Extra Affordable Housing for Freeks Farm
Countryside Properties, the developer that is building the first new homes at the Northern Arc in Burgess Hill, have announced they are going to provide an extra 20% Affordable Housing.
Planning permission requires that Countryside provide 30% Affordable Housing as part of the 237 home Freeks Farm development but this will now be increased to 50% as a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Affordable Housing is provided to help those whose needs are not met by the open market and this additional 20% will make a huge difference to the lives of many local families who are in need of housing.
The excellent commuting links Mid Sussex has to London and Brighton mean we live in an area of high house prices and some local residents are priced out of the market. There are over 1800 applicants on the housing waiting list in Mid Sussex and this extra Affordable Housing will help over 100 of them to finally have a place they, and their family, can call home.
The Northern Arc development is being managed by Homes England, the Government housing agency, which means they are able to maximise the amount of Affordable Housing that’s delivered and ensure that vital infrastructure improvements are delivered alongside the new homes.
The first of Affordable Homes at Freeks Farm are expected to be available in spring 2021 and will range in size from one to four bedroom family homes, including properties reserved for those aged 55 and over, and four fully wheelchair-accessible homes.
Construction of homes at the Northern Arc will be ‘tenure blind’ – this means that homes destined for affordable rent or shared ownership will be built to the same high standards as those destined for private sale and distributed throughout the development. This includes the landscaping, look and feel of the surrounding areas too.
Homes England provided an extensive online update on how the whole Northern Arc development is progressing on 15 September and if you missed it you can watch a recording on Microsoft Teams.
There's also a dedicated Northern Arc Facebook group at www.facebook.com/northern.arc.BH if you have any questions for Homes England about the project.
Mid Sussex leisure centres reopen
Our three leisure centres at The Dolphin, Haywards Heath, Kings in East Grinstead and The Triangle, Burgess Hill reopened on 1 September.
Places Leisure, who run the leisure centres on our behalf, have produced a short video to give you an idea of what to expect when you return. Signage is in place to help people follow social distancing, there are hand sanitising and cleaning stations, the number of people taking part in each activity has been reduced and cleaning regimes have been greatly enhanced.
Customers are asked to book all activities in advance via the Places Locker app or the Places Leisure website at https://www.placesleisure.org/
There will be a 15-30 minute changeover period between each session to allow customers time to exit their activity safely and Places Leisure staff to clean the facilities.
Social distancing restrictions mean leisure centres must operate at a vastly reduced capacity and they will require a significant financial subsidy to help them stay afloat, potentially £2.5 million this financial year alone.
Our leisure centres are an important part of the local community and they mean so much to local people but this level of financial support cannot go on indefinitely. Now they are open again our leisure centres desperately need your support to help them through this coronavirus crisis - the more you use them, the less burden there will be on the taxpayer.
Keep West Sussex safe
As restrictions ease, we can’t be complacent about COVID-19. Let’s do all we can to stop the spread of coronavirus in West Sussex.
Please make sure you do your bit by following following government guidance, including these three simple steps:
- HANDS - wash your hands regularly
- FACE - wear a face covering
- SPACE - observe social distancing
Find updates and further information about COVID-19 at www.westsussex.gov.uk/coronavirus
Mid Sussex to receive £3.2 million for digital infrastructure
We've worked with our Local Enterprise Partnership, Coast2Capital, to secure £3.2 million from the Government to help improve digital infrastructure in rural Mid Sussex.
Digital infrastructure in rural areas like Mid Sussex is often left behind big towns and cities because it is a much less profitable area for private companies to install the latest gigabit capable full fibre broadband.
This £3.2 million investment will help us to stimulate the market in rural areas and make our towns and villages much more attractive places to invest.
Mid Sussex Applauds - nominate your community champions
Time is running out fast if you want to highlight the fantastic work of local groups and individuals by nominating them for a Mid Sussex Applauds Award 2020.
The deadline is Friday 18th September so please get your nominations in now for -
Good Sport Award - a club or individual who has made an outstanding contribution to supporting activity or sport in Mid Sussex
Stronger Together - an individual who has helped to bring together cultures and communities through a local project or community activity
Young Volunteer of the Year - recognising those young people who have made a difference in their local community
Lifetime Achievement - an individual who has made a substantial commitment to the community in their lifetime
Take Pride in Mid Sussex - recognising residents who dedicate their time and energy into keeping Mid Sussex clean and green, take pride in their local area by
creating community gardens, painting local spaces, upcycling or encouraging others to recycle.Business in the Community
- recognising a business which supports or makes a positive contribution to benefit and enhance community lifeStronger Communities
- a community group or organisation that has helped to bring together cultures and communities through a local project or community activityYoung Achiever Award
- against all the odds, someone who has overcome significant obstacles and made a positive difference to their own lives or to other young people through education, campaigning or helping another overcome a difficult situation or personal problem
Full details and a simple nomination form are available at www.midsussex.gov.uk/applauds
Former Burgess Hill library set for demolition
The demolition of a redundant former library building in Burgess Hill is set to start next month after proposals were approved by Mid Sussex District Council.
Burgess Hill library relocated to a new unit within the town centre in December 2019. The former library building is now vacant, and the Council’s Cabinet met on 14 September to approve the demolition and appoint a contractor to carry out the work.
Demolition of the former library building will allow NewRiver REIT to progress its plans for a mix of new leisure attractions, community facilities, retail units and restaurants in the heart of Burgess Hill. A revised planning application for new flats, shops, a gym, bowling alley, 10 screen cinema and Travelodge hotel was approved by Mid Sussex District Council on 3 September.
The former library demolition project includes work to reinstate a hard surface across the entirety of the site, including the area previously covered by Martlets Hall, to ensure the area is safe, clean, and ready to be brought back into public use.
Site preparation work is expected to start in October 2020, with the whole demolition project expected to take around six weeks to complete. Work will be carefully managed to keep any disruption to a minimum and every precaution will be taken to reduce dust and debris.
Lighter and brighter look for Wivelsfield Station
We will soon be carrying out some more improvements to the station bridge and the area surrounding Wivelsfield station as part of our Place and Connectivity Programme.
Work will begin later this month to brighten up Wivelsfield Station bridge following the recent installation of murals. The artwork has been created by artists working alongside the Worlds End Association and Manor Field Primary School. By repainting the underbridge and replacing and upgrading the lighting, these improvements will help to make the station area more welcoming to residents and visitors.
The bridge will remain fully open to pedestrians and traffic throughout the duration of the improvement works. Some pavement closures will be required but we'll keep the local community informed about when these will be needed.
The improvements at Wivelsfield station are part of our Place and Connectivity Programme, a group of projects taking place across Burgess Hill to improve public spaces and encourage people to walk and cycle. Future improvements planned for the Wivelsfield area will provide better walking and cycling connections to the station and a lift for step-free access.
For more details on Place and Connectivity Programme improvements and to keep up to date with the Burgess Hill Growth Programme please check www.burgesshill.net
Site Allocations Development Plan consultation
A public consultation on the Mid Sussex draft Site Allocations Development Plan runs until Monday 28 September 2020 to allow you the opportunity to comment before it is submitted to Government for public examination.
The Mid Sussex District Plan 2014-2031, which was adopted in March 2018, sets out in broad terms what, where, when and how development will take place in Mid Sussex up until 2031. Whilst the majority of development sites are already planned for in the District Plan, the Planning Inspector required the Council to identify more sites to ensure the housing and employment needs of the District are met.
The draft Site Allocation Development Plan Document addresses that requirement and recommends 22 housing and 7 employment sites, at locations across Mid Sussex.
The draft Site Allocation Development Plan Document is available to view online at www.midsussex.gov.uk/SitesDPD. Comments can be submitted using an online form, by email to LDFconsultation@midsussex.gov.uk or by post to Planning Policy, Mid Sussex District Council, Oaklands, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH161SS.
All comments received during the consultation will be considered by an independent planning inspector alongside the submitted Site Allocations DPD at a future Public Examination before deciding whether the Plan can be adopted by the Council.