Closing a major route into Haywards Heath for three months next summer ‘will seriously impact the daily lives of residents’.
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 chaos involved in closing a major road junction for three months will not just be felt by our local businesses, but will also seriously impact on the daily lives of the residents.Jill Housby, The Green Tree Gallery
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.
Borde Hill Garden business owners have since hit back at this, describing it as ‘fake news’.
“The work was always scheduled to be completed within three months within the working hours of Monday to Friday,” argued Jill Housby, of The Green Tree Gallery.
Speaking of the road closure, she said: “The chaos involved in closing a major road junction for three months will not just be felt by our local businesses, but will also seriously impact on the daily lives of the residents of Haywards Heath and the surrounding villages, commuters and the emergency and other services.
“Despite having pressed Redrow to instead consider a partial road closure with contraflow, our group of 14 small businesses – whose survival will be seriously threatened by such a closure – have not had sight of any alternative options.
“We urge Redrow to yield up for public scrutiny their impact assessments of all the alternative options which they must have ruled out in favour of total closure.”
Peter Bradbury (Con, Cuckfield), who also serves on the county council, spoke in support of the road closure on May 30. He said it ‘would give residents a year to get ready for the disruption’.
He added: “You can’t make omelettes without breaking eggs and I suppose this is the least worst option in terms of what is going to be a very significant road closure for the area.”
Mark Becker, technical director for Redrow, previously stated the road closure was needed to deliver the new roundabout ‘as efficiently as possible’.