Work has begun on upgrading a piece of land in Uckfield High Street sometimes described as the ‘town square’.
A tarmac area outside shops including Hartfields Produce Store is being replaced with paving to blend in more with new footpath paving.
The cobbled area is also to be replaced, a new seat installed and railings painted.
Commercial agent Chris Lawson of Lawson Commercial has been liaising on behalf of the landlord with Uckfield Town Council to get the work done.
The shops remain open while the work is progressing.
Our pictures were taken on Tuesday, May 8, so the work has progressed since then.
• This part of the High Street is actually called White Rails. There was once a row of cottages there with low white fencing outside.
From an Uckfield News story on March 16, 2018: Talks are continuing between a landlord and Uckfield Town Council about upgrading of a piece of land in the centre of Uckfield.
The land, sometimes described as the Uckfield ‘town square’, comes alive as a focal point for activities and, on fine days, when Hartfields Produce Store uses part as an outside seating area.
Lawson Commercial partner Chris Lawson said all but one of the shops in a row set back from the High Street, including Hartfields, are owned by one landlord.
He said a joint project between the landlord and council was looking at improving the area between the steps and new footpaths – currently tarmac.
He added: “The idea is to join them up with new paving. It wouldn’t be exactly the same as the footpath, but something similar.”
Mr Lawson said back in September 2016 that the catalyst for the talks was the High Street pavement works which made the area seem more “drab” than before. It was accepted by the landlord, being local, that it would be good to do something to spruce it up but he didn’t see why he should be solely responsible for it.
One of the problems was that town centre regeneration planning in the past had included the possibility of demolishing that row of shops and the landlord had asked: “Why should I put my hand in my pocket if that is the case”.