Ambitious proposals have been unveiled for The Hub – a new business park for Burgess Hill – but doubts linger over its viability.
The emerging draft district plan and the town-wide strategy for Burgess Hill propose to allocate new employment and residential land in a growth area known as ‘The Northern Arc’.
Up to 3,500 homes would be built on the western edge of Burgess Hill on the north side of the A2300 stretching out towards Ansty, with a business park on the south side on about 15 hectares of land south of the A2300 at Goddards Green.
In an employment appraisal for the district, estate agent Henry Adams has warned: “The current state of the economy makes development challenging” and “there is a risk of non-delivery” to a phased business park.
However, Burgess Hill Town Council envisages viable businesses moving across from the old commercial sites on the Victoria Industrial Estate which would be developed for housing.
Development and asset management company Glenbeigh Developments Ltd plans to submit an outline planning application for The Hub in June.
A Glenbeigh representative said: “Existing occupiers on the Victoria Industrial Estate such as Icon Live, Flowserve and HPC all have multiple sites and no alternative sites to consider should they wish to house themselves in one unit – there is only one site left on the entire estate, providing 60,000 sqft.
“Many of the buildings on the Victoria estate are old and single storey. We envisage higher-rise buildings that could accommodate office and warehouse space with a smaller footprint and lower rents. Instead of multiple sites, businesses could operate from one building.”
The scheme will be viewed in tandem with emerging district and neighbourhood plans for the area.
The Hub site, strategically placed near the A23, falls inside the boundary of Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common Parish Council, which is opposed to a stand-alone business park in a predominantly rural area unless it is linked to the ‘Northern Arc’ housing plan. The park would not extend as far back as Gatehouse Lane to the south and would be screened by landscaping.