There was disappointment yesterday as members of a committee working to regenerate Uckfield accepted it wasn’t going to happen in the near future.
Uckfield town, Wealden district and county councillors, members of the Uckfield Town Centre Joint Regeneration Committee, accepted a recommendation to put the project on hold.
Cllr Claire Dowling, of East Sussex County Council, who has been involved since moves to regenerate the town centre began ten years ago said expectations had been raised and it was disappointing that economic conditions were against them.
“Every time we got to a point of moving forward something beyond our control pushed this project back,” she said.
She added: “Until 2007 developers were interested – Sainsbury’s were looking at coming in. They have all gone, and in the short and medium term they are not coming back.
“But that doesn’t mean that down the line something won’t happen. The current economic conditions are not good for any High Street.”
Wealden Council officer Kelvin Williams said that it was hoped retail or housing development would fund the regeneration.
He said everybody was aware what had happened to retail recently and now it was known that the quantity of housing included in the Wealden Local Plan wasn’t enough to trigger a significant regeneration project.
He recommended the matter was put on hold.
Committee chairman Cllr Roy Galley agreed it was disappointing but said that at least there was a new town centre which looked good.