Plea for alternative to long closure of road leading into Burgess Hill

Council officers are due to meet with developers to find out if a road leading into Burgess Hill can stay open during construction work on two roundabouts.

Work is due to take place to the two roundabouts on the northern edge of Burgess Hill in 2022
Work is due to take place to the two roundabouts on the northern edge of Burgess Hill in 2022

The work, on the Fairbridge Way and Marchants Way roundabouts at the junctions with the A273, forms part of plans to build more than 300 homes near the former sewage treatment works site, off Fairbridge Way.

It will see pedestrian and cyclist facilities upgraded, drainage improved, a new road surface laid and access to the roundabouts widened from one lane to two.

It will also mean the closure of Cuckfield Road between February 9 and May 6.

During a meeting of the full council on Friday (December 17), Stephen Hillier (Con, Haywards Heath East) raised concerns about the impact such a long closure would have on businesses on Cuckfield Road, particularly the Oak Barn Restaurant.

Predicting that the restaurant would ‘suffer horrendously if there’s a long-term closure of this road’, he asked whether the situation could be looked at again.

In a question to Joy Dennis, cabinet member for highways & transport, he said: “If anything could be done to support that business, which at the moment must be suffering terribly as a result of the current Covid crisis, it would be much appreciated.”

It was a question echoed in a petition being run by the restaurant on its website – and there could be some good news.

Mrs Dennis said the council had asked for ‘fresh eyes’ to look at the issue, adding: “As a result, we are now discussing with the developer a potential change to those proposals which will allow greater access.

“We’re not promising 100 per cent but there’s a potential here.

“It will mean a delay to the overall project.”