Developers were in Uckfield yesterday to look at the area around Luxford Field which is due to be redeveloped.
They were invited by the Uckfield Town Centre Regeneration Joint Committee which is in the process of choosing a contractor to work on the redevelopment project.
A private meeting with with around half-a-dozen developers was held. They also walked round the land earmarked for development.
East Sussex County Council, Wealden District Council and Uckfield Town Council have previously drawn up a master plan for Uckfield but progress on bringing the plan to fruition was halted in 2008 because of the economic situation.
Now they are starting again and hope to have a preferred developer on board in January. That developer will be briefed and is then expected to take about a year to draw up new proposals while consulting with stakeholders and townspeople throughout the process.
The developers’ visit took place on the same day that a drop-in session was held at the Civic Centre where people could see what has been done previously and to talk about the new activity and about improvements currently under way in the High Street.
Chairman of the joint committee Cllr Mick Harker told Uckfield News many things had changed since 2008. The master plan had included residential development but that could not now go ahead because of a rule banning development within 7km of the Ashdown Forest.
Cllr Harker said the joint committee was clear that it wanted to retain the Luxford Field. He also said the town was missing a second grocery store. It had one-and-a-half already (Tesco and Waitrose) but needed two-and-a-half.
A lot of the land on the site earmarked for development is in the ownership of the three councils but some private property is marked for optional inclusion.
The land being considered includes the allotments in Bell Lane, the Fire Station, the Holy Cross School site, the Oast House, Dalgeny, the Luxford Car Park, the Luxford Centre, the buildings occupied by the Citizens Advice Bureau and The Source, shops to the north of Civic Approach (up to those set back from the High Street), and other property in Civic Approach itself.
There was disappointment from many attending the drop-in session that more detail about proposals was not available but Cllr Harker said the aim was to talk to people about the work done previously and to give them the chance to ask questions about the future before new proposals were drawn up.
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