Land at Bird-in-Eye, Uckfield, could come back on the agenda for development as Wealden Council looks ahead to identify potential housing sites across the district.
Wealden has already approached Uckfield Town Council asking whether it has land available that could accommodate a minimum of six dwellings and councillors agreed to respond with a “No”.
But at a meeting of the Uckfield Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee on Thursday evening one of the members, Paul Sparks who is also a town councillor, sounded the alarm about Bird-in-Eye.
He said all sites identified by Uckfield Town Council in the past as having potential for development were relatively small and it was likely that Wealden would be looking for more sizeable plots.
He added that, although not within the Uckfield boundary – which put it outside the town’s neighbourhood plan area – two Bird-in-Eye sites previously refused planning permission by a Government inspector were likely to come back on the agenda.
“When the planning inspector refused those it wasn’t on environmental grounds or planning grounds, just that there was no need for it because Wealden already had a sufficient supply of land and didn’t need these two sites,” said Mr Sparks.
• The land at Bird-in-Eye comes within the parish of Framfield.
Uckfield Town Council land
Uckfield town councillors ruled out, at a full council meeting on January 26, submitting any of its sites for consideration by Wealden under the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment.
A report from a town council working group, which looked at all the town council’s property, was considered before councillors made their decision.
Some sites were identified for councillors to consider either retaining all as green open space, or whether it might be prepared to release one or more for housing development.
They were: land at the bottom of Hunters Way, land at Oaklea Way, Rocks Park Flats, land at Harlands Farm (surrounding Harlands Pond and along the stream which drains into the pond), Bellbrook Open Space, land at Hempstead Fields.
Councillors decided against submitting any sites for consideration as part of the Wealden Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment.
The Uckfield Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee, which is made up of volunteers from the town, is to hold a public meeting on Saturday, March 7, to give townspeople their chance to say how they would like to see Uckfield developed in the future.
Themes to be considered will include housing, social infrastructure, environment, sustainability and design quality, transport and infrastructure, and retail and economy.
Read too about concern about the capacity of Uckfield by-pass.