The team at award-winning BHBPA member Bio Productions are currently in the centre of the residential building nightmare which is Victoria Road west. I visited on Wednesday morning around 9.45 and witnessed the traffic and parking problems caused by the inevitable demand for parking by workers on the building sites. At least three sites are being developed at once, as the residential ‘creep’ down from Royal George Road has become a torrent. You can see the gallery of pics I took here.
Bio Productions, along with new BHBPA member Ultimate Warrior Training, are the only businesses left in that part of the road now. Servecorp closed down two years ago and smaller companies on the west side have gradually been demolished as the demand for housing has increased. Of course, with the price of land for residential now so high it is inevitable that planning permissions will be sought as developers cash in on the current situation.Last week I featured in the newsletter the planning application for housing on the site of 68 Victoria Road.
For Bio Productions and their workforce, the pressure is much greater now as, surrounded by building works, they try to go about their task of running a very successful company. Phil Karn, one of the Directors, told me that they had several years left on their lease, so they have time to find somewhere. They will move eventually, but as everyone knows now, finding somewhere to lease is not easy, finding somewhere to buy is very difficult if not nearly impossible. Other local companies have been trying for weeks, months and sometimes years to find somewhere to purchase, but without success. Angela Gill, another Director, told me that they do really want to stay in Burgess Hill, but she knows that it will be difficult to find somewhere suitable to buy. We have a real problem on our hands in Burgess Hill, with the lack of suitable premises for successful companies who wish to grow. Several are already thinking that they will have to leave the town, regretfully, to continue their development. If the business community can not survive here, then it will lead to wider problems for the town eg where are all the new residents going to find work?
Meanwhile the Bio staff squeeze into their small number of spaces in front of their buildings and hope that they are not blocked in when they leave. Roadside parking is on both sides, as builders, carpenters, plumbers, roofers and others all try to go about their business with as little fuss as possible. Someone at Bio must always be on the lookout for someone taking advantage of the space they leave for large delivery trucks to service their business. There are no days when Bio have no deliveries; they are a very successful company. Inevitably, there have been times when arguments have occurred about parking issues, especially when delivery trucks are not given enough room to turn round when leaving the premises. There have been times when some very large equipment is being delivered or picked up when the road has been blocked completely for up to an hour.
Council representatives have been down to see the problem, and Bio have been promised some help through white lines on the road at some time in the future.
The residential ‘creep’ down Victoria Road has finally become a torrent, and when all the building has finished and hundreds more flats are available to help the housing crisis, where will all those new dwellers park their cars?! It is certainly not the case that all those blocks of flats have adequate parking facilities. At least then Bio Productions will have some peace outside their buildings, although it is also probably that some of the new residents will start to complain about the large delivery trucks affecting their lives, or the noise of the work annoying them!