County council opposes Burgess Hill boundary changes

West Sussex County Council has opposed the idea of changing one of its electoral boundaries in Mid Sussex.
Burgess HillBurgess Hill
Burgess Hill

A consultation is being held into proposed changes to match Burgess Hill Town Council’s electoral ward boundaries to those of Mid Sussex District Council.

If the changes are made, it could lead to the county council’s boundary between Burgess Hill North and Cuckfield & Lucastes also being adjusted.

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Cuckfield & Lucastes would lose the 3,500-home Northern Arc site, which would become part of Burgess Hill North.

A report from Tony Kershaw, director of law & assurance, raised concerns that adding the Northern Arc to Burgess Hill North would give the ward an electorate of 13,196 – some 26 per cent higher than the desired average as laid out by the Boundary Commission for England.

Should that figure creep up to 30 per cent, it would trigger a full review of the county council boundaries.

The county’s other concern centres around the wishes of the residents of Northern Arc, once the development is built.

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Its response to the consultation said: “The county council also considers it best not to prejudge the wishes of a new community as to whether they wish to be considered part of Burgess Hill, Ansty or a new Brook Leigh parish, as few people are living in the development area at present.”

Peter Bradbury (Con, Cuckfield & Lucastes) said: “The review being conducted now prejudices against any meaningful consultation with residents of the Northern Arc and is therefore prejudicial against future residents.

“This alone should be sufficient grounds for maintaining the status quo until 2025, when a meaningful consultation can take place.”