess Hill every Thursday at 10am. If you are interested in taking part then you can either turn up on the day or email Darren Ford, Community Development Manager for more details.

Parks & Rangers

New World's End playground now open

Worlds End Recreation GroundWork has been completed on a brand new playground at World's End Recreation Ground, Burgess Hill so local children can enjoy playing there during the half-term holidays.

Local schoolchildren from Manor Field Primary School helped to design the new play area and the result is an exciting and challenging play space that provides play opportunities for children of all abilities.

At the centre of the new playground is a large climbing frame that is inspired by tree house designs produced by pupils from Manor Field School. There are a variety of different swings including a wheelchair accessible swing and a multi-person swing so children can swing together with their little brothers and sisters. A trampoline is built into the ground and there is a wheelchair accessible roundabout. There's also an area created especially for toddlers with small swings and a miniature climbing frame and slide.

As the new playground features play equipment that is suitable for disabled children we have provided a Changing Places Toilet ( so families can enjoy their visit for longer and make full use of the new inclusive play area.

The new playground has been funded by Section 106 developer contributions provided as a result of the Theobalds Farm and Medway Gardens housing developments off Valebridge Road in Burgess Hill. The new housing is actually just over the border in Lewes but, as the majority of residents will use facilities in Mid Sussex, Lewes District Council has kindly agreed for the funding to be used for this project.

Changing Places toilet for World's End Recreation Ground

We have installed a Changing Places toilet at World's End Recreation Ground in Burgess Hill to provide accessible toilet facilities that meet the needs of all people with a disability.

People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need more support than is provided by a standard disabled toilet. A Changing Places toilet provides the extra equipment and space that's required to enable everyone to use the toilets safely and comfortably.

The spacious interior provides plenty of room for a disabled person and their carers to use. The toilet is centrally located and has room on either side to make it easy to access. Other features include an adult sized changing bench, privacy screen, shower facilities, a height adjustable sink and a tracking hoist for ease of movement around the room.

The new Changing Places toilet has been funded by Section 106 developer contributions provided as a result of the Theobalds Farm and Medway Gardens housing developments off Valebridge Road in Burgess Hill. The new housing is actually just over the border in Lewes but, as the majority of residents will use facilities in Mid Sussex, Lewes District Council has kindly agreed for the funding to be used for this project.

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