Updated: January 27, 2017
A plan to turn offices at Quarry House in Mill Lane, Uckfield, into six flats has been withdrawn but a new plan has been submitted for four flats in the building.
The premises are near the River Uck and there were concerns for residents’ safety in the event of a flood after the initial plans were submitted (see our earlier story, below).
The risk to life in times of flood would be unacceptable if people were allowed to live in Quarry House, next to the River Uck in Mill Lane, Uckfield, under current conversion plans.
That’s the view of the Environment Agency, whose duties include issuing flood alerts and warnings.
The plan is to convert the current business space in the building to six flats.
Details of the application were given in this earlier UckfieldNews.com story
The agency says the change of use proposed means the people in the flats will be more vulnerable than those working in the business premises.
It is objecting to the plans because residents on the ground floor (habitable living space/ground floor bedroom), would not have a safe means of access or refuge.
“No alternative option for managing the safety of people has been provided as part of the application.
“Consequently, there would be an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of the occupants on the ground floor in a flood event.
“The journey to safe, dry areas completely outside the floodplain would involve crossing areas of potentially fast flowing floodwater.
“Those venturing out on foot in areas where flooding exceeds 100mm (4ins) or so would be at risk from a wide range of hazards, including for example unmarked drops, or access chambers where the cover has been swept away,” the agency said in written observations.
It said its objection could be overcome by providing evidence that the plans would not pose a risk to life and property.
Uckfield Town Council Plans Committee on Monday added its objection, based on the comments of the Environment Agency.
Cllr Donna French, Trust Independent, Uckfield North, said the town needed the size of accommodation being proposed but pointed to the dangers posed in a flood.
“I really can’t see how we can accept this proposal unless that is dealt with,” she said.
Other councillors pointed out how quickly the level of the River Uck could rise at times of flood.
Cllr James Anderson and Cllr Chris Macve, both Trust Independent, Uckfield North, declared an interest in the application.
A decision on the planning application will be made by Wealden District Council.
The plans committee is also objecting to a two-storey, three bedroom being built adjacent to 16 West View on the Manor Park estate.
They listed a number of objections including the position of the proposed property which would be closer towards London Road, the 15km sphere of influence of the Ashdown Forest, the loss of green space and how that puts biodiversity at risk and how a building would impinge on the open-plan nature of the site.
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