South coast council attempts to stem commuter town neglect
Mid Sussex District Council Urban has appointed Thornfield Properties as its regeneration partner for the entire 200-square mile Mid Sussex area, which includes the key towns of Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and East Grinstead. More than 20 companies bid for the project.

At Haywards Heath, the regeneration programme will concentrate on improving retail and entertainment amenities around The Broadway, and the council is looking to relocate into the town centre or onto a new campus at the station. Plans for Burgess Hill will focus on new leisure facilities, such as a cinema or bowling alley, to cut leakage to neighbouring Brighton, Crawley and Horsham.

Thornfield managing director Michael Capocci said: 'Too many commuter towns become neglected in terms of retail and leisure provision. This is something we plan to address through this long-term partnership. We are looking at re-balancing the retail mix in Haywards Heath, particularly for women's fashion, to meet the needs of shoppers who shop elsewhere.'

Donaldsons advised the council on the selection process.