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 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 national 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.
In 2019, we asked local people, businesses and stakeholders to tell us their priorities for the town centre. Using the feedback given, we are in the process of creating initial redevelopment proposals for the site and will shortly be seeking the views of local residents and key stakeholders again.
The initial masterplan includes new public spaces, an exciting retail and commercial offering, leisure facilities and much needed new homes.
The town centre will be a vibrant mixed-use space, providing new retail opportunities such as cafes, shops and restaurants, to maintain and upgrade the area as a hub of activity for local people.
We will be looking to attract local traders and independent shops, as well as those needed by the local community. Attracting evening visitors with an enhanced night-time offering will be a key part of the plans.
We are currently looking into this and how this could fit this into our plans.
Building new homes in Hailsham, including affordable homes, 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 create a more well-integrated community. As a major investment into the town, it will provide more economic opportunities and a greater variety of town facilities for existing residents.
Transport and Access
Recognising that the way we travel is changing, and our ever-increasing reliance on sustainable methods of transport, we are seeking to reduce car use in the town centre. This will also help to cut congestion. Car parking will be included within the plans, but the redevelopment will look to reduce car use across the site and we will be seeking to consolidate some of the existing town centre car parking.
Heritage and Design
We are still putting the initial plans together, but in line with the feedback received from the local community at the previous 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 redevelopment of the town centre will improve and enhance existing public spaces. These are planned to be sunny places to sit, eat, socialise and use as community space. As well as providing new and improved public realm, these spaces will also contribute to creating a vibrant town centre destination. The new public realm will also feature green avenues from the town centre to the Sussex Countryside.