Demolition of empty Burgess Hill pub for new homes approved

Permission to demolish an empty Burgess Hill pub and replace it with new homes has been granted.

The Weald Inn, on the corner of Royal George Road and Weald Road, closed for good back in February much to the dismay of regulars.

Greene King, which owned the pub, said it had made the ‘difficult decision that it was no longer a viable long-term prospect’.

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An application to knock down the pub and build ten new homes in its place was approved by Mid Sussex District Council’s planning committee on Thursday (November 12).

The development consists of two pairs of semi-detached houses fronting on to Royal George Road, a building on the corner forming two flats and one house and then a terrace of three houses fronting on to Weald Road.

The main access to the site and the rear parking court would be from Weald Road, although properties in Royal George Road would have their own drives.

Robert Eggleston (LDem, BH – Meeds) said: “It’s always regrettable when pubs close and this is the third one in Burgess Hill that has closed, but it’s not going to reopen and no one would want to leave the site as it is, and the alternative is developing it for housing.”

He praised the applicant for the design, which he thought would result in an ‘attractive’ scheme.

However he took issue with the district council rejecting Burgess Hill Town Council’s request for section 106 contributions for the scheme to go towards the Beehive project, which is looking to build a community theatre and venue in Cyprus Road.

In response Andrew MacNaughton, cabinet member for housing and planning, suggested the scheme was not ‘oven ready’ and MSDC did not want to be holding money in reserves for a project which was not close to being constructed.

The officers’ report details how funding has been requested for improvements at St Johns Park and the Fairfield Community Centre.

The only concern raised with the scheme was from Michael Pulfer (Con, HH – Franklands) who questioned the wisdom of having the parking to the rear of the properties.

Officers described how the council’s design guide supported rear parking courts in high density schemes such as this one.