Business owners who have expressed concern about a planned major Haywards Heath road closure are now calling for compensation.
Developer Redrow is to close Balcombe Road, Borde Hill Lane and Hanlye Lane for three months in summer 2020 to build a new roundabout as part of the Penlands Green development, which is well underway.
The plan shows callous disregard for the disruption to the community and the livelihoods of the businesses.Jeremy Ashpool, of Jeremy’s Restaurant at Borde Hill Garden
Business owners at Borde Hill Garden have said the effect of the road closure would be ‘devastating’.
Members of Mid Sussex District Council’s planning committee approved a number of changes to the application on May 30, including allowing work on the roundabout to be carried out seven days a week.
The original plan had been for the work to take five months but the extended hours – 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday – mean it should be completed in three, the meeting was told.
However, the business owners said the work was always scheduled to be completed within three months within the working hours of Monday to Friday.
This week, Jeremy Ashpool, of Jeremy’s Restaurant at Borde Hill Garden, said: “The plan shows callous disregard for the disruption to the community and the livelihoods of the businesses.
“These developers come in, make money, and go, while we all suffer. We want some sort of compensation from the developer.”
Mr Ashpool previously said the road closure could ‘push his business to the verge of bankruptcy’.
He said his business had survived a recession, snow, and power cuts, but this road closure was the ‘biggest single threat’.
Mark Becker, technical director at Redrow South East, said: “There is a requirement for the roundabout to be built as part of delivering new homes at Penlands Green, and unfortunately this cannot be completed without a road closure in place.
“Following detailed discussions with officers and elected members at the district council and county council the decision was made to postpone the works until summer 2020, when other safety improvement works will be completed along the proposed diversion route.
“We regret the need for the road closure, however we cannot carry the works out safely without this in place.”