Has the tide turned with Morrisons Local decision, asks Observer

Our independent columnist Observer comments on the decision to refuse planning permission for a Morrisons Local at Ridgewood, rail punctuality and wonders what he missed yesterday at the High Street improvements exhibtiion.

The planning inspector’s decision to throw out the appeal for planning permission to build a Morrisons Local in the car park on the Highlands Inn, Ridgewood, was a huge surprise to me.

I really thought Wealden District Council had “dropped the ball” over this application and that planning approval was a foregone conclusion.

How wrong I was. How pleased I am.

Finally, Uckfield has obtained a planning appeal result that most of us can approve of.

Perhaps we need another convenience store but plonking one in the car park of the Highlands would have been hideous.

Well done to the council officials who did the work to ensure the appeal was successful and congratulations to the councillors who put a huge spoke in the wheel when the plan came before the district council.

My faith in local democracy has been, in some measure, restored. Hopefully this decision will signal a more commonsense approach from planning inspectors.

NETWORK RAIL: One thought came straight to my mind when I read of the funding crisis affecting major rail improvements., Where does this leave  the Uckfield-Lewes re-opening scheme, let alone BML2. Up the creek without a paddle, if you ask me.

HIGH STREET WORKS: I aim to be at the exhibition today. My train ended short last night at Crowborough but even so I would not have made it. From what I have read, I’m not convinced that we cannot get more than 23 spaces in.

However, it is the length of time the works will take that worries me. Shops could go bust in the time it takes to do the works.

What’s the plan, East Sussex County Council to keep Uckfield open and vibrant while the works are carried on? I look forward to hearing about your proposals.

More than a few signs saying “Uckfield is open”, I sincerely hope.

See also:

Memorial service for Fr Martin Onions

Cottage could be replaced by impressive house

In business? Advertise in the place where Uckfield people read the news. Why go anywhere else?

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