Haywards Heath station plan given green light

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Formal planning approval for the revamp of the area around Haywards Heath railway station has been issued by Mid Sussex District Council after being given the all clear by the Secretary of State.

The Mid Sussex Times reported in January that the council had approved the plans for the scheme, which will create up to 200 jobs, but the decision was subject to confirmation by the Secretary of State that he did not want to call in the decision.

The council has just been informed that the plans will not be called in and work can now go ahead.

The multi-million pound scheme will include a two-storey Waitrose store to the east of Haywards Heath station, improvements to the station forecourt, a café/restaurant and shops. A new two-storey car park will provide railway station parking for 820 cars and an additional 208 parking spaces will be provided for Waitrose customers. Access to the supermarket and railway station car park will be via Clair Road and new pick-up and drop off points will be created at the centre of the development and on Boltro Road.

The scheme will be delivered by Solum Regeneration (a partnership between Network Rail and Kier Property) and they are working in conjunction with Southern (the train operating company that manages the station on a day to day basis) and Waitrose. Work will now start on the new scheme in the summer of 2013 and is expected to be completed by late 2014.

John de Mierre, MSDC cabinet member for economic development says: “This final clearance is great news. It confirms that this major project, which will bring significant benefits to Haywards Heath, can go ahead and we look forward to work starting later this year.

“Projects like this are so important for the area because they create jobs, improve shopping opportunities for local people and make previously run down areas much more attractive. As a council we will continue to work hard to attract investment into our three main town centres and this scheme sends a clear message to potential investors that Mid Sussex is ‘open for business’.”

For more information contact Mid Sussex District Council at business@midsussex.gov.uk or telephone the District Council’s Planning Policy and Economic Development Team on 01444 477053.