Friday, March 04, 2011

Friends of The Green Circle Network Vs The Town Council

Exciting times in Burgess Hill, for a feud is developing!

The Reason
Burgess Hill Town Council have released plans for how they see potential development in the town over the next 20 years. It involves the construction of 4,000 new homes in the north and east of Burgess Hill. These new dewellings could raise as much as £40 million from the developers in order to improve the town's services. New sporting facilities, civic buildings, vastly improved bus infrastructure and most importantly, drastically revamping the town centre in order to accommodate some big name retailers.

This sounds all well and good, based on what seems to be a solid financial plan which is more than can be said for the sorry state of affairs when the district council hooked up with Thornfield properties.

The opposition
There are a group of people that have publicly declared their dislike for the plans. This group are The Friends of Burgess Hill Green Circle Network. They have a lovely website - on which you can find out what they're all about.

The Green Circle aren't happy with the number of new homes that this grand scheme will require and that they will be built mainly on greenbelt land.

They think that Burgess Hill may only need to accept 2,000 new homes to meet their quota for the district.

Additionally, the group point out that the completion of the Green Circle will only cost thousands and not millions of pounds like other parts of the project will require, thus they see no need for all the extra houses.

What makes them think that the Green Circle will be top of the list when it comes to allocating the funds? It could be that the Green Circle money is near the bottom of the list, and that all 4,000 new homes will be needed for them to get what they want!

The Council Fight Back
The Council wrote to the Green Circle Committee. The letter says that by rejecting the plans, the Green Circle may never be completed. The council have said that by asking it's members to vote 'No' to the plans, the Green Circle group is being unfair on the bulk of residents that want to benefit from a revitalised Burgess Hill. The letter also points out that the chairmain of the Friends Group went on record as giving a thumbs up for 8,000 homes back in August 2010!

Basically, the message was, don't bite the hand that feeds you.

You can read the full letter yourself via Simon Hicks' wonderful blog

Annual Town Meeting = The Big Fight?
This coming Tuesday (8th March) is the annual town meeting at Cyprus Hall, the action kicks off at 19:30. Can we expect a large contingent of members from the Friends of the Green Circle to attend and cause a heated debate? I'd like to think so!