Haywards Heath in West Sussex has long been a favourite with London commuters. A thriving, family friendly town of some 23,000 residents with many local amenities for all ages, it is surrounded by lush Sussex countryside.
Compared to the overheated London housing market, local property prices are still competitive but have shown an upward trend that is likely to continue, making the town an attractive investment for home owners.
In terms of infrastructure, there are fast and frequent train services to London Victoria and London Bridge that take less than an hour, and only a 10-minute train ride to get to Gatwick Airport. The delights of Brighton and the South Coast are less than half an hour away.
What should really get house hunters to sit up and take notice of Haywards Heath is the fact that the Haywards Heath Station Quarter is currently in the middle of a comprehensive refurbishment project. Of course, this is going to be a great enhancement for the town itself, but it will also make it much more appealing for London commuters who are looking to move outside of the London area. The Station Area may not look very pretty just at the moment, but when construction is due to be completed later on in the year, the new development promises to deliver huge benefits to commuters and locals alike.
A total of £35 million is being spent to regenerate the area in and around the railway station, in a partnership between Solum Regeneration, Network Rail and construction company Kier. The new improved Station Quarter will include an enhanced public space for station users as a gateway into Haywards Heath, featuring a new public square and better pick-up and drop-off facilities to serve the station. General improvements to traffic flow and congestion in and around the station area are also on the cards.
A new multi-storey car park will provide spaces for over 1,000 cars, with a footbridge linking the car park to station platforms and town access. This should streamline and shorten journey times for many people and is excellent news for the approximately 11,000 commuters who currently use the station on a daily basis.
Also part of the redevelopment project is a new Waitrose supermarket (which will have its own car park so as not to compete with station car parking) which will provide a welcome extra 200 jobs for the local economy. The arrival of Waitrose should also enrich food shopping choices for local residents alongside those provided by the nearby Sainsburyâ€™s Superstore.
Gary Wall, leader of Mid Sussex District Council, said: â€œThe regeneration of the Station Quarter will be a boost for Haywards Heath and this investment is a real vote of confidence for the town.â€
Property prices in Haywards Heath have been steadily tracking upwards, by a respectable 15.6% since 2007, and this growth is expected to accelerate with the increased investment into the town and railway. For those looking to move out of London and settle in Mid Sussex, Haywards Heath looks like a safe bet.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Hunters, the Estate Agents in Haywards Heath, who were consulted over this post.