Burgess Hill link road investment divides opinion

Plans to spend £23.3m improving the Burgess Hill link road have garnered mixed reactions.
Improvements to the A2300 Burgess Hill liink road have are expected to take place. Pics Steve Robards SUS-150127-165753001Improvements to the A2300 Burgess Hill liink road have are expected to take place. Pics Steve Robards SUS-150127-165753001
Improvements to the A2300 Burgess Hill liink road have are expected to take place. Pics Steve Robards SUS-150127-165753001

The proposals - revealed in last week’s Middy - include partially dualling the A2300 and improving junctions, in a bid to ‘unlock 3,300 homes and 5,000 jobs’.

MP Penny Mordaunt commented on the plans as she announced additional funding to improve Gatwick Airport’s railway station.

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The MP for Portsmouth North told the Middy Burgess Hill has ‘suffered from congestion problems for ages’.

“It’s a critical road,” she said. “By improving that we won’t just be alleviating the congestion, we’ll be unlocking land. It’s infrastructure that’s long overdue.”

The investment was welcomed by Burgess Hill town mayor Anne Jones, who said: “It’s wonderful news, now we have the infrastructure and funding to support the housing we need. To have that money allocated is brilliant news.”

Leader of Mid Sussex District Council Garry Wall added: “We’ve not seen this kind of investment for a long time. It’s incredibly positive news for Mid Sussex. We have lobbied long and hard for this.

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“There will be significant improvements to Burgess Hill town centre. It is an important part of the jigsaw to benefit Mid Sussex.”

However readers were less enthusiastic about the plan.

One observer told the Middy: “I don’t see the point in this expenditure, I have never seen the A2300 link road congested of itself, only when traffic is tailed back because of road works or congestion on the A23 or Jane Murray Way. So why this enormous sum of money where it’s not needed?”

And Sue Silverlock posted on Facebook that she would ‘prefer the money to be spent on repairing the potholes which wreck your car’.

Reader Colin Carter described it as ‘a logical and necessary investment, given the significant levels of development scheduled’. However he was concerned about the impact on its feeder roads.

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The scheme is a partnership between Coast to Capital LEP, Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council.

It will cost £23.3 million, with £17 million coming from the Coast to Capital Growth Deal.

It is estimated that work will start in 2016/17 and be completed in spring 2019.

Speaking about investments in the South East, the prime minister David Cameron, said: “Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain and ensure a recovery for all.”

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n The A2300 project is required for the delivery of 3,385 new homes and proposed employment floorspace in the Northern Arc of Burgess Hill, and will provide enhanced transport access for 1,720 other new homes in the town.There is planning permission for three sites for residential development, totalling 1,280 units. And an employment site of up to 50,000 square metres has been approved on land at Goddards Green, immediately south of A2300.

The emerging Burgess Hill Neighbourhood Plan identifies sites for a further 440 new homes within the town centre.