The new Movement and Access Strategy for Hailsham and Hellingly (MASHH) steering group will make sure the growth taking place now and in the future is accompanied by the proper infrastructure.
"Some 1645 new homes have been built or are under construction in the Hailsham area since 2006, and a further 1300 are expected to be built by 2027," said Councillor Roy Galley, Wealden’s Planning and Development lead. "These will support economic growth and bring jobs to the area but it can’t happen unless better roads and transport links are in place. The steering group wants to make sure workable plans are put forward that meet with the approval of local people."
The MASHH steering group consists of representatives from Hailsham Town Council, Hellingly Parish Council, local planning authority Wealden District Council and East Sussex County Council which is responsible for highways and transport.
"The Movement & Access Strategy provides a clear statement of the essential road and transport scheme priorities to be progressed by the steering group members now and in the future," said Councillor Jo Bentley, Mayor of Hailsham. "Furthermore, the document provides a robust starting point from which to take forward important road and transport improvements. On behalf of Hailsham Town Council, I am delighted to endorse the scheme which will help ensure that future developments in Hailsham are matched with the appropriate and sustainable improvements in infrastructure."
"I am excited about the prospect of working together with Hailsham Town Council and the other local authorities to deliver transport improvements for the area," said Cllr David White, Chairman of Hellingly Parish Council.
Rupert Clubb, Director of Economy, Transport and Environment, said, "The County Council is committed to bringing forward and delivering the necessary transport improvements outlined within the MASHH to help with future development in the Hailsham and Hellingly area. These transport schemes are fundamental in making improvements to the area as a whole and we look forward to working closely with the other members of the Steering Group."
A key role for the MASHH steering group will be to prioritise spending on improvements using the money which is being made available through contributions by developers under Section 106 agreements. Some of the money for the town's new infrastructure work in the future is expected to come from contributions made by housing developers through the new Community Infrastructure Levy. Wealden District Council has begun preparations to start collecting the new levy in April 2014.
All MASSH members support the following vision for Hailsham and its rural hinterland:
"A contemporary market town, thriving economically because of its successful and varied shopping facilities and commercial opportunities, offering an attractive and welcoming environment, maintaining its own distinctive identity and acting as a hub for surrounding towns and villages."
Pictured are representatives of the four local authorities signing the memorandum of understanding for the Movement and Access Strategy for Hailsham and Hellingly. Left to right: Cllr David White, chairman Hellingly Parish Council, Cllr Jo Bentley, Mayor of Hailsham, Cllr Roy Galley, Wealden District Council, Cllr Bill Bentley, East Sussex County Council.