Councillor Gary Marsh and NewRiver Retail have once again appeared in the Mid Sussex Times this week. Everyone in Burgess Hill should be jumping for joy, as the Martlets will have money spent on it. In fact, thats a promise. wooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!
What we all need right now is a nice dose of reality, and I'm here to deliver it. NewRiver Retail should spend their money on some bulldozers, as it is the ONLY way that it can improve the shopping experience for the town's residents.
Is anyone else sick of the faux positive spin that is being put on the future of the town centre by the council and the new owners?
Unless some bulldozers come in and reduce the town centre to a pile of rubble and start again with a blank canvas, then I can assure you that any money thrown at the town centre to improve upon its current state will be a total waste.
The current layout just does not work. The town centre is crying out for some big name retailers, however, companies like 'Next', 'HMV', 'BHS' will not be able to set up shop in town when there is a chronic lack of space for larger retail units and the warehouses required for them to operate.
Tough economic climate to blame?
It's regularly reported that local traders are struggling due to the 'tough current economic climate' In Burgess Hill I don't think that this is the case at all. There are many homeowners in Burgess Hill. Those with mortgages are currently enjoying record low interest rates. I believe families have just as much money as usual to spend, but choose not to spend it in the pathetic town centre that serves Burgess Hill.
If you need food you go to Tesco, if you need anything else you turn to Crawley, Brighton or the internet.
Personally, I'd knock down the MarketPlace shopping 'mall' and construct a proper two storey shopping centre to house all of the smaller retailers.
The landowners should then flatten the row of charity shops and flats in Church Walk along with New York Nails, Stems, the Man Shop. These businesses should be moved to the new shopping centre and use the space vacated to install three large retail units for some of the big name companies in the retail sector.
This blog post has just saved the council and NewRiver Retail hundreds of thousands of pounds in consultation fees.
I have single-handedly come up with the solution for the town centre.
You are all very much welcome!