Uckfield Town Council plans committee members were given a briefing on Monday (June 8) on key planning issues affecting the town.
Top of the agenda were the outline planning application for 1,000 homes at Ridgewood Farm and the implications of the 7km Ashdown Forest rule, which restrains development in Uckfield.
The briefing was from officers of Wealden District Council and also included feedback and advice to committee members, who were all elected to the council for the first time at the May elections.
Plans committee chairman, Cllr James Anderson, Trust Independent, Uckfield North Ward, said Kelvin Williams, Wealden’s Head of Planning, brought councillors “up to speed” on the Ridgewood development but also talked about 7km rule to enable councillors, especially the new ones, to fully understand the issues.
He said the briefing was held at the conclusion of the plans committee so the district council officers, who had been present at the meeting, could also give feedback on how he and the fellow members had dealt with the planning applications.
Other town councillors, including some who sat on the previous council, were present at the briefing.
From information received during the meeting, Cllr Anderson confirmed in future the council’s plans committee would – where justified – register an objection with Wealden District Council over planning applications.
Previously, the council had “agreed not to support” applications that they did not favour.
The issue was highlighted over the Ridgewood Farm application, which Wealden officers have noted in a report to today’s (June 11) meeting which is due to determine the issue, that there was no objection from the town council.
Observer, who writes a weekly comment article for UckfieldNews.com, said last Saturday the council should have taken a firmer line and objected. See here
Decisions by the plans committee included:
*Support for a plan to replace and enhance existing play equipment at St Philip’s School, Newtown.
*Support for a plan to build a two-storey extension, with interior alterations, at 47 Forge Rise, Uckfield.
*Support for a plan for a new dormer window and garage replacement at 13 Baker Street, Uckfield.
*Support for an extension and dormer at Little Timbers, Lewes Road, Ridgewood.
*Recommending Wealden District Council to refuse a plan for 6 Farriers Way, Uckfield, which includes a two-storey rear extension, conversion of existing garage to habitable accommodation and a new garage to the side with first floor accommodation above.
Members of the plans committee present at the meeting on Monday were
Chair: Cllr James Anderson, Trust Independent, North
Vice-chair: Cllr Chris Macve, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Duncan Bennett, Trust Independent, New Town
Cllr Mick Dean, Trust Independent, New Town
Cllr Donna French, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Jackie Love, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Barry Mayhew, Liberal Democrat, New Town