Fears that part of a major public park could be lost to housing

Concerns are being raised that part of a major park in Haywards Heath may be given away to make way for new housing.


Residents fear that a portion of the historic Beech Hurst Gardens off Butler’s Green Road could be swallowed up if proposals go ahead to build 24 houses in nearby Bolnore Road.

The gardens are home to a miniature railway, restaurant, children’s playground, bowls lawns, tennis courts, a petanques site, picnic lawn, along with ornamental trees and shrubs.

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Now a protest letter has gone to Mid Sussex District Council from a residents’ group known as ARROWW which represents householders in Amberley Close, Beech Hurst Close, Bolnore Road, Bramber Close, Climping Close, Duncton Close, Saddlers Way, Shire Land and Wealden Way.

In the letter, ARROWW representative Jeremy Randall, says: “The loss of open space in this part of Haywards Heath is unacceptable, particularly when nearby residential developments are putting an ever increasing pressure on Beech Hurst Gardens.”

The residents say that their fears have been aroused by plans for the 24 houses in Bolnore Road revealed in the Haywards Heath Neighbourhood Plan.

The residents maintain: “The recreational open space at Beech Hurst Gardens should be enhanced and not lost through a Neighbourhood Plan designation.”

In the Neighbourhood Plan, officials state that building of the 24 homes in Bolnore Road ‘should respect the character of Bolnore Road and the form, scale, layout and landscaping of the development should ensure that it responds sensitively to its setting alongside Beech Hurst Gardens.’

And, the report adds: ‘Arising from the loss of open space, alternative open space must be provided as part of the proposals.’

The deadline for public comments on the proposed plan is next week (April 21).