Urban Park proposed for Burgess Hill
PR2436/MF/JAE - 06/06/2022
Mid Sussex District Council is planning to create an Urban Park at the Martlets Shopping Centre in Burgess Hill to make the area more attractive to visitors.
Cabinet met on Monday 6 June to consider temporary options that will significantly improve the look and feel of the Martlets Shopping Centre. Members supported the idea of creating Urban Park as a way of providing an attractive and safe space for the local community to enjoy.
The Martlets Hall and the former library were demolished in 2019 to allow NewRiver REIT to progress its plans for a mix of new leisure attractions, community facilities, retail units and restaurants at the shopping centre. NewRiver REIT continues to be committed to delivering town centre regeneration in Burgess Hill but a challenging retail environment nationally and the impact of Coronavirus mean there is no clear timeline available at this stage.
The proposed Urban Park will brighten up the area and provide a temporary area for people to meet and relax until the proposed redevelopment of the town centre can go ahead. The focus will be on creating a flexible space that’s doesn’t stop the redevelopment happening.
Landscape architects Allen Scott have produced some initial concept ideas to start a conversation about what could be delivered on site. Early ideas feature an improved public spaces, attractive trees and plants, timber decking and table tennis tables.
Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said:
“As anyone who has visited Burgess Hill recently will know, the Martlets Shopping Centre is not the most attractive place to visit right now, and we want to do something to improve it.
“We are all keen for NewRiver REIT to progress with their plans to revitalise Burgess Hill Town Centre. However, the leisure and retail sectors are currently experiencing a very difficult time and there is uncertainty about when a redevelopment could reach viability to proceed. In the meantime, we want to improve the look of the area and make it a more pleasant place to be.
“By creating an Urban Park, we can bring an area that’s currently fenced off back into use and make it into a place that people want to use when in town. Improving the attractiveness of the town centre will help support our small local business who continue to trade in the town.
“All of the improvements will be temporary in nature to ensure that area can be cleared as soon as New River REIT is in a position to resume work on their town centre revitalisation project.”