Here’s what it’s like to live in Burgess Hill
- Credit: Archant
Burgess Hill is currently in the midst of a £1 billion injection of investment to cement its place as one of West Sussex’s best loved towns
Burgess Hill in West Sussex is popular with commuters thanks to its useful location, combined with accessibility to the wonderful nature of the Sussex countryside. The town and civil parish sits close to the border with East Sussex and on the edge of the South Downs National Park.
Burgess Hill is also located 39 miles south of London and takes about an hour-and-a-half to reach from the capital by car via the M23 or M25. It's ten miles north of Brighton, and can be reached in around 30 minutes by car via the A23.
The town is served by two railway stations, Burgess Hill station and Wivelsfield railway station with Thameslink and Southern running regular services from both towards London and Brighton, taking around 50 minutes and 12 minutes respectively. Burgess Hill also serves Worthing, Littlehampton and Portsmouth on the West Coastway Line, while Wivelsfield serves Hastings on the East Coastway Line.
There are also a number of local buses around the town including the 134 and 136 which serve the town centre as well as the 33 out to Haywards Heath and the 100 to Horsham. The nearest airport is Gatwick, which is a 25-minute drive away.
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The oldest origins of Burgess Hill have been uncovered in archaeological excavations with artefacts dating back to the late Bronze Age discovered in the Manor Road area.
What's more, the town was located on a through road in Roman times when Burgess Hill sat on the London to Brighton Way.
However it wasn't really until the 19th century that the town began to emerge from a place used mainly for common land for grazing animals to what it is today.
This change came with the advent of the London to Brighton railway line in 1841 allowing it to grow as a rural settlement.
The town grew steadily but experienced a boom in population after World War II, almost doubling from 8,500 to 14,000 residents between 1951 and 1961. This is when much of the residential building in the town happened before major redevelopment followed in the 1990s with the opening of The Triangle Leisure Centre as well as 1,500 new homes. Now the town has progressed far from its humble farming origins into one of great growth.
Annual festivals and events
The Burgess Hill Summer Festival takes place every year, with its 2019 celebration falling from 1-9 June. Other annual highlights include the Mid Sussex Marathon weekend, which includes the Burgess Hill 10k every May. Each June also sees the Burgess Hill Bike Ride where cyclists ride over distances of ten, 20 or 40 miles through glorious Mid Sussex countryside. Finally, the Mid Sussex Competitive Music Festival also runs each October in Burgess Hill.
There's plenty on throughout the year as well, including many performances from the local thriving Burgess Hill Theatre Club.
There's plenty available in Burgess Hill including a number of independent and high street shops in the Market Place Indoor Shopping Centre, Martlets Shopping Centre and the central thoroughfare of Church Road. Burgess Hill is also one of the few towns to retain an independent cinema called The Orion Cinema, which opened in 1928 and now hosts a mixture of mainstream and independent films.
There's plenty of sports facilities including the Triangle leisure centre on the northern edge of the town as well as thriving sporting teams. Burgess Hill has football, rugby and cricket clubs for people to get involved in that enjoy a reasonable amount of success. There's also a Symphony Orchestra, which draws its members from Burgess Hill and the surrounding area.
Nearby places to visit include Bedelands Nature reserve, Nightingale Meadows, Batchelors Farm, Ditchling Common and the South Downs. What's more, the green circle walk with its art trail is a beautiful route around the perimeter of the town.
Meet the neighbours
Burgess Hill has been home to a number of famous faces through its history including Simon Nye, who was the TV writer behind the much-loved sitcom Men Behaving Badly. Simon was born in Burgess Hill and has also gone on to co-write the film Flushed Away as well as the drama series The Durrells. Perhaps one of the best-known people to come out of Burgess Hill is television presenter Holly Willoughby was educated at Burgess Hill School. She's been seen presenting everything from Dancing on Ice to This Morning, as well as working as a model and brand ambassador.
Burgess Hill has its own town council, which is divided into six different wards electing three councillors each. In 2006, the town council was awarded the status of Town Council of the Year. On the district council, there are also two councillors elected for each ward. Burgess Hill is also part of the West Sussex County Council, sending representatives from Burgess Hill Town and Burgess Hill East, and Hassocks & Victoria to the council. Burgess Hill is part of the constituency of Mid Sussex, which is represented in parliament by Sir Nicholas Soames.
"Burgess Hill is a vibrant growing town," says Steve Cridland, the town council's chief executive officer. "The South Downs are on the doorstep with walking routes to the country and villages a mere stone's throw away."
Alongside the wonderful local nature, Burgess Hill is one of the top ten growth points in the UK, meaning that a total of around £1 billion worth of investment is in the process of being injected into its transformation. And what makes the town so popular according to Steve is that it caters for all of its residents with excellent sporting facilities, community festivals and some great pubs, clubs and restaurants to visit.
The plans of investment also mean that the town is hoping to welcome more than 4,000 new families as well as two new business parks, three new schools and a science park. All this hopes to make it one of the most popular local towns for commuting as well as attracting families hoping to settle.
As Chris sums up: "Affordable housing, two stations, a good bus service and within 15 minutes of Brighton and 25 minutes of Gatwick, Burgess Hill is the ideal place for the commuter."
House prices (June 2019)
Most of the properties for sale in Burgess Hill during the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £364,716. Terraced properties were on average sold for £293,476, with detached properties fetching £493,685.
Burgess Hill, with an overall average price of £356,604 was cheaper than nearby Hassocks (£446,742), Hurstpierpoint (£552,878) and Haywards Heath (£408,641).
The overall sold prices in the town over the last year were similar to the previous year and the 2016 level of £348,329.
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