Visitors to an exhibition about the new Wealden Local Plan discuss some of the issues.

About 260 people attend Local Plan exhibition in Uckfield

People had the chance in Uckfield yesterday to view recommendations for a new Wealden Local Plan.

An hour before closure 260 had been through the doors of the Civic Centre to see a display which included recommendations about policies for Uckfield town centre and the conservation area.local-plan-exhibition-2

The Local Plan will shape Wealden district over the next 22 years and include:

  • The homes and jobs needed in Wealden,
  • Retail, leisure and other commercial development;
  • Infrastructure – transport, telecommunications, water supply, flood risk, coastal change management, and energy;
  • The provision of health, security, schools, community and cultural infrastructure and other local facilities;
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation, conservation and enhancement of the natural and historic environment, including landscape.

The bulk of development in Wealden is recommended for the south of the district and focusses on Hailsham which could double in size. Nine thousand new homes could be built there.

There are no plans for additional homes in Uckfield – other than windfall sites – because 1,000 are already allocated for Ridgewood Farm. Read more about housing here: Uckfield escapes allocation of additional housing – so far.

The preferred option for town centre development remains, as included in the current core strategy, to provide additional floor space to the west of the High Street, north of Bell Lane, east of Belmont Road, Luxford Field and car parking area.

More details about the retail strategy being tested can be seen in a previous Uckfield News story: Uckfield retail policies under review for new Wealden Local Plan.

Another Uckfield News story looks at business areas to be included in the Local Plan: Council notes new business uses on industrial estates – Local Plan.

A section at yesterday’s exhibition about the Uckfield conservation area suggests extending the boundary in some parts and excluding other parts. A separate story will follow about that.

The Uckfield Local Plan exhibition was the second to be organised by Wealden Council. The first was in Crowborough. More are to be held in Hailsham, Wadhurst, Heathfield and Polegate.

Each exhibition is looking at plans for the whole district and not just the towns they are being held in, and those who couldn’t make the Uckfield meeting are invited to attend one of the others.

The full list of remaining venues and dates is:

  • Crowborough Community Centre: Thursday, October 22, 1.30-6.30pm
  • Uckfield Civic Centre: Tuesday, October 27, 2-7pm
  • Hailsham Civic Community Hall: Saturday, October 31, 10am-2pm
  • Wadhurst, Uplands Community Centre, Tuesday, November 3, 2-7pm
  • Heathfield Youth Centre, Saturday, November 7, 10am-2pm
  • Hailsham Civic Community Hall, Friday, November 13, 2-8pm
  • Polegate Community Centre, Saturday, November 14, 10am-2pm.

Strategic planning manager for Wealden Marina Brigginshaw said yesterday that the Uckfield exhibition was attended by a mix of people from the town with some from surrounding villages where greater growth might be proposed and the issue was very much focussed on housing.

She said there was still interest in Uckfield High Street, the town centre and conservation area.

Feedback from each of the exhibitions would go back to the council’s development framework sub-committee. In the meantime a start would be made on testing the preferred options.

The proposed submission of the Wealden Local Plan would go out for representations at the end of 2016.

Marina added: “This is the time for people to look at the plan as a whole. It would be good to have comments about the economy, about town centres and about other policies in the rural areas, as well as housing policies and any other local issues.”

See also:

Uckfield Foodbank helps increasing number of desperate people

Picture House foyer has the wow factor

Uckfield soldier’s World War 1 medals are bought for the town

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

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