Councillors recommended to close New Road in Uckfield

County councillors are today being recommended to approve closure of New Road, Uckfield, at its junction with Lewes Road.

They are also being recommended to advise petitioners worried about about a resulting reduction in use of the nearby Post Office that, at present, their concerns are not supported by evidence.

Information going to a meeting of the lead cabinet member for transport and environment says the road closure would be funded by Linden Homes, developer of the housing site, Fernley Park, to the north of Eastbourne Road.

When plans for that development were originally discussed East Sussex county officers were concerned about a rise in traffic movements along New Road because of substandard visibility at the junction of New Road and Lewes Road, the nature of the narrow road and the possibility that it would be used as a 'rat run' by residents on the new development.

Wealden Council, the planning authority, accepted that position and planning permission for the development stipulated that a traffic management scheme for New Road be implemented by the time the 52nd home there was occupied.

A petition submitted by Cllr Chris Dowling opposed closure because residents felt it would result in the eventual closure of Ridgewood Post Office and stores.

A report to today's meeting says there is no evidence that closure of New Road would have a detrimental effect on patronage of the Post Office in Lewes Road.

It is therefore recommended that because of the likelihood 'of danger and harm' caused by the increase in traffic the developer should be informed – subject to resolving any issues raised by the emergency services, that the proposed scheme to close the road to traffic at its junction with Lewes Road in both directions should be taken forward to detailed design stage.

* Today's meeting is also recommended to reaffirm support of the reinstatement of the Lewes-Uckfield railway line. See a report to county councillors at http://bit.ly/44rOx7. The full agenda and reports can be seen at http://bit.ly/1qqQEH.

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