Access solution: build a road from the Haywards Heath by-pass. Simple.

Many of the access issues could be resolved if a road were to be created from the by-pass to the St Francis sports facilities. Coaches, buses, minibuses, taxis and cars would all be able to access the community hall and facilities safely and efficiently.

A replacement community hall has been on the cards for almost ten years. So why has no-one taken this into account when planning and building the relief road and the two new major housing estates that adjoin the St Francis playing fields?

Why is this not under consideration now?

Tell Mid Sussex District Council what you think by commenting on the planning application here. Contact your local councillors at Haywards Heath Town Council and Sussex County Council to share your views.

What impact will the increase in traffic have on the Princess Royal Hospital?

Has the Haywards Heath Town Council thought about the real impact of this scheme on the Princess Royal Hospital? They have unanimously agreed to support the Social Club’s application, with a few caveats at their meeting. And only four days after the application was published. No consultation had taken place with residents.

Current users of the sports pitch and swimming pool are supposed to access via the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) – either from the PRH entrance or by turning left at the mini roundabout at Southdowns Parks when coming in via Colwell Road. This is not what happens in practice as things stand, as residents will tell you.

The St Francis Social & Sports Club and Haywards Heath Town Council believe that some ‘strongly-worded signage’ will ensure that this is the case in future.

They have both agreed that all the works traffic for building the new hall will be required to come in and out via the hospital as well. The private road is far too narrow and the bends too tight on the west side for such traffic. And it is a private road intended only to service residential car parking. Public rights of access to the sports facilities are granted through the hospital.

But we have to ask: Is it really desirable or feasible for a major increase in traffic through this busy hospital? From early mornings through till midnight? Meeting the demands for large-scale events for up to 250 people? And in the shorter term, all the building construction works traffic.

The hospital has a busy A&E department. It is often extremely busy at evenings and weekends. Patients are coming and going for hospital appointments and day surgery all the time. Anyone living here who walks up to the hospital will tell you that there are people wandering around, crossing the roads – often lost, looking for directions to various hospital buildings on site. There are only pavements and footpaths for pedestrians on some parts of the road. It is hardly a safe environment at present. Any further increase in traffic on these roads is a real worry.

Do you use the hospital? What do you think?

Have your say – New planning application for community hall submitted to MSDC

You have until 21 April to comment on the St Francis Social & Sports Club planning application for a new community hall at Southdowns Park. You can find the application and associated documents here on the Mid Sussex District Council planning portal. The development proposes a large, two-storey extension to the existing 18m swimming pool, with enhancement to changing facilities, and conversion of the current tennis courts into parking. This extension will provide a cafe and licensed space for regular events for up to 250 people, running until midnight on any day of the week.  In due course the club plans to create an additional three all-weather sports pitches to be available 24/7 to enhance sports provision in Haywards Heath. This phase is not part of the current application.

The council has awarded a grant of £1.12m (see their news page here.) The community hall is intended to be a replacement for the former disused Norman Hay Hall, which was destroyed by fire in 2006. The monies were provided by housing developers as part of a Section 106 agreement.

There are a number of issues that residents feel should be considered by the planning authority regarding the suitability of the location, with regard to road, pedestrian and cycle access.

The site is only currently only accessible via a private road which is not maintained by the council – so is never repaired, cleared, cleaned or gritted by them. It is narrow, with blind bends. And barely sufficient space in parts for two cars to pass. There are two children’s play areas on either side of the road. There are no public footpaths or pavements. Lighting is extremely poor.  This road currently serves residents, providing access to their private parking. Public rights of way are permitted to access the football pitch, bowls club, tennis courts and swimming pool via the Princess Royal Hospital.

Post your comments to the council here. Please include your postal address – otherwise the council may disregard your comments.