Letter: Consultation event was insufficient

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There are several concerns regarding the NewRiver Retail proposals, but the most important is that there should be full consultation with the people of Burgess Hill.

A two day event, given one week’s notice, held in a small empty shop (previously The Man Shop) is insufficient.

The response form with the single question­­ “How important are improvements to the town centre?” with the response options “essential, important, unimportant, not important and unnecessary”­ this attitude towards consultation is

almost insulting; we need to respond in much more detail.

If agreed, these proposals will influence the town for future generations.

To propose that a planning application is submitted before Christmas is to deny the public a full role in decision making.

Burgess Hill Town Council should take on their responsibilities and organise a thorough consultation process over several Saturdays, in a public venue, with representatives of NewRiver Retail available. A questionnaire referring to the detailed proposals for the Town Centre should be available for the public’s response. When the Town Wide Strategy was consulted on in 2011, Councillors were available on seven Saturdays to engage with the public and discuss the proposals.

In addition displays were up in the Triangle Leisure Centre and the Help Point, with response sheets available.

NewRiver Retail proposals require the same degree of consultation and consideration and should take into account the Town Wide Strategy.

Janice Henwood, Burgess Hill Liberal Democrat Town Councillor