Uplands on the corner of The Drive and Cambridge Way

Big Uckfield homes plan set for green light

Planning permission is set to be granted for the demolition of  Uplands on the corner of The Drive and Cambridge Way, Uckfield, and the construction of new homes.

It is proposed that the site will be redeveloped to provide 21 homes ranging from one-bedroom flats to three bed houses.

Oribt South Housing Association has made the planning application which is being recommended for approval at a meeting of Wealden District Council plans committee (north).

A report to councillors says: “The proposed development has been considered in relation to the Habitats Regulations (in relation to the 7km Ashdown Forest rule) and it has been found that the development will at worst provide a status quo for traffic movements and at best a modest reduction.

Dramatic improvement

“In addition with the number of units at the site falling and provision of amenity space at the site significantly improving there would not be any increase in recreational pressure on the protected site.

“Overall the design of the proposed development is considered to be a dramatic improvement on that of the existing building. The development will better address the road and utilise the site to provide quality usable amenity spaces to the incoming residents.

“The use of rooms in the roof of a number of the dwellings successfully keeps the massing of the buildings down whilst maximising the potential of the site.”

Affordable housing

The current building dates from 1964 and the district council’s housing section notes in a report to the planning committee: “This is an opportunity to see the site redeveloped which would improve the type and quality of accommodation, as well as the local environment, and provide more appropriate affordable housing for Uckfield.

“The delivery of affordable housing is a key strategic objective of the council.”

The report says there is “an acute need” for affordable housing in the area.

The council’s housing register currently contains around 1400 applicants in need of affordable housing. Of these, more than 200 have listed Uckfield as their first choice area in which they are seeking accommodation.”

Orbit Housing has secured a £840,000 grant for the scheme which if it is not spent on the Uplands project will be diverted to elsewhere in the south east with, councillors are told, “any chance of redevelopment of the site being lost for the foreseeable future”.

Two letters of objection have been received, including one from the chairman of the Chuchcoombe Community Association.

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