The site being considered for regeneration covers areas of Hailsham Town Centre, including the Wealden Council offices, leisure centre, the Hailsham Medical Centre, Seaforth Surgery and the Vicarage Field area. Wealden District Council is a key landowner in the town centre and has been in early conversations with other landowners and leaseholders to ensure the regeneration can be a success.
In recent years there has been an emerging focus on the need for regeneration in the centre of Hailsham, together with nationally changing trends in how we use the high street. Redevelopment provides a once in a generation opportunity to revitalise open spaces, bring a more varied mix of uses into the town centre, and provide much needed new homes.
As a key owner of land in the town centre, Wealden District Council through Hailsham Aspires is putting together proposals for the future of Hailsham Town Centre. This will deliver a vibrant mix of uses in line with the Vision for Hailsham identified in the Hailsham Neighbourhood Plan and offer Hailsham a bright future as the key growth town in East Sussex.
Following on from all engagement and consultation undertaken to date on the local community’s priorities for the town centre, the masterplan will include:
- New open public and green spaces
- Exciting new exercise and leisure facilities
- Access to new healthcare facilities
- New energy efficient homes
- Improved civic and community spaces
- Improved connectivity and accessibility for all
- Reinforced and enhanced green links with the surrounding countryside
The Hailsham Aspires team have written to all of the business tenants within the site boundary and will continue to consult with them as the masterplan options progress. We will be doing all we can to minimise any disruption to businesses throughout this process, with key aims of the regeneration being to boost the local economy and encourage more footfall into the town centre.
Redevelopment of the town centre will improve and enhance existing public spaces. These include sunny places to sit, play and socialise, plus green spaces with significant tree planting and landscaping, as well as creating links to the wider countryside, that look to increase wildlife and biodiversity.
Building new homes in Hailsham is a key objective for the Council, given the need to meet new housing targets. Bringing more homes into the town centre will also enable people to access services, retail, employment and leisure activities on their doorstep. This will be more convenient, more sustainable and help create a vibrancy to the town that will attract more people and businesses to Hailsham.
As a council we are committed to delivering a new leisure and health facility within Hailsham town centre as part of the Hailsham Aspires project.
It is already clear that there is appetite for an innovative approach to health and well-being. This is likely to include new GP health facilities alongside a new leisure & physical activity centre.
The provision of a New Community Sports Hub on the outskirts of Hailsham will not be at the cost of seeking to deliver other facilities in the wider area, but look to compliment this. It is hoped the Sports Hub can provide much needed high quality, all weather sports facilities.
This is still to be determined. We are currently seeking public feedback through engagement activities (Sports Hub Consultation) and working closely with a number of key partners to help us shape and inform the final facility mix.
Transport and Access
Yes, a multi-storey car park will be included within the masterplan. We understand that car parking is important to local people and want to provide this whilst maximising opportunities for public and open spaces, and making the town centre as accessible as possible for all.
Redeveloping the town centre provides an excellent opportunity to improve active travel and green access walking and cycling routes across the town. A Travel Plan will be in place to promote sustainable transport.
We are currently at the early stages of drawing up our proposals, and we will take access into account when we develop detailed designs.
Heritage and Design
In line with the feedback received from the local community and stakeholders at all stages of consultation, the redevelopment will celebrate the unique culture, heritage and identity of Hailsham, and provide an improved setting for the many Listed Buildings in the area.
The project team is reviewing work to date in the light of the findings, and to take account of changes in post-COVID requirements and opportunities. They are also reviewing the designs in terms of potential impact on the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy, as we enter the recovery phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Hailsham Aspires Project Sponsor Board will then agree a preferred masterplan option that will be put to Wealden District Council formally for confirmation.
There is still more detailed design work to be done, the planning process to navigate and construction contracts to procure. We will publish a broad timescale for construction in due course.