Haywards Heath station improvements to go ahead

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Work to improve a West Sussex railway station is to get under way in the summer after the multi-million pound scheme received government approval.

Haywards Heath station will get a new forecourt with a restaurant and shops and a new car park for 820 vehicles.

A new Waitrose supermarket, with another 208 parking spaces, will be built to the east of the station.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has decided not to call in the plans for further scrutiny.

"It is going to completely revitalise what has been a moribund area for far too long," said Mid Sussex district councillor John de Mierre.

'Old market town'

"It means Haywards Heath is a place you can seriously invest in.

"We are an old market town from the days when we had real cattle markets, which you don't have any more, and people used to come from miles around.

"This is almost the market town revisited which is very very good news for us."

The current scheme replaced a £200m development for the town centre proposed in 2008 which would have included 700 homes.

The originals plans were rejected by almost 95% of the 4,200 people who voted on a local referendum.

The council, which approved the plans in January, said work was expected to be completed by late 2014.

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