Developers paid more than £6m in ‘tax’ to help pay for infrastructure improvements across Wealden, including Uckfield.
The money has been shared across the district with a proportion of the money coming to Uckfield Town Council.
Here’s a breakdown of how that £6m collected in ‘tax’ – officially known as Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – was spent in 2018/19.
Uckfield Town Council
The town receives 15 per cent of the levy in respect of development within its boundaries.
During the financial year 2019/20, that amounted to £24,395.59.
In the same period, it spent £13,150 of the money to assist with replacement of old street lights in Keld Drive, Grange Road and Selby Rise – a £25,000 project in total – and on additional street lights repairs, including London Road, leading to a total spend of CIL money of £13,150.
The remainder of the money was retained by the town council for future infrastructure projects, as the regulations permit.
See further below for more details on Uckfield’s street lighting arrangements.
Wealden District Council
In a statement issued in February, the district council said the biggest beneficiary from the £6.12m collected from the year’s Community Infrastructure Levy would be future road improvements to the Ersham Road / Diplocks roundabout, Hailsham, and other highway schemes in the south of Wealden.
These are receiving an allocation of £4m.
Wealden’s parish and town councils share £769,000 to support infrastructure projects which are important to their local areas.
A further £167,000 will go to support the continued environmental monitoring and management of Ashdown Forest, the major Special Protection Area in the District.
Councillor Ann Newton, Wealden Cabinet Member for Planning and Development, said: “We have always insisted that major development with the district must be accompanied by necessary infrastructure improvements.
“The improvements do not just benefit the residents of new homes but everyone.”
The council said the CIL levy is paid by developers on the area of the property they are constructing.
The money is collected by the district council.
Some of the money is distributed to parish and town councils and the county council for use on their infrastructure projects, and some retained for use on infrastructure improvements by Wealden.
CIL money has helped pay for two new country parks, which provide Suitable Alternative Natural Green Spaces near to the new developments.
These are the 70-acre Walshes Park in Crowborough and the 74- acre Horsted Green Park on the outskirts of Uckfield.
The 2018/19 allocation of CIL funds has left a carry–over of £826,000 which will be added to CIL funds held by the council and used for future infrastructure projects.
Uckfield’s CIL money
Town and parish councils (such as Uckfield Town Council) receive 15 per cent of the CIL cash.
It is capped.
Where a town or parish has a Neighbourhood Development Plan, the amount passed to to the town or village is 25 per cent, with no cap.
At present, Uckfield does not have a Neighbourhood Plan, although a project team is working on proposals. Work began in the spring of 2014.
Uckfield street lights background
The majority of street lights in the town are the responsibility of East Sussex County Council.
However, Uckfield Town Council does own about 230 street lights in various locations throughout the town which are maintained by the County Council – source Uckfield Town Council website.
The website shows the council has lights in:
- Baker Street
- Bell Lane / Streatfield Road
- Belmont Road and Church Walk
- Cambridge Way
- Campbell Close
- Cedars Close
- Church Street
- Copwood Avenue
- Eastbourne Road
- Footpath from Tesco to Holy Cross School
- Grange Road
- Harcourt Close
- Hempstead Gardens
- Hempstead Rise
- Hempstead Road
- Highlands Avene
- Highview Lane
- Hunters Way
- Keld Avenue
- Keld Close
- Keld Drive
- Lealands Drive
- Lime Tree Avenue
- Linden Chase
- London Road
- Mount Pleasant
- Norfolk Way
- Oaklea Way
- Old Timbers Lane
- Olives Meadow
- Pudding Cake Lane
- Rocks Park Road
- Selby Close
- Selby Gardens
- Selby Rise
- Selby Road
- Snatts Road
- Streatfield Road
- Vernon Road