Popular Retro Video Game Event Comes To Haywards Heath On Saturday May 27th

Press Start 2 Join, video game event specialists are coming to Clair Hall, Haywards Heath on 27th May 2017.  We will be showing the FA Cup final alongside a host of video game consoles.

Consoles span across 40 years of gaming from the Atari 2600 to the current generation consoles.

We have the FIFA tournament and we’ll also have a couple of surprise tournaments too along with one-player challenges and lots of multi player games. Tournament winners and challenge winners are guaranteed to head home with a coveted PS2J trophy. Check out the winners gallery on our website: www.pressstart2join.co.uk. You could be joining it!

If you’ve ever played a video game you will love our events, and if you haven’t we provide a great place to start.

Tickets are available from the Clair Hall box office at www.clairhall.org or phone the box office for group discounts on 01444 455440

Ticket prices are £6 in advance or £8 on the door.

Under 14’s must be accompanied by an adult. Non gaming adults admission is £2

Licensed bar available.

Get In Touch With Press Start To Join
Twitter: @pressstart2join
Facebook: facebook.com/pressstart2join

Event Video : See what a Press Start To Join event is like in this highlight video:

Celebrating Dame Vera Lynn’s 100th Birthday On Mid Downs Radio

Mid Downs RadioTo celebrate Dame Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday on Monday 20th March 2017 Mid Downs Radio (MDR) based at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, will be broadcasting a special birthday greetings message throughout the day which will include messages from St Peter and St James Hospice (Dame Vera is Honorary President of the Hospice), The Princess Royal Hospital League of Friends (She is President of LOF), the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) and from Mid Downs Radio. The greetings will also contain famous Vera Lynn songs.

MDR will also be rebroadcasting Wendy Swinton Eagle’s (MDR Vice Chairman) interview with Dame Vera which took place on 28 February 2012. The ‘Spotlight’ programme can be heard at 9am and be repeated at 5pm on 20 March 2017

MDR can be heard in the wards, waiting rooms and public areas within the PRH and locally on 1350AM or through our website www.mdr.org.uk via the pink ‘listen live’ button

Mid Downs Radio is run entirely by unpaid volunteers and broadcasts music and entertainment 24hours a day/7days a week in addition to providing wide ranging information on health and social care issues within the PRH and to the wider local community


Council Reject Plans To Convert The Priory Into Apartments

Mid Sussex District Council’s planning committee voted unanimously to reject plans to turn the Priory on Franklands Road, Haywards Heath into flats at a planning meeting on Thursday 16th February.

The plan was to turn the convent building and part of the chapel into 17×1 Bedroom, 17×2
Bedroom and 7×3 Bedroom Flats.

In addition, the application was also for an additional 3-storey building to be constructed on the same site which would have provided 4×1 Bedroom and 8×2 Bedroom flats. It was this part of the application which caused the council to unanimously reject it.

the priory haywards heath
The proposed layout for the Priory site. Note the new building to the right of the site at the entrance from Syresham Gardens.

The officer report which the committee ultimately referred to, stated:
The proposed new build element of the proposal is considered, through its design and form, to have an unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area. Given these concerns, it is considered that the weight that can be attached to the provision of housing is diminished. It is accepted that the conversion of the existing convent buildings would bring about benefits relating to their on-going maintenance and up keep. Given the significance importance and weight that should be attached to the identified harm of the heritage asset it is not considered that in this instance the public benefits of the proposed development outweigh this harm and as such the application should be refused.

The committee did however, unanimously approve a second application for the same site that provided  Listed building consent  to facilitate the conversion of the existing former convent accommodation building to form 41 residential units.

priory convent accommodation
This is the convent accommodation that the council have approved to be converted into flats…if a scheme gets approved.

What happens now?
We must now wait and see if the applicant appeals the decision, comes up with another design for the extra building, or decides to just convert the convent and part of the chapel for residential use.

We’ll keep you updated.

APPROVED! Premier Inn Granted Permission For Hotel In Haywards Heath

premier inn haywards heath

The Premier Inn have been granted planning permission for an 80 bed hotel and restaurant on Perrymount Road next to Clair Hall in Haywards Heath. It will create 30 new jobs.

The decision was made at this afternoon’s district planning committee meeting at Mid Sussex District Council.

Perrymount House – currently occupied by London Colonial Services LTD – will be demolished to facilitate the construction.

perrymount house

District Council Seek To Purchase Orchards Shopping Centre in Haywards Heath

Huge news coming out of Mid Sussex District Council for HHU have learnt that the council seek to make the sensational purchase of the Orchards Shopping Centre in Haywards Heath.

orchards shopping centre haywards heath

With less money filtering down from central government to ‘wealthier’ local authorities, MSDC are looking to become financially self-sufficient and see the Orchards as a potential source of steady income.

The purchase of the head lease from Friends Provident Life would not come without risks. The main one being low occupancy rates within the centre. The long-term future of Marks and Spencer is always in doubt, it would be a huge loss of rent if they disappear. Also, with Waitrose due to open in Spring 2017 next to the train station, what sort of impact might that have on the town centre and specifically M&S’s food department?

The council are to discuss the potential purchase of the Orchards at their cabinet meeting on Monday 17th October at 16:00.

If they agree to put in a bid, the purchase could be wrapped up before the next meeting of the full district council on November 2nd.

orchards shopping centre

The report on the MSDC website says:

Merging the Council’s interests will bring added value to the investment portfolio, and allow the Council to attract investment funding into the Centre to provide an improved retail and leisure offer and bring new shops and restaurants in to the town.

Our retail advisor has offered an initial opinion as to how the shopping and leisure offer could develop were further investment available. This is consistent with the Town Centre Masterplan that was adopted in 2005 which proposed improvements to the ‘shopping quarter’ (pages 38/39). This should be read in conjunction with the Haywards Heath Neighbourhood Plan which is going through the process to being adopted.

This would be a significant purchase for the Council. We will need a full forecast of the revenue and capital cashflows in financing the purchase and how to structure that over the short, medium and long term.

To that end, we have engaged professional services companies to report on the purchase and the bidding process. We would utilise both these companies to help prepare our bid and assist with the negotiations which would almost certainly be necessary.

This report presents no risk however were the actions recommended to reach fruition, the report would present a full risk log. Some factors to be considered are future rent defaults, loss of key tenants and town centre geographic drift. Mitigation is therefore available for all of these risks but Members should not expect there to be no surprises when self-managing a shopping centre.

Town Council To Introduce A Community Warden – With The Power To Arrest

haywards heath community warden

A Community Warden could soon be whizzing around the streets of Haywards Heath Town Centre on a Segway, this through a partnership between the Town Council, Sussex Police, and the Southern Co-Operative.

The possible introduction of a Community Warden comes off the back of changes to the way that Sussex Police operate in the county. The number of PCSOs have been cut and they are no longer designated to set towns.

What The Warden Can Do:
The Warden will have policing powers, including the arrest of suspected criminals and the ability to report incidents quickly into the Police crimes database – helping local business and residents to log their issues and incidents.

The Community Warden will be fully accountable to Haywards Heath Town Council. It is they who will set the areas of work for the Warden. Early proposals include:

  • Monitor local open spaces for signs of anti-social behaviour – Victoria Park, Victoria Skate Park, Clair Park, Beech Hurst Gardens
  • Monitor and assist with reporting business-related crime in South Road, Sussex Road, The Broadway and Commercial Square.
  • Work with Sussex Police to address issues that are identified through crime reporting and statistics.
  • To undertake work on identified  projects in all of the town’s wards as directed by the town council.

The Cost:
In the year one pilot, the Warden would cost £36k (without a vehicle) The fee would be met through funding from the following organisations:
£16,500 from Sussex PCC
£10,000 from HHTC
£10,000 from the Southern Co-Operative.

In year two, the contribution from Sussex Police would be halved, meaning that council tax  for Haywards Heath residents would need to rise by 6% to enable to Warden to remain.

In year three, Sussex Police do not make any financial contribution at all, meaning that council tax would need to increase by a further 3%,  a total rise of 9% over two years.

The Warden will be fully trained and equipped by ‘SWL Security’, a company used by the Southern Co-Operative.

What’s Happening Now?
At the meeting of the full town council on July 18th, members agreed unanimously to the following:

  1. The scope of duties, personal specification and monitoring arrangements for a Community Warden and gave the Clerk delegated authority to amend the documents when necessary.
  2. Ratify the Policy and Finance Committee’s recommendation to introduce a Community Warden for Haywards and allocated £10,000 of unrestricted funds towards the Pilot project.
  3. Delegate authority to the Clerk to enter into legal agreements and funding arrangements with the Co-operative, Sussex Police and SWL security, if and when appropriate, on behalf of the Town Council.
  4. To delegate the ability to amend the scope of work of the Warden to the Town Clerk.

Download The Report
The full details around the proposed introduction of a Community Warden in Haywards Heath are available in a report on the HHTC website which can be downloaded here: http://www.haywardsheath.gov.uk/controls/DownloadDocument.ashx?docID=wi3326KITTSNMWGIIL5648cDxz&aID=4958.

*Secret* Garden Party To Take Place In Victoria Park This Friday

If you’ve been in Victoria Park, Haywards Heath this week, then you may have noticed a group of teenagers armed with gardening equipment in and around the steps leading up to the Plantation area. They are 16-17 year-olds taking part in a 4-week course run by NCS (National Citizen Service) and Groundwork South.

The course culminates in a community project, with the youngsters choosing to carry out clearance work at the plantation area of the park, wishing to make it into a more usable area for young people and families.


This has involved removing dense foliage around the trees and completely clearing alway all the overgrowth by the steps which leads up to this secluded area. They’ve also been clearing the footpath too.


Here’s a helpful diagram for those of you who don’t know of the Plantation’s Location!

Secret Garden Party
The result of their hard work will be unveiled with a Free Secret Garden Party that’s taking place this Friday (19th August) from 12:30pm-3:30pm. Local businesses are helping to provide food, with donations coming from Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, with cakes supplied by Victoria Park’s very own Tory’s Cafe. There’s also scheduled to be music along with other fun and games. There’s a Facebook Event page if you seek to know more: https://www.facebook.com/events/1588076278152825/

These young people have been working really hard all week in the sweltering heat, and it would be brilliant to see lots of members of the community turning out to enjoy their efforts and to congratulate them for all that they’ve achieved. See you there!


Ed Bliss with the wonderful sandwich board created to help advertise the event

Secret Garden Party Victoria Park

Video: Drone Footage Over Haywards Heath

Hunters Estate Agents have uploaded an exciting new video on YouTube featuring footage of Haywards Heath shot using a drone (or by a very tall person)

haywards heath drone video

The video features prominent locations such a Victoria Park, Clair Park, Hanbury Park Stadium, and Haywards Heath Train Station – providing a great view of the development work currently taking place.

You can see the video here:

HHU do not have a commercial relationship with Hunters. We’ve shared the video as we think it’s rather interesting!

By-Election Called As Haywards Heath Councillor Resigns!

Cllr Jacqui Hollister Resigns

A by-election has been called in Haywards Heath after Cllr Jacqui Hollister resigned from her seat on the town council as representative of  Franklands Ward.

Cllr Hollister was elected in May 2015, collecting 1,296 votes in the ward, joining fellow Conservatives – Rod Clarke (1,426 votes) & Michael Pulfer (1,102 votes) as the Franklands Ward councillors on the town council where all 15 seats were occupied by the blue brand.

Could  a representative of another party, or an independent candidate be the cat among the pigeons?

Stand For Election
The candidates for the by-election have yet to be determined and any registered elector in Mid Sussex is eligible for nomination. Local residents have until 4pm on Friday 1 July 2016 to submit candidate nominations.

Information about being a Councillor is available from the Council’s website www.midsussex.gov.uk. Additional guidance about being an election candidate and the various election procedures is available online from the Electoral Commission at www.electoralcommission.org.uk.

Register To Vote
The deadline for new voter registration applications is Midnight on Monday 12 July 2016 and the deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday 13 July 2016.

If you have any questions regarding registration or the electoral process then please contact the Mid Sussex District Council Electoral Services team on 01444 477003 or email elections@midsussex.gov.uk.