Concerns about increasing traffic on the Uckfield by-pass once 1,000 new homes have been built at Ridgewood Farm were raised at a meeting of the Uckfield Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee.
Members discussed, on Thursday, whether it would be possible to recommend in the plan that extra capacity be provided on the by-pass but chairman Richard Judge said that would not be something that could be influenced through the plan. It was a highways matter.
It was thought though, that the plan could recommend provision for pedestrians and a cycle path, running separate from, but along the route of the by-pass.
The committee made up of volunteers from within the community is gearing up for a public consultation to give townspeople the chance to suggest things they would like to see included in the plan.
At last week’s meeting the committee considered the themes that will be covered by the plan.
One of those is transport and that prompted committee member Paul Sparks to raise concern about the capacity of the by-pass.
He said that if the Ridgewood Farm development went ahead the by-pass wouldn’t cope with the traffic, that became clear during stage one of town centre improvements.
He asked whether the scope of the plan could include widening the by-pass but Uckfield Town Council clerk Ashley Serpis said that would be a matter for planners rather than the steering group. He agreed there was no reason why cycle paths and pavements – separate from the by-pass – couldn’t be included.
Future of Selby Meadow
In a separate discussion another committee member Martyn Stenning asked whether Selby Meadow which is currently used as a community garden could be designated and protected as a green space.
Mr Serpis told the committee the future of the land would have to be decided by Uckfield town councillors.
He said planning permission had been given for six houses to be built on the site and councillors would have to weigh up arguments in favour of keeping the community garden against the need for affordable housing.
There’s more about a public consultation coming up about the Neighbourhood Plan here: Public meeting about future development of Uckfield.
Steering committee members were warned that land at Bird-in-Eye could come back on the agenda for development. See: Bird-in-Eye land could come back on agenda for housing development.