Mid Sussex District Council have made progress on their pledge to get the former Burgess Hill Library site demolished as soon as possible following pressure from some of the town’s councillors.
Having already spent £349k on demolishing the Martlets Hall – against an original budget of £180k (cost increase due the discovery of asbestos) the costings obtained the demolish the former Burgess Hill Library has come in at an estimated £140k. There is no mention of how much NewRiver Retail will be paying towards the library demolition. The demolition of the Martlets Hall at the original cost of £180k was either going to be paid fully by NewRiver Retail or split 50/50 with MSDC. Hopefully this will be covered at Monday’s meeting.
A report that will be presented to the cabinet on Monday 14th September, states:
We have worked on the basis of de-risking the project as much as possible through pre-contract intrusive surveys and transferring as much remaining risk as possible to the contractor, with a view to obtaining a fixed price for the works and minimising the possibility of cost over-runs The specification for the works also covers the reinstatement of a hard surface to the entirety of the site where the Martlets Hall stood and the footprint of the library building. This base course layer will mean the site is left safe, clean and tidy and will enable other uses such as informal car parking, pedestrian traffic etc to take place..
Longer term, the whole area will form part of the town centre regeneration project and will be subsumed into those works.
If cabinet agree to the costings and schedule of works, then the demolition looks set to begin in October and is expected to take 6 weeks.
An ecological study will be required before the demolition. Any unexpected findings in this report could delay the project if any mitigation measures are required.
Cabinet member Stephen Hillier had requested that a list of alternative uses for the site also be presented to cabinet this month, but the report merely states:
‘This base course layer will mean the site is left safe, clean and tidy and will enable other uses such as informal car parking, pedestrian traffic etc to take place.’ No mention of a temporary ice rink over the festive season then!