Who owns Uckfield's Old Timbers Lane?
Old Timbers Lane is a vital route to Uckfield’s Victoria Pleasure Ground but its ownership remains something of a mystery.
Worries over the lane have surfaced again with a new planning application to develop the former St Michael’s Convent site for housing.
The current application indicates Old Timbers Lane (below) would be used to access and leave the development.
It would also be used as an exit from the church and school site during school hours and at weekends for the church. A gated barrier with one-way vehicle restriction plates would separate the residential development from the church and school to prevent through-access from the development to the church and school.
A report to the town council said: “Old Timbers Lane is currently used as an access road to a funeral director, St Philip’s School and Victoria Pleasure Ground.
“There appears to be no known owner of the lane, and over the last 25/30 years the town council has instigated the collection of contributions from users of the lane for remedial works to be carried out on two separate occasions.
“In 2009 the school instigated some repairs to the lane and the town council contributed £500.
“At this time the clerk was asked to investigate whether a charge by the town council could be placed on the lane. Land Registry advised that as the lane is used by several different users the council could consider putting a ‘caution’ on the lane. If a ‘caution’ was placed on the lane, all this would mean is that should someone else try to register the lane as theirs we would be notified.
“The council could register a claim to the lane if they were willing to accept all responsibility for it but this would be costly and potentially could drag on for a considerable time, as all parties concerned would have to be in complete agreement.
“This was reported to committee and as the council already had a right of way over the lane it was agreed that no further action be taken.”
Members of the environment and leisure committee agreed the council should write to the planning authority – Wealden District Council – requesting that a condition of granting planning permission be that the developer brings the lane up to a suitable standard.
(Added to site Monday, May 14th, 2012)