Haywards Heath

Haywards Heath

infobox UK place
country = England
longitude= -0.0979
latitude= 51.0048
official_name= Haywards Heath
population = 22,800 (2001)
civil_parish= Haywards Heath
shire_district= Mid Sussex
shire_county = West Sussex
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Mid Sussex
postcode= RH17, RH16
postal area= RH
dial_code= 01444
os_grid_reference= TQ335245

Haywards Heath is a town in the Mid Sussex District of West Sussex, England. It is situated 12 miles (19 km) north of Brighton and 15 miles (24 km) south of Gatwick Airport. Being a commuter town, many of the residents commute daily via rail to London, nearby Crawley or Gatwick for work.

Town history

The name Hayward comes from Old English meaning "hedge enclosure". There is a local legend that the name comes from a highwayman who went under the name of Jack. This legend is almost definitely apocryphal. Haywards Heath as a settlement is a relatively modern development. Until the late 19th century, it was little more than wasteland belonging to the Manor of Hayworth. However, following the arrival of the London & Brighton Railway in 1841, its size has increased considerably. Haywards Heath station opened on July 12, 1841 and served as the southern terminus of the line until the completion of Brighton station on September 21. The position of Haywards Heath, and its place on both this railway and near the main road (A23) between London and Brighton, enables it to function as a commuter town, with many residents working in London, Brighton, Crawley and Gatwick Airport.

Other noted historical events in the town's history include:
* The opening of the Sussex County Lunatic Asylum (later called St Francis Hospital) in 1859
* The opening of Bannister's cattle market, the 12th largest in UK at one point, in 1859. This was closed to make way for a Sainsbury's supermarket in 1989.
* The opening of Victorian & Edwardian villas built as early Commuter settlements in 1894
* The opening of the Eliot Cottage Hospital, later King Edward VII Eliot Memorial Hospital, in 1906, named after benefactor, Alice Annie Eliot (1864-1904)
* Schemes in the 1920s to help families on low incomes to become self-sufficient, resulting in the building of Franklands Village in the 1930s.

In the 1960s and 1970s, two light industrial estates were built. Office development has lately resulted in the town being a regional or national centre for a number of national companies and government agencies.

The population has risen from 200 in the early 1850s to 22,800 (2001 census), making it one of the larger towns in West Sussex. The area of the civil parish is 974.99ha.

The parish church, dedicated to St Wilfrid, and the Roman Catholic church of St Paul are among the churches and chapels in Haywards Heath. Other places of worship include the Methodist church in Perrymount Road and two Baptist churches, St Richards (C of E), the Church of the Presentation(C of E) and the Ascension Church (C of E).

Haywards Heath was in East Sussex, but a change to the county boundary in 1974 brought it under the jurisdiction of West Sussex.

Bolnore Village

In the late 1990s, planning permission was granted for 780 new homes on a greenfield site now known as Bolnore Village, located to the south west of the existing town. Construction of phases 1, 2 and 3, led by the house builders Crest Nicholson in conjunction with several other companies, has now been largely completed. However, work on phases 4 and 5 has not yet commenced.

The decision to grant planning permission for Bolnore Village was somewhat controversial, since the Ashenground and Catts Woods on that site formed a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI).

As a condition for planning permission, the developers are required to build a relief road for the town, often referred to as Haywards Heath bypass, which will re-route the A272 south of the town centre. Although the first section of the relief road has already been built, it remains incomplete as there are issues with land ownership and the road has to cross a railway line which involves protracted negotiations with Network Rail.

In 2008, local residents won a bid to set up and run their own primary school for the village. The school is expected to open in September 2009 in spare accommodation at St Wilfrid's CE Primary School, and to move to the new school buildings in Bolnore in September 2010.


The Mid Sussex district council are planning to further modernise the town centre, and has recently published its Haywards Heath Masterplan which includes renovation plans for the railway station ticket office and new shared parking facilities. The next steps for the redevelopment are currently unclear following a local referendum [ [http://haywardsheaths-referendum.com/ The Haywards Heath Referendum Group] ] in which residents voted 95% for the Station Quarter redevelopment to be put on hold until full information regarding the development is in the public domain.

A further 685 homes are due to be built in the final phases of Bolnore Village (phases 4 and 5), and new homes are also expected to be build in the town centre as part of the Hayward Heath Master Plan.

If completed, the Haywards Heath bypass will eventually divert the A272 traffic south of the town through Bolnore Village, which the district council hopes will improve the current traffic situation through the town centre. This road is currently a cul-de-sac/dead end into Bolnore as the counicl have not secured an agreement to complete this important road link.

Haywards Heath Referendum Group

In response to the Haywards Heath Masterplans, a group of residents have formed The Haywards Heath Referendum Group, a strictly non-party political association with members drawn from the local community.

A local referendum, which is very rare in the UK, was called and although 94% of voters supported the motion, turnout was only 21% of the electorate. The motion was subsequently adopted during a Special Meeting of the Town Council on July 21, 2008 when members agreed to the motion: "To adopt the local referendum result which asked MSDC to put development plans on hold." [Minutes of the Haywards Heath Town Council, July 21, 2008] .

The deputy Mayor confirms "that the motion was taken as a 'recorded' vote which was carried 9-3 with one abstention, however members have yet to agree the minutes." [Correspondence of the Haywards Heath Town Council, date unknown] This has led to extensive debate and the resident mandate from this meeting being delayed.

It is allegedfact|date=September 2008 that control and leadership issues continue to undermine credibility with widespread debate following a BBC TV News item on Saturday September 13, 2008. The Mayor has advised that members will again try to agree minutes from the 21st July at its next meeting on October 27, 2008.

Transport links


Haywards Heath railway station is a major station on the Brighton Main Line. Some of the train services divide at Haywards Heath before continuing their journey to the south, or join other services before continuing north.


Haywards Heath is primarily served by the A272 road, which runs through the centre of the town. Following the A272 to the West, it joins the A23 road which runs both to Brighton to the south and London to the north.

Local attractions, culture, and facilities

*Bars and restaurants in Broadway
*Victoria Park
*Clair Hall - community centre and event centre
*Olympos Haywards Heath Leisure Centre
*Borde Hill Gardens
*Beech Hurst Gardens
*Haywards Heath Recreation Ground
*Haywards Heath Library
*"Town Day" - celebrated in early September each year including fireworks in the evening at Victoria Park
*Walking - one of the best known walks close to the town starts just north of the railway station and runs to Ardingly Reservoir, approximately 2.5 miles (4 km) north of the town.


tate Schools

*Central Sussex College
*Oathall Community College
*Lindfield Nursery School
*The Acorns Nursery School
*Bolnore Primary - to open a Reception class in 2009 at premises at St Wilfrid's and thereafter in the new school at when it is built.
*Heyworth Primary School
*Harlands Primary School
*St Wilfrid's CEP School
*Court Meadow School
*Blackthorns C.P School
*St Joseph's Catholic Primary School
*Northlands Wood Community Primary School

Private Schools

*Tavistock and Summerhill School

Twin town

Haywards Heath is twinned with:

flagicon|France Bondues, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France

flagicon|Germany Traunstein, Bavaria, Germany

A major road in the Bolnore Village area of the town has been named Traunstein Way.

Famous residents

Noted celebrities with connections to the Haywards Heath area include:
* Brett Anderson Suede Singer/Songwriter
* Mat Osman Suede Bassist
* Robert Kazinsky Actor best known as Sean Slater in Eastenders
* Matthew Waterhouse Actor best known as Adric in Dr Who
* Eddie Shah Founder of Today Newspaper went to nearby Oathall School
* Frank Reginald Carey War Hero
* David James Author, Politician and Adventurer lived in nearby Wivelsfield Green whilst Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown
* Greta Scacchi Actress, attended Haywards Heath Grammar School for a while.Leslie Ash and her husband Lee Chapman

In fiction, Haywards Heath is also the home of the Jennings' family.

ee also

*Haywards Heath Living Memories, Author: Wilfrid Jackson, ISBN 1-85937-913-3. Published by Frith Book Company Ltd.


External links

* [http://www.haywardsheaths-referendum.com/ Haywards Heath Referendum Group Website]
* [http://www.haywardsheath.gov.uk/ Haywards Heath Council website]
* [http://www.midsussextimes.co.uk/mk4custompages/custompage.aspx?pageID=21707 Mid Sussex Times History of Haywards Heath]
* [http://www.midsussex.gov.uk/page.cfm?CFNoCache=TRUE&LANGUAGE=eng&pageID=4313 Haywards Heath Town Masterplan]
* [http://haywardsheath.inuklocal.co.uk/ Neighbourhood help for Haywards Heath]
* [http://www.thisishaywardsheath.com ThisIsHaywardsHeath.com - Satirical website about Haywards Heath]
* [http://www.bolnorevillage.net Bolnore Village residents' website - website about Bolnore village with link to residents' forum]
* [http://www.hhrfc.co.uk Haywards Heath Rugby Club - The leading club in sussex rugby]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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