Haywards Heath station plans include shops and hotel

A supermarket, hotel, shops and a cafe are planned as part of a redevelopment of one of the major stations on the London to Brighton railway line.

The four-storey development at Haywards Heath would include renovating the existing station building and improving the transport interchange.

Mid Sussex District Council said the plan was more modest than a £200m scheme proposed three years ago.

A formal planning application is not expected before June 2012.

The council said Haywards Heath station and the surrounding area were in a "tired" condition.

'Encouraging' scheme

Vacant space surrounding the station could be used better to improve the impression of Haywards Heath for the thousands of passengers using it every week, it said.

The new scheme does not include the 700 homes which featured in previous controversial plans rejected in a referendum in the town.

It has been drawn up by Solum Regeneration, a partnership between Network Rail and Keir Properties, which is already working at stations in Epsom and Guildford in Surrey and three more in Greater London.

"The station and surrounding area are what people first see when they arrive by train and these need to be greatly improved to reflect what Haywards Heath has to offer," said councillor Gary Marsh.

"The emerging scheme is encouraging and enables it to be improved, as well as boosting both the economy and our local pride."

A public consultation is expected to be carried out in the autumn.

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