Decision day awaited for cul de sac site

Marchants Way Burgess Hill April 2013   pic Phil Dennett
Marchants Way Burgess Hill April 2013 pic Phil Dennett

A planning officer will decide the fate of a controversial change in a scheme for more than 300 houses on an old sewage treatment site.

Applicant Glenbeigh wants to change the traffic entrance and exit from the scheme it already holds approval for at the site on the edge of Burgess Hill.

It proposes a new route solely for refuse lorries and other traffic using the local tip, through Marchants Way and the next-door Sheddingdean Business Park. At present the road is a cul de sac.

The existing route to the tip would be upgraded soley for new estate traffic.

Factory bosses at the business park have protested to Mid Sussex Council that the lorries would cause big traffic problems for them.

They have now been told the decision on the road will be taken by a planning officer instead of going before a committee.

Steve Willis, of Steve Willis Training, one of the firms affected, said: “We are confident that the comments we have previously sent to the district council will be given due weight when the planning officer eventually makes his decision. This is a vitally important matter for firms and employees on the estate.”

The Middy reported last month that Glenbeigh considered it had met issues relating to road design, traffic calming and landscaping.

This week the district council confirmed that the decision would not go before a committee because it was considered a smaller application relating only to access, rather than the whole housing site.

It said it could make no comment on its views of the application at this stage.

A council spokesman said: “The planning officer is still awaiting the final comments from West Sussex County Council. He is expecting to make a decision in the next couple of weeks.”

One aspect that will be considered will be the safety benefits of splitting refuse tip traffic from estate traffic at what is known locally as Fairplace Hill.

The factory bosses are supported in their complaints about the proposed new lorry route by the Burgess Hill Business Parks Association, which represents factories on both the Sheddingdean Business Park and the larger Victoria Business Park on the other side of town.

Once completed the new estate will be one of the biggest of modern times in the town.