Update on February 3, 2016
An empty shop unit on the Fernley Park development, Uckfield, has moved one step closer to becoming a flat.
A planning application to make the change of use is before Wealden District Council, which will make the decision (see story below).
Uckfield Town Council plans committee agreed on Monday (February 1) to support the application.
They heard attempts had been made to market the property as a shop for five years without success.
Committee chairman, Cllr James Anderson, Trust Independent, Uckfield North Ward, said the area was not suitable for a shop.
He also pointed out there was a shop at Ridgewood Post Office.
Cllr Mick Dean, Trust Independent, New Town, said:
“If it was going to be retail, it would have been retail by now. No-one is going to come forward.”
Our original story on January 25, 2016
New plans have been submitted to turn a shop unit on Fernley Park, Uckfield, into a self-contained flat.
A previous application to make the change at 17 Baxendale Way was refused last year.
Documents submitted with the latest planning application say marketing of the property has continued uninterrupted since the beginning of 2010 but no occupier has been found on either a freehold or leasehold basis even though a number of incentives have been offered and the price reduced.
A planning statement says: “In the context of a neighbourhood store, the size of the development is very limited and the scope for sales is equally restricted, with no real prospect of growth.
“Although there are large housing developments at Mallard Drive/Goldcrest Drive, access to the subject property is poor and complicated on foot, making Baxendale Way an unattractive prospect for shoppers, particularly in inclement weather.”
The report goes on to say the “entire design of the property, its situation, layout and positioning are incompatible with retail use”.
A design and access statement says the property remains in shell form and it has never been occupied or used since being built in 2009.
The proposal is to allow it to be completed and occupied as a two bedroom/two bathroom flat of a similar design and specification to that on the first floor.
“Only modest changes of a minor nature are proposed to the external elevations, to infill an opening at the front of the building, remove the rear door and install new windows in the rear wall.
“The design and external appearance of the building will not change to any significant degree. New materials, brickwork and fenestration will match those already used in the shell of the building.”
The property is owned by OSAC Developments, a sister company of Oldfield Smith & Co chartered surveyors.
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