Improved traffic flow in and out of the town, more office space and bigger town centre units…. These are just some of the findings of a recent survey carried out by Hailsham Town Council’s Neighbourhood Planning Team, announced this week.
Local businesses were given the opportunity to complete the questionnaire, which is the latest public consultation exercise carried out by the Neighbourhood Planning Team, aimed at gathering views on what is needed in Hailsham to support future housing development taking into consideration local environment and sustainability, design, traffic and transport, economy, services and facilities.
According to the survey, 71.4% of respondents have been based in Hailsham for 11 years or more, with 92.86% and 57.14% employing full-time and part-time employees respectively. 38.1% of all employees of businesses which participated in the survey are Hailsham residents.
Of those who took part, 71.4% thought that Hailsham will need more industrial parks in the future, with a number of businesses stating that there is insufficient space on current industrial estates to cater for business expansion and the increase in staff numbers, as well as the need for improved accessibility in and out of industrial parks.
78.6% of participants believe the proximity of their business to the town centre is an advantage, preferring to be part of the town centre community rather than being located out of town in an industrial park.
Participants stated that Hailsham has a good ‘village feel’ to it with a strong focus on independent shops, sufficient local amenities and ample free parking in and around the town centre.
Additional positive features for Hailsham-based businesses as identified in the questionnaire include both local and national suppliers being present on industrial estates, good connectivity to the A22, ample passing trade and the use of each other’s services.
Less favourable features identified by local businesses include the current traffic congestion in and out of the town at certain parts of the day, limited transport connections (i.e. rail) and lack of police patrols in the town centre.
When asked what would encourage businesses to locate to Hailsham, views from participants included the need for more office space (due to the continued growth in office-based businesses), a reduction in business rates and larger town centre units.
78.6% of participants answered ‘Yes’ when asked if they see a successful future for their business in Hailsham over the next 5-10 years.
“Thanks to all the businesses which took part in our questionnaire and provided feedback on existing facilities and services available and what is required to support and develop Hailsham’s workforce in the future,” said Deputy Town Clerk and Business Enterprise Manager Mickey Caira.
Councillor Glenn Moore, chairman of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee said: “This survey was launched by our Business & Employment focus group to look at how local industry and services may grow in the future – and how to encourage more to come into the area.”
“Local businesses’ needs and preferences will be taken into account. Feedback from the questionnaire will provide the basis for the draft Neighbourhood Plan as a reflection of the consensus views of businesses in the local community.”
Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
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