Closing major route into Haywards Heath for three months ‘unacceptable’

Proposed site of new roundabout at junction of Balcombe Road,  Borde Hill Lane and Hanlye Lane (photo from Google Maps Street View).
Proposed site of new roundabout at junction of Balcombe Road, Borde Hill Lane and Hanlye Lane (photo from Google Maps Street View).

A major route in and out of Haywards Heath could be closed for three months for road improvements linked to housebuilding north of the town.

Outline permission for 210 homes at Penland Farm was granted on appeal by a planning inspector back in January 2015.

Final details of the housing scheme were then approved by Mid Sussex District Council in December 2016.

Plans included a new roundabout at the junction of Balcombe Road, Borde Hill Lane and Hanlye Lane.

Developer Redrow wants to close all three roads for three months starting in March to complete the works, county councillor Pete Bradbury said on Tuesday night (October 30).

Speaking at a Central and South Mid Sussex County Local Committee meeting he said: “I personally find that is an unacceptable programme.”

He has raised his concerns already with West Sussex County Council’s streetworks team, which manages applications for roadworks.

Mr Bradbury (Con, Cuckfield and Lucastes) added: “They are saying because there’s a significant difference in levels there that’s the reason why it is taking so long to achieve that.”

Anne Jones (Con, Burgess Hill East) pointed out how there was no easy north-south alternative to the route.

Mr Bradbury replied: “The alternative would be through Cuckfield and that’s not a good alternative.”

It was agreed he would write as CLC committee chair to the council’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure ad well as and executive director opposing such lengthy closures.

Mark Becker, technical director at Redrow, said: “As part of delivering a new community at Penlands Green we are required under our planning permission to provide a roundabout at the current junction where Balcombe Road, Borde Hill and Hanlye Lane intersect.

“To deliver the new roundabout as efficiently as possible the junction will be closed for the duration of the works. We will be sharing the community feedback we receive in response to the road closure with the county council for their consideration.

“We will continue to keep the local community informed, and will be in touch before the works commence in March 2019. Once complete the roundabout will improve the current junction arrangement and benefit motorists and pedestrians.”

What do you think of the plans? Email the newsdesk.

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