AMBITIOUS plans to transform a town centre have been revealed.

Developers want to build new homes, shops, offices, a hotel, cinema, bowling alley and library in Burgess Hill.

The existing Martlets Shopping Centre would be demolished to make way for the £65 million redevelopment.

A planning application was put forward to Mid Sussex District Council by New River Retail, Costorphine and Wright Architects, and Indigo Planning.

The developers say the plan will create long term “social and economic prosperity”.

In a statement they said: “The ambition is to create a dynamic town centre for the Burgess Hill community to work, live and visit.

“We plan to do this by redesigning and regenerating the existing Martlets Shopping Centre to become a vibrant hub of economic and social activity that is a safe and attractive place for family and friends to meet.”

The Argus:

Previous masterplans were first revealed in 2006 and 2012, and plans have then been put forward in 2013 and 2016.

The most recent application admits there have been changes in the retail sector, meaning a “retail led” proposal was “no long viable”.

But the developers say there is a “greater appetite for leisure”.

That is why there are plans for the ten-screen Cineworld, and a 16-lane bowling alley at the site, along with 165 car parking spaces.

The proposed hotel is also now bigger, with plans for 85 rooms, up from 63 rooms in 2016.

Burgess Hill town councillor and district councillor Robert Eggleston sits on the planning committee that will vote on whether to give the development the green light.

Cllr Eggleston, a Liberal Democrat, said: “We have been heavily involved in getting the project restarted and we are committed to make sure that regeneration happens.

The Argus:

“It is an interesting and exciting proposal, but there are parts which are going to be controversial.

“The council will have to look at those aspects very carefully and make a balanced judgment to make sure the development is right for the town.”

There are fears about the number of car parking spaces available, particularly for residents.

Other concerns include fears about an ten-storey block of flats in the scheme.

The Argus:

Burgess Hill residents can view and comment on the plans online, and have until October 18 to express their views.

Meanwhile, council planning staff aim to write a report to the planning committee on whether the scheme should be approved by December 13.