'˜Sooner we move forward on Martlets redevelopment the better'

A potential barrier to a £70m redevelopment of the Martlets Shopping Centre in Burgess Hill is set to be removed.

New River Retail’s £70m proposals include a new cinema, hotel, 142 flats, a modern library, parking, and an extra 50,000 square feet of retail space.

The planning application was approved by Mid Sussex District Council back in March 2016, but building work has not started.

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This week officers explained that some historical parking rights granted to Church Walk properties on the site needed to be removed in order to deliver the full scheme.

The district council’s cabinet were told on Monday that while some had accepted alternative spaces in Cyprus Road Car Park, others may need to be offered compensation instead.

Cabinet members agreed to measures to override or remove the third party rights so the development can progress.

Garry Wall (Con, Haywards Heath - Franklands), leader of the council, said: “Clearly this is a step on the ladder, one step of the process of bringing this much needed investment in Burgess Hill much closer.”

He added: “The sooner we move forward the better.”

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Andrew MacNaughton (Con, Ardingly and Balcombe), cabinet member for housing and planning, explained that the situation was ‘not unusual’ but it was ‘right we move forward quickly to put it right to the satisfaction of all parties’.

Meanwhile Gary Marsh (Con, Ardingly and Balcombe), cabinet member for service delivery, added: “I fully support this. Once this is done we can now start to see significant investment start for the benefit of residents of Burgess Hill and for the whole district.”

Cineworld and Travelodge are already set to run the new cinema and hotel respectively, while New River Retail has also lured Next and Nando’s to occupy new premises.

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