Allotments could go on play areas

The Hempstead Lane play area, Ridgewood Recreation Ground and land at West Park are all being considered as sites for allotments in Uckfield.

Seventy half-plots could be accommodated on West Park, 30 half-plots could be accommodated on part of the Hempstead Lane play area and eight half-plots could be provided at the Ridgewood Recreation Ground, according to a report to a meeting of the town council’s environment and leisure committee on Tuesday.

Councillors are warned that the West Park proposal could be controversial with residents but a report says: “That should not be a reason for excluding this site.”

The report goes on to say: “Planning permission may be required as the status of that particular piece of land is unclear, but with proper management, sympathetic layout and landscaping it could enhance the neighbourhood and transform what is now a rough, untidy and scrappy area.”

The land is between the back gardens of houses in Markland Way and Lashbrooks Road on the Rocks Park estate.

The Hempstead Lane play area land is described as “essentially a ‘dead’ open space with limited recreational use”.

The allotments would be sited against the boundary with the Hempstead Fields housing development.

The report, which identifies this as the best option, says: “New fencing and gates would be needed to give access and make the site secure. Planning permission would not be required as this land is already classed as recreational.”

Other proposals for development at the Ridgewood Recreation Ground will also be before the committee but the allotments report says there is the potential to extend the existing allotments onto the recreation ground and yield an additional eight half plots and still retain a playing area for cricket (though not football) on the remaining ground.

Again planning permission would not been needed because this land is classed as recreational. New fencing and gates would be needed to give access and make the site secure.

Ideas to make better use of Ridgewood recreation ground were initially considered by the town council back in March. See the story we reported at the time.

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