Mark Adair

Science & tech park in Sussex gets the green light

A 1.4 million sq ft Science & Technology Park (STP) at Burgess Hill has been allocated in the approved Local Plan.

The 120-acre (49-hectare) development west of the town, which would create thousands of new jobs, has been allocated following partnership working with key Stakeholders, Wortleford Trading Company, Dacorar (Southern) Ltd and Glenbeigh Developments Ltd.

Property consultancy Vail Williams has been leading a wider project team that has been working for nearly three years to guide the project through the planning process, alongside HNW Architects and highways consultants Connect Consultants.

The 1.4m sq ft floorspace development will provide a base for a wide range of innovation-led, high-growth, knowledge-based businesses. High quality buildings are proposed for occupiers with a technology or science bias, covering manufacturing, assembly, laboratory/research and development use, offices and incubation units.

The site allocation aligns with the United Kingdom Science Park Association (UKSPA) -defined project and has been supported by the Government’s Planning inspector and approved by Mid Sussex District Council on June 29.

Initial research by the project team indicates that the total floor space including amenity and support facilities as part of the Park, could generate between 2,500 and 4,500 jobs whilst creating a high quality landscaped environment.

Vail Williams Partner, Suzanne Holloway, said, “this is a unique opportunity to deliver a high-quality science and technology park in a central location within the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) economic region with efficient building design, renewable energy provision and sustainable transport options.

“Strong environmental credentials incorporating efficient building design with renewable energy provision, solar energy links as well as the integration of ancillary uses such as a hotel/gym, crèche, convenience store and/or café will build on the comprehensive nature of the site to meet demand.

“Key to the allocation has been the close partnership and collaboration with the District Council as well as West Sussex County Council and National Highways, and it builds on the Coast to Capital LEP ambitions to ensure a STP in the region, which has long been identified as a key part of its employment strategy.”

Vail Williams Development Partner, Andrew Osborne said, “the development of this scale will attract science and tech focused occupiers from a wide catchment. At 1.4 million sq ft, it will take many years to complete, in line with occupiers’ needs, with phases anticipated to be around 200,000 sq ft.”

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