You’re bound to have a few questions about the Burgess Hill proposal. We’ve put together some frequently asked questions to help you out.
Homes England is working with the Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on healthcare plans. The CCGs are groups of doctors in the NHS who are responsible for planning and designing local health services. The Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG is responsible for planning healthcare strategies for Burgess Hill and the surrounding area, and they will decide which of two possible options best fits their plans – a brand new surgery or significant contribution to existing practices in the area. Homes England will then provide the kind of healthcare provision that the CCG requests. The amount of money that Homes England contributes will be the same whether it’s for new facilities or the expansion of existing ones.
Homes England will work closely with the local community to involve them in the development process as it progresses. As individual developers join the project, Homes England will work alongside them to make sure that the community is consulted as part of the Reserved Matters planning applications and kept informed throughout the construction process.
Homes England also offer broader project updates online and via their quarterly community newsletter/in the local press.
The existing 132kv primary electricity substation to the west of Jane Murray Way (A273) will be extended by up to 3,020m2 to provide additional electrical capacity to serve the development although it should be noted that this falls outside of the application site boundary. The existing 132kv overhead power lines to the north west of St Paul’s Catholic College will be undergrounded. As the regional water supplier South East Water is legally obliged to provide water and manage water resources within its designated geographical area. As each developer partner joins Northern Arc to build homes, they will apply to South East Water for individual connections to service their plots. Each developer will then make a financial contribution to South East Water for them to provide this service.
Homes England have had initial and ongoing conversations with South East Water to ensure that they have the capacity to expand their provision in Burgess Hill, to accommodate the Northern Arc development, with no concerns over available water supply being raised in relation to Homes England’s development programme.
Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council are currently exploring whether a connection for equestrians is possible along the north side of the A2300 through the Place and Connectivity Programme. Improvements include making use of an existing vehicle bridge across the A2300 in the west of the site, which will only be used for horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians as well as upgrading the existing Freeks Lane footpath to allow horse riders to use this connection. An extension of the Green Circle, parallel to Jane Murray Way/Sussex Way will also be provided. Parts of this route fall within the scheme boundary, other parts outside are expected to be delivered by the local authority. The proposed bridleways will allow horse riders to navigate the whole of the Northern Arc from the north and the south. Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council are currently exploring whether a connection for equestrians is possible along the north side of the A2300 through the Place and Connectivity Programme.
Homes England are planning for a sustainable community at the Northern Arc, providing infrastructure and community facilities at the right time. The eastern primary school, expected to open in 2023, will be two-form entry with provision for early years and children with special education needs. The primary school at the centre of the Northern Arc is planned to be developed later in the scheme.
The new secondary school will be developed by West Sussex County Council, with Homes England providing land for the school and making a significant financial contribution towards the cost of the facility and towards local off-site sixth form provision. West Sussex County Council are currently finalising their programme for the new secondary school which is targeted to open in September 2024.
In June and July of 2021, West Sussex County Council (WSCC) ran a public consultation about how people thought the new school should be set up and who should run it. There were hundreds of responses recognising the need for school places in the area, with a significant number of respondees also mentioning the need for school places for children with special educational needs and/or a preference for early years places to be provided. It is expected that these facilities will be included in the new school.
Following the consultation, WSCC have invited bids from several multi-academy trusts which are currently being submitted. Once they have been reviewed, the WSCC Cabinet Member for Children and Young People will make a recommendation to the Regional Schools Commissioner and it is expected that the chosen sponsor (the organisation that will run the school) will be announced in Spring 2022.
West Sussex County Council is the local highways and education authority for the Northern Arc and is responsible for providing services across the county such as roads, rights of way and schools. Through the Burgess Hill Growth Programme, the County Council, in partnership with the district, is creating safe, direct and attractive walking and cycling routes and high-quality public spaces to encourage people to choose to walk, cycle and use public transport.
In 2018, Mid Sussex District Council granted planning permission for the redevelopment of the Northern Arc site (DM/18/5114), which sought to retain as many of the existing trees as possible. The Green Infrastructure Parameter Plan identifies areas of mature trees to be retained across the site. In the tender packs for potential developers, reference is provided to the parameter plan and to the Northern Arc Design Guide, section 9.5.2 which sets out principles to retain and manage habitats including mature trees.
As detailed in the parameter plan, all areas of ancient woodland habitat on the Northern Arc site will be retained, and ‘buffer zones’ around them will be kept free of development and planted with native woodland species to protect the habitat and support the project’s aim of achieving a 23% net gain in biodiversity (the amount and quality of natural habitat on site) post-development compared to beforehand.
The planting palette detailed in the Design Guide provides a wide range of tree and shrubs species which have different growing rates. This is to encourage a diverse maturity and height structure which helps to improve biodiversity, increase resilience to climate change and provide the visual depth needed to help integrate the development into the landscape. Incorporating various stock sizes also helps to create this diversity and supports the slower growth rate experienced by larger mature stock compared to transplants and whips.
Where possible, new roads at the Northern Arc have been designed and located to avoid removing vegetation and an Arboricultural Impact Assessment was prepared as part of the original Outline Planning Application. Whilst it is not possible to avoid the loss of any mature trees at all, each time a new developer comes on board and produces detailed design documents to submit for planning consent the impact on trees will continue to be considered.
The full planning application that has been approved for the Eastern Bridge and Link Road part of the Northern Arc (DM/19/3313) allows for tree removal where required and the tree clearance being undertaken (October 2020) is in accordance with this. Future landscaping for this part of the site will be submitted and agreed with Mid Sussex District Council.
Homes England is the Government’s housing agency. They are responsible for increasing the number of homes that are built in England, including affordable homes and homes for market sale. They unlock development by releasing more land to developers who want to make a difference, and by making homes happen where they are most needed. Homes England are the master developer at the Northern Arc. They have acquired the land at the Northern Arc and will make it available to developer partners as they join the project, as well as directly appoint contractors to bring forward key infrastructure at the right time.
The Northern Arc has been carefully designed to enable modern living within an environmentally sustainable community. In total, it will deliver up to 3,500 new homes (30% affordable), surrounded by approximately 80 hectares of green space. New community and leisure facilities, primary and secondary schools and employment opportunities will provide the vibrant focal points of day-to-day living.
Central Government has provided significant funding which allowed for the acquisition of the land as well as to progress the planning applications and Infrastructure Delivery Plan.
Due to the strategic importance of the site for the district, the Northern Arc is supported by Mid Sussex District Council and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. Jointly, the two bodies have contributed c. £27.6m for sustainable transport improvements and dualling of the A2300 link to the Northern Arc development area.
Over the next three years, Homes England will invest c. £41 million in new infrastructure at the Northern Arc.
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