Council rows back on Burgess Hill Centre for Community Sport

Whilst welcoming the chance to get a significant investment in new pitches I was disappointed, the District Council seems to have rowed back on the more ambitious proposals previously put forward – the new Centre for Community Sport, which will be located opposite the Triangle Leisure Centre risks becoming solely football, rugby and hockey pitches, with an “optional” cricket pitch. This is despite being granted 9 hectares of land by Homes England and being funded by s106 developer contributions from new housing in the Burgess Hill area – Mid Sussex District Council itself is contributing very little to the scheme.

It seems rather than meet identified local needs as promised on the Homes England website, the initial consultants report makes no mention of athletics and other local sports, and when I asked the Deputy Leader at tonight’s full Council meeting, he was not able to positively confirm that full consultation would take place to include provision for athletics and the wider range of sports originally proposed. We have been promised “extensive public engagement” over the next twelve months to shape and refine the proposals” and I look to a meaningful debate on what is really needed rather than what the Council is telling us is required.

The consultants “recommended layout” comprises the following:

Football:1 x 3G Football Turf Pitch and Ground to FA Step 5 Floodlighting and viewing stand. 2 x football changing rooms in a pavilion shared with rugby. 4 x grass youth football pitches.

Rugby: Regulation 22 World Rugby compliant artificial turf pitch. 2 x rugby changing rooms in a pavilion shared with football. Floodlighting and viewing stand

Hockey: Full sized floodlit hockey pitch (Gen 2 multi-sport surface) to beprovided at the Triangle Centre site. Parking for 120 vehicles with drop off, coach parking

Optional Facilities: Artificial wicket and cricket pitch, to the natural turf pitch area to the south of the site. Small cricket pavilion and parking.

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